Friday, December 10, 2010

Jeff Fisher Is On The Hot Seat

Watching the 5-7 (now 5-8) Titans punt on 4th & 1 Thursday night against the Colts was just another in a line of bad calls made by coach Jeff Fisher this season.

Down one possession with less than four minutes to go, he decided to give the ball back to Peyton Manning and the Colts. They extended the lead to nine.

Then with about 30 seconds left, Fisher had an opportunity to let Rob Bironas kick a field goal, knowing his team needed two scores. Instead, he left the offense on the field, not getting in the end zone til the clock expired. Sounds more like a clock management problem by Les Miles at LSU.

Issues started earlier this season when Fisher benched starting QB Vince Young Week 2 against the Steelers after one half of football. Young had turned the ball over multiple times but he's the starter for a reason. I didn't agree with it but understood why. Backup Kerry Collins had more success moving the offense down the field, but Fisher damaged the confidence and his relationship with Young so early in the season.

Then after starting WR Kenny Britt suffered a hamstring injury, the Titans brought in the best deep threat receiver in NFL history, Randy Moss. Five games in, he has had no impact. And the main reason is no one is throwing him the ball. How can you not try to get him involved? The Titans started 5-2 and weren't eliminated til last night's loss. How did they not turn to him for a spark? How many times do you need to see the ball bounce off the chests of Nate Washington and Bo Scaife to realize this?

Maybe Fisher, the longest-tenured coach in the NFL, needs to move on. It's been a solid 17 years, but he has only one Super Bowl appearance and several missed opportunities (2008).

I don't think owner Bud Adams should get rid of Fisher unless he can hire a championship-winning coach like Jon Gruden or Bill Cowher.

But he has to start taking some chances. And he has to prove he's still the right man for the job. If not, he'll be on his way out of Tennessee.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Biggest Grammy Snub of 2010: Ke$ha

The Grammy nominees were announced this week. Some were surprisingly included, such as Katy Perry's Teenage Dream for Album of the Year and Esperanza Spalding in the Best New Artist category.

Since the Grammys have been dominated by popular music in recent years, with hits like Beyonce's "Single Ladies" winning Song of the Year despite being incredibly dumb, how did Ke$ha not get nominated for Best New Artist?

I'm not making the case that she has a great voice or her music is deep. But look at the charts from this past year. Her first single "Tik Tok" reached No. 1 in 11 countries and topped the Billboard Hot 100 for nine consecutive weeks. It scored the biggest single-week sum of all time for a female artist selling 610,000 digital downloads in one week and has surpassed the five million mark in paid downloads.

Her debut album, Animal, has sold over two million copies worldwide and spawned three additional top ten hits. And she was featured on 3OH!3's "My First Kiss" which peaked at No. 9 in the U.S.

Ke$ha has not been received well critically, but sales and chart performances speak for themselves. And the Nashville, Tenn. native deserved some Grammy love.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

America's Got Talent: Youtube Night

Twelve acts discovered on AGT's Youtube auditions took the stage. Most were underwhelming, but one amazing voice was discovered.

Who Will Advance

1. Jackie Evancho

Duh. She's incredible.

On The Bubble

2. Cam Hodges

Good voice. Strong stage presence.

3. PLUtonic

Cheesy gimmick. Great voices.

4. Maestro Alexander Bui

Probably not going to make it because his piano selection was boring. But he did say, "I want to prove that music is more than Lady Gaga."

5. Pizza Patt

Pizza dough. On fire. He has a chance.

6. Dan Sperry

He successfully freaked Howie Mandel out.


7. Booker Forté
8. Kristina Young
9. Dylan Plummer
10. Ryan Rodriguez
11. Austin Anderson
12. Pup

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Movie Review: Dinner For Schmucks

I've seen "Dinner For Schmucks," and it sucks.

Paul Rudd once again proves that he should either step away from leading roles or simply choose better ones. He plays essentially the same character as in "I Love You, Man" which is a funny movie, but not because of Rudd. And this is a huge, embarrassing failure for a guy that can do much better. What he really needs is to turn to frequent collaborator, writer/director Judd Apatow, the next time he takes his chances as leading man. If not, he may become the male equivalent of Jennifer Aniston. Even though "Friends" is a great show, this is not a compliment.

Steve Carell manages to bring about a few laughs, but most of the slapstick misfires. The supporting characters are terribly written and the concept, which was taken from a French film, is completely stupid. Zach Galifianakis got the biggest laughs, still riding high from last summer's box office superstar "The Hangover." His screen presence made the audience laugh harder than any of the intended bits.

I recommend you do not see this movie unless it looks hilarious to you. Because if not, you won't laugh. I promise.

Grade: C-

America's Got Talent Quarterfinal Four

The last twelve acts to perform in the quarterfinal round took the stage. Four will advance. And for the record, though I didn't have the time to post before the results show last week, I predicted all four that went through.

Who Should Advance?

1. ArcAttack

On The Bubble

2. Murray SawChuck

3. Strikers All Stars

4. Prince Poppycock

5. Rudi Macaggi

6. Anna and Patryk

7. Taylor Matthews

8. Doogie Horner


9. Lindsey Stirling
10. NU Covenant
11. Da Maniacs
12. Mary Ellen

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

America's Got Talent: Quarterfinal Two

The next 12 acts performed Tuesday night. Only four will advance

Who Should Advance?

1. Alice Tan Ridley
The mother of Oscar-nominated actress Gabourey Sidibe of "Precious" was easily the best performance of last night. She's the best singer in the field and is a threat to win it all.

2. Mona Sampath Dance Company
Bollywood meets Hollywood with this aesthetically-pleasing dance group, which mixes traditional Bollywood dancing and modern hip-hop (such as the Black-Eyed Peas last night). They were perfectly in sync and even got applause from judge Piers Morgan.

3. Michael Grimm
This soulful male vocalist from Mississippi benefits from the lackluster episode last night. He passes this time but not sure he will make it next.

On The Bubble:

4. Wreckless
The street dance group chose a different style that involved elaborate costumes and choreography. However they weren't as edgy or exciting last night, and that may cost them.

5. Antonio Restivo
This pyrotechnical illusionist screams Vegas. There was lots of fire but little on the illusion side. He is a tremendous showman and that might get him through.

6. AscenDance
A unique rock-wall-climbing dance act is very poetic and graceful. The married couple added two people to the act and delivered an emotional performance to Snow Patrol's "Chasing Cars." They deserve to make it through.

7. Hannibal Means
He probably creeps so many people out that I doubt he will advance, but he has an amazing voice, proven last night by his cover of "Circle of Life." It will be interesting to see if he found an audience.


8. Lil Chris
9. Cheer SF
10. John Beatty, "The Strong Man"
11. Iron Horse
12. Ronith

Friday, July 16, 2010

Movie Review: Inception

Christopher Nolan is the best filmmaker on the planet.

"Inception," one of the year's most highly-anticipated movies, is finally here and it will blow your mind. This multifaceted labyrinth deals with alternate realities, such as a dream within a dream, and delivers in every aspect. It's action is thrilling. The settings are aesthetically breathtaking. The main character's back story is emotionally powerful. And it is incredibly witty throughout.

After being snubbed for his masterful direction in 2008's "The Dark Knight," Nolan should be in line to win his first Academy Award. "Inception" is the clear front-runner for Best Original Screenplay, Best Director and Best Picture.

Leonardo DiCaprio plays Cobb, who penetrates the minds of others to steal ideas, or even plant new ones. His carefully nuanced performance is on par with Nolan's ambitions, and he is the perfect fit. And that can also be said about the rest of the cast. Rarely does one find a film where there are zero acting flaws. This is one of them. Academy Award winners Michael Caine and Marion Cotillard and Oscar-nominee Ellen Page give superb performances, as do co-stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ken Watanabe, Cillian Murphy and Tom Hardy.

"Inception" contains many plot staples of traditional heist movies, which allows the audience to follow what would otherwise be confusing sequences. And that is what sets this apart from others in the same genre. Since Nolan explores the topic of subconscious realities, it has drawn comparisons to "The Matrix." This film trounces "The Matrix." The storytelling excels in a way the Wachowski siblings' trilogy never will. It works on multiple layers, taking us into different worlds each time with stunning visuals to match. Plus, everything is explained in the story, not just all tied together at the end, and the audience can then enter Nolan's mind to fully understand each aspect.

Nolan burst on the scene with 2000's psychological thriller "Memento," during which he came up with this story and worked on the screenplay for nearly a decade. He previously directed "Batman Begins" and "The Prestige" and continues to consistently produce exceptional films.

Grade: A+

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

America's Got Talent: Quarterfinal One

Twelve of the final 48 acts competed in the first quarterfinal Tuesday night. Only four will advance.

Who Should Advance?

1. Fighting Gravity:
This glow-in-the-dark act is the front-runner to win the competition. They have amazed the judges and the audience in both performances so far. No way they don't make it through. Haven't seen them yet?

Here's a video of their original audition:

2. Future Funk:
This kid hip-hop dancing duo is a crowd pleaser. They are incredibly entertaining and gifted performers despite being so young (10 and 5). Lock to advance.

3. Nathaniel Kenyon:
This male singer was the final act to perform on last night's show. He offered an underwhelming version of "Lips of an Angel" by Hinder but judging by the crowd's reaction (aka the ladies), his looks will probably get him through.

4. Maricar:
The sexy female painter performed in a water tank last night, crafting an unbelievable replica of judge Piers Morgan. She continues to excel and is my second favorite behind Fighting Gravity. I hope she makes it through (I voted for her).

On The Bubble

5. Christina and Ali
These sisters suffer from cystic fibrosis. It's truly inspiring each and every time I see them perform. They're not great singers but their courage and likability may come in to play on tonight's results show.

6. Airpocalypse
This air band may be the least talented act left. That may or may not matter. They are quite entertaining and may get a lot of votes. They shouldn't advance but it wouldn't shock me.


7. RNG
8. Sally Cohn
9. Nick Pike
10. The Hot Shot Tap Dancers
11. Kung Fu Heroes
12. Paul Safy Jr.

Those are my picks. And as you know, I'm never wrong.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Viva España!--2010 World Cup Champions

In the second period of extra time in the most physical World Cup Final ever (13 yellow cards), Spanish midfielder Andrés Iniesta delivered the game-winning blast, earning Spain's first World Cup championship in a 1-0 victory over the Netherlands.

With Iniesta's moment of brilliance, Spain's record of most wins in FIFA World Cup games without a title is no more (24 wins), and that honor is now bestowed on the Dutch with 19.

The world's second-ranked team was taken out of its usual rhythm, consisting of commanding possession, by an overly aggressive Dutch side. That limited scoring opportunities for both sides, though each came close on a coouple occasions in regular time. The Spaniards nearly scored early on a header from right back Sergio Ramos and then later on a counter attack by substitute midfielder Cesc Fabregas that was saved by the leg of Dutch goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg. Fabregas went on to deliver the assist to Iniesta's goal.

Dutch forward Arjen Robben also had two breakaways but failed to capitalize, missing wide once and having one stopped by the leg of Spanish captain GK Iker Casillas.

Despite an opening game loss to Switzerland, this is a much deserved result for the 2008 European Champions. La Furia Roja (Red Fury) has been dominant in the past four years. From November 2006 and June 2009 Spain went undefeated for a record-tying 35 consecutive matches. Its streak was snapped in a 2-0 loss to the United States in the semifinals of the 2009 Confederations Cup.

Though Spain only scored eight goals in seven matches, the lowest total ever by a world champion, that does not indicate the amount of control it had in each of its matches (Even in the Switzerland loss).

Forward David Villa led the Spaniards with five goals, Carles Puyol added one in the semifinal win over Germany and Iniesta had two, including the most important in the nation's history.

Spain will soon move atop the FIFA world rankings, but many things can happen between now and the 2014 World Cup hosted by Brazil.

Only four years to find out.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

US World Cup Dreams Shattered

The United States men's national team won its group in the World Cup for the first time since 1930.

They received a favorable match-up to reach the semifinals, beginning with a chance for revenge against Ghana in the Round of Sixteen. It was the Black Stars who eliminated the US in the group stage four years ago.

The team had not lost a match and had momentum following Landon Donovan's stoppage time goal against Algeria to send them through.

So why did the Yanks' run end prematurely?

The first major reason lies with coach Bob Bradley's decision-making for the starting lineup.

After sitting out against Algeria for two yellow cards, Robbie Findley was granted a start once again. But why? Findley has zero international goals and can't finish around the net. Edson Buddle and Hercules Gomez were better options to go along with Jozy Altidore up top, since both had proven they could score in the friendlies leading up to the tournament.

And why was Benny Feilhaber not a fixture in the starting lineup? He proved to be the most creative midfielder as a substitute in each game and instantly sparked the team's offense. Feilhaber drastically affected the second half against Ghana and created opportunities to equalize and take the lead. Plus, that move would allow Clint Dempsey to play up top with Altidore and have two proven goal scorers.

As much as Feilhaber deserved to start, that's how much Ricardo Clark did not. Clark plays a defensive midfield position and was at fault for the two earliest goals allowed in this tournament. He failed to mark Steven Gerrard in the opening match against England. Then against Ghana on Saturday, he lost the possession which led to the goal by Kevin Prince Boateng. Clark responded by picking up a yellow card just two minutes later. Also, Maurice Edu proved to be a much better option in the previous two matches. He was solid defensively and more of a scoring threat (Had a goal disallowed against Slovenia).

Even though the squad was slightly mismanaged by Bradley, there's another obvious reason the United States failed to advance: the players are just not that good.

Many Americans became soccer fans during the 2009 Confederations Cup, in which the US defeated the world's top-ranked team at the time, Spain, 2-0 to reach the final of a FIFA tournament for the first time. The Yanks then took a 2-0 lead into halftime against the current No. 1 team, Brazil, before allowing three second-half goals in an epic meltdown.

The US team showed moderate success by competing with the top two teams, but what's rarely talked about is how they lost three out of five matches at that Confederations Cup. That included a 3-1 loss to Italy and 3-0 loss to Brazil in group play. Then in the final, Brazil was denied a goal on a Kaká header that clearly made it over the line, which would have made it a 4-2 loss.

The US does have a few world-class players in Donovan, Dempsey, and goalkeeper Tim Howard, but others have proven little on the world stage.

So while the loss was heart-breaking since the path to the semis was favorable, it's not that surprising. As repeatedly mentioned by ESPN soccer analyst Alexi Lalas, the US plays better as the underdog. The Yanks were the clear favorite against Ghana, nearly 20 positions ahead in the FIFA world rankings, yet came up short.

So while the US men's national team is good, it has proven once again that it isn't ready to join the elite.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

World Cup Predictions

Group Stage (First Team Listed--Group Winner)

Group A
France and Mexico advance

Group B
Argentina and Nigeria advance

Group C
England and the United States advance

Group D
Germany and Serbia advance

Group E
Netherlands and Cameroon advance

Group F
Italy and Paraguay advance

Group G
Brazil and Portugal advance

Group H

Spain and Chile advance

Knockout Stage

Round of Sixteen

Nigeria over France
England over Serbia
Netherlands over Paraguay
Brazil over Chile
Argentina over Mexico
United States over Germany
Italy over Cameroon
Spain over Portugal


England over Nigeria
Brazil over Netherlands
Argentina over United States
Spain over Italy


Brazil over England
Spain over Argentina


Spain 2-1 over Brazil

These two teams are by far the most talented in the world. I'm giving the edge to Spain (2008 Euro Champions) because of the depth from top to bottom. In the title game, I think Fernando Torres and David Villa will score on perfect passes from Xavi in the midfield.

Hope For The United States?

Anything can happen. The proof is the 2-0 win over the world's top-ranked team, Spain, in last summer's Confederations Cup. It goes to show that in a single elimination scenario, the US has a fighting chance. But assuming England takes Group C, the Yanks will need positive results against Algeria and Slovenia in the group stage. Then in the knockout stage, they will most likely have to defeat (in order) Germany, Argentina, Spain and then Brazil in the final.

Is there hope to win it all?

Very little. I say it's one in a million.

But I'm saying there's a chance.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Movie Review: Get Him To The Greek

This is exactly what I expect in an R-rated comedy from producer Judd Apatow: sex, drugs, rock 'n' roll, and most importantly, big laughs.

The film reunites "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" director Nicholas Stoller with stars Russell Brand and Jonah Hill, with Brand reprising his role as rock star Aldous Snow.

Watching this movie, I came across one main realization--Russell Brand is a superstar. "Greek" starts out a bit slow, but then Brand really comes into play. He is easily one of the funniest men on the planet and shines in his first leading role. His character, Snow, relapses into the drug world after a break-up with model/singer girlfriend Jackie Q. The way Brand mixes outlandish comedic behavior with subtle sensitivity proves he is a major talent and one of the most charismatic stars in Hollywood.

The subplot between Hill's character, Aaron Green, and his girlfriend, Daphne (played by Elisabeth Moss of "Mad Men") is fairly sweet. Moss does a nice job in her supporting role and makes us believe Jonah Hill could actually find a girlfriend. But once again, the best scene involving these two also contains bed.

One of the movie's letdowns was Sean "Diddy" Combs as music mogul Sergio. He was not funny...until he was on drugs. Then he was fantastic. So it wasn't a bad performance, but most of his early jokes misfired.

This is a very funny movie, highlighted by the chemistry between Hill and Brand. But Brand really takes over the screen.

"Greek" will definitely be considered one of the year's best comedies, if not the best.

Grade: B+

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Federer's Incredible Streak Over

For the first time in his last 24 Grand Slam appearances, Roger Federer failed to reach the semifinals.

Robin Soderling defeated the world's top player in the quarterfinals at the French Open, snapping one of the most impressive and overlooked streaks in all of sports.

It was just one year ago at Roland Garros that Federer edged Andy Roddick for his record-breaking 15th Grand Slam title. This year, he is forced to watch the rest of the tournament as a spectator.

But that doesn't do anything to tarnish the career of the 28-year-old Swiss tennis legend. He's still the best player to ever play.

Federer made 23 straight semifinals in major tournaments for several reasons, the most astonishing being durability. Former top-ranked and current No. 2 Rafael Nadal may be a stronger player at this point in their careers, but he does not possess the same qualities as Federer. He is brilliant when on the court. But Federer has managed to stay healthy for such a long period of time. The way he has reigned over the rest in this sport without his body breaking down is one of the most underrated aspects of his game.

The other major factor in this unbelievable run is his versatility as a player. The way he consistently makes it deep in majors even with the different playing surfaces is phenomenal. Nadal finally captured a hard court championship at the Australian Open last year but that aspect of his game is still somewhat questionable. Federer's worst surface is clay. However, had the best clay-court player the tennis world has ever seen (Nadal) not burst onto the scene, he may have won the past five French Opens.

Tuesday's early exit isn't that shocking. The level of competition has increased significantly in the past few years.

I don't think anyone will accomplish this type of streak in tennis again.

And it definitely belongs near the top of the list with great records of the other major sports.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Zero Suspense at the Dancing With The Stars Finale

Let's hear it once again for the most predictable reality competition on TV.

Don't get me wrong; I'm a big fan of celebrities on reality shows (Celebrity Apprentice being my favorite). However, this one just doesn't really entertain me.

It shows funny moments doing rehearsals but there are no surprises. When I first read the cast listing, I narrowed it down to the final four and predicted a winner.

Winner: Nicole Scherzinger
2. Evan Lysacek
3. Erin Andrews
4. Chad Ochocinco

I don't consider this an outstanding achievement for myself. It was an easy call. Select the obvious.

Nicole Scherzinger sings and performs choreographed dances for a living. She claimed to not have an edge over the others because this style of dance is different. It is different, but that's still a major advantage.

Evan Lysacek dances on ice and is incredibly athletic, allowing ballroom to come easily.

Erin Andrews looks like a dancer with the tall, slender frame and was paired with the uber-talented Maksim Chmerkovskiy.

Chad Ochocinco is an exceptional athlete and was paired with two-time winner Cheryl Burke.

You can't honestly believe the others had a chance, right?

Shannen Doherty? The bitchy girl from 90210?

Buzz Aldrin? How old is he?

Aiden Turner? Who?

Kate Gosselin? A dumb, unskilled woman who is only famous for having eight kids and making a poor choice of husband?

Jake Pavelka? The lamest Bachelor? (Seems like a nice guy, though)

Pam Anderson? With her boobs? (Though they were a highlight of the season)

Niecy Nash? An out-of-shape comedian? (She did make it further than I expected, so kudos)

I love watching celebrites on TV. But if I'm ever going to watch this show, the cast has to be more competitive.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Who Will Coach LeBron Next Season?

It doesn't matter.

LeBron James is not going to stay in Cleveland or be lured away just because of the team's coach.

It also won't be for money. He's getting a maximum contract wherever he goes (though the amount will be slightly more if he plays for the Cavaliers) in addition to his lucrative endorsement deals with Nike, McDonald's, State Farm, Coca-Cola, etc.

King James (or Prince James if you're a Skip Bayless fan) is either going to play where he has the best chance of winning a championship or because he wants to move to a bigger and better city.

Even though they have failed to reach the NBA Finals the past three seasons, staying in Cleveland is still his best shot at winning a championship.

However, I'm sick of watching this Cavaliers team. I want LeBron to move to New York, Chicago or Miami just for a change. And I think he will.

But whatever he decides to do, it won't be because of the coach. So ESPN can throw around all the Phil Jackson, John Calipari and Mike Krzyzewski rumors they want. But that's not going to explain which jersey LeBron will be sporting next season.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains Finale

For the second consecutive season, the best player didn't win.

Of the Final Three, the least deserving, Sandra, walked away with the million dollars and title of Sole Survivor by a vote of 6-3-0.

How can the jury be so bitter? They lost. Get over it. The game was controlled by Russell Hantz, and they all watched him do it. He orchestrated the exits (in order) of Tyson, Rob, Courtney, JT, Amanda, Danielle, Rupert, Colby and Jerri (The girls were responsible for Coach and Candice). He found two hidden immunity idols and had one given to him by JT. He won two individual immunity challenges including the final.

Yet, zero votes from the Final Tribal Council read "Russell."

And somehow Sandra received 6 votes. She was useless in team challenges and pathetic in individual challenges. Her one strategy was to get Russell voted out of the game, which she didn't accomplish. How can All-Stars think she played the best game? She clearly didn't. She only made it to the end because other people dragged her through the mud. She didn't deserve the win.

A case can also be made that Parvati deserved to win. She had a huge target on her back from the beginning. She aligned with the right people and proved clutch in crucial immunity challenges. Plus, she's the ultimate charmer. And incredibly gorgeous. But she did ride along Russell's coattails to a certain extent. If not for his gutsy move to give her two of his immunity idols, she would not have even made it to the merge. She's a player, though, and definitely deserved the win more than Sandra.

Russell Hantz was once again robbed of the title and million dollars. I understand the jury was upset, but how can they let personal emotions cloud the judgment of the best player? It can create a flaw in the game. I read host Jeff Probst's blog earlier this season and even he admitted that was one thing he disliked: the game is in the hands of people that may not make the best decision. And that's what happened. He received only 2 out of 18 votes at the Final Tribal Council of the last two seasons.

He dominated the game twice but came up empty. It's not fair. But that's Survivor.

Outwit. Outplay. Outlast. Congratulations to Sandra on becoming the first two-time winner.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Movie Review: Iron Man 2

The latest superhero sequel, Iron Man 2, was released yesterday, and it is exactly what you expect. It is highly entertaining but isn't quite as good as the 2008 original.

Robert Downey, Jr. returns as the film's protagonist, Tony Stark: a role that could not be more perfectly cast. He is a great fit for the witty, over-the-top narcissist and delivers another brilliant performance.

While RDJ was a bright spot, there were a couple things that disappointed.

Mickey Rourke was heavily underutilized as the main villain. He disappeared for what seemed like half the movie and returned in a somewhat anti-climactic ending. For someone who turned in a career-best Oscar-nominated performance in "The Wrestler" just two years ago, he should have been a much bigger part of the plot. I didn't expect Rourke's Ivan Vanko to be as memorable as Heath Ledger's Joker, but unfortunately for all other comic book films "The Dark Knight" is the new standard. And this is far inferior.

Another weak character was Sam Rockwell as Stark Industries' rival Justin Hammer. The role was poorly written and acted, and at least some of that blame should be placed on director Jon Favreau. Rockwell is a good actor. But not in this film.

The story is jumbled and poorly executed but not enough to make it much less enjoyable. It is somewhat similar to 2009's "Transformers" sequel in that it has high entertainment value but lower quality. But that probably won't bother anyone who will see this in theaters.

And who doesn't like watching Scarlett Johansson kick ass?

Grade: B-

Friday, April 30, 2010

Worst Movie of 2010?

The new Brendan Fraser movie "Furry Vengeance" opens today and is the early favorite for worst movie of the year. I haven't seen it and don't plan on it. But the trailer is reason enough.

Fraser also starred alongside Harrison Ford in what looked like a made-for-tv movie earlier this year called "Extraordinary Measures." Didn't see that one either but it has to be terrible.

What the hell is he doing? I hope his career is over and think it might be.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Chris Brown Is An Idiot

Chris Breezy may be dumber than Sarah Palin.

If you want to improve your image, the last f-ing thing you wanna do is become a rapper.

He also released contradicting remarks about the Rihanna incident. First, he claimed he didn't remember what happened, then later admitted he did. Of course he remembered. He did one of the worst things you can do as a person to his gorgeous celebrity girlfriend.

Nobody will forget this image:

And Brown expects his former fans to ignore what he did and just listen to his music. Not happening in today's society. Some things are forgivable. Not this.

Plus, he's not a changed person. In late April he cussed out a radio personality in Virginia after complaining about the station not playing his music.

“All I'm saying is that you don't play m y s**t. What number is it (my song) at? It don't matter. Why am I even doing this interview?! I ain't doing this s**t!”

Oh and what is he infamous for? Hitting someone in the face repeatedly? So why would he sing the National Anthem for the Floyd "Money" Mayweather-Shane Mosley fight just a few weeks ago? Because he is an idiot.

Chris Brown, your days of having a string of top-10 hits are over.

There is a right time to say goodbye. And that time was Grammy Night, 2009.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Why Guys Hate Chick Flicks

Because they are stupid.

I feel the need to address this issue after viewing the endless marketing campaign for J.Lo's latest rom-com "The Back-Up Plan."

The quintessential chick flick: "The Notebook" and yes, I have seen it.

Why it's stupid: the Ryan Gosling's Noah Calhoun and Rachel McAdams' Allie Hamilton are so different from each other and constantly argue. It would not have worked out in real life. I find the concept of "The One" in movies incredibly annoying. A soulmate doesn't exist in this world. There are hundreds, if not thousands, if not millions of people that could fit the description of what one sees as a potential life-long partner. Noah and Allie have great sex. Did they have any other chemistry? I didn't see any.

But having great sex doesn't necessarily mean that person is The One. It just means that person is The it to you from behind.

Plus, look at how predictable that movie was. Even semi-intelligent people figured it out five minutes in.

Did you really not figure out that he was reading the story of their love? Really? Then I know some mentally challenged kids that are laughing at you for being so dumb.

The argument for most girls--I love the happy ending. Or I love hott boys. Or it just makes me feel good. I have no problem with this. I'm just telling you why guys hate them (*Most of them--I have a soft spot for "A Walk To Remember).

Then most girls will say: But guys love stupid movies. True, but we also don't go see "Harold and Kumar" for an accurate description of the way the world works. We know they're dumb. And that's why they are funny. We leave it at that.

So please do yourself a favor and don't see "The Back-Up Plan." It can't be good. It looks like the poor man's version of "Knocked Up." And it probably doesn't even deserve that praise. Even my mom thinks it's going to suck. And that should say something.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

NFL Draft Analysis--First Round

The Denver Broncos are stupid for picking Tim Tebow.

And The Tennessee Titans are awesome for picking a DE with my last name.

That's all for now.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Is Big Ben's Time Up In Pittsburgh?

Not unless they want to set their franchise back several years.

Ben Roethlisberger is one of the League's toughest players and has two Super Bowl rings in the past five seasons. He's a winner. And now the Steelers are willing to get rid of him for a top 10 pick. Why? Do they honestly think Jimmy Clausen can fill his shoes? If so, they must have enjoyed 4/20 a lot more than the rest of us.

Plus, the Steelers organization is overlooking the fact that he was not convicted of anything. A Georgia district attorney said there wasn't even enough evidence to win a case. So they would have to rely on accusations made by a drunk sorority girl, which carries about as much credibility as a Mormon on Fox News.

Did he nail her? Absolutely. He gave it to her long and good.

Is sex in a public bathroom disgusting? Yes. But that doesn't warrant a six-game suspension. One or two games at most.

Also, the only Pittsburgh fans calling for him to be traded like problem-child wide receiver Santonio Holmes are the ones that care more about integrity than winning. But true fans won't hold this against him.

Because they know the Steelers can't win without him.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Final Four Predictions

And then there were four, but few thought it would be this four. Two hundred brackets out of almost 4.8 million on correctly predicted Duke, West Virginia, Michigan State and Butler would make it to Indianapolis. And I was a bit surprised to see that many get it right.

Michigan State vs. Butler

Butler is the only mid-major left, but the Bulldogs are not a mid-major program. They have 10 NCAA tournament wins since 2001, including two Sweet Sixteen appearances in addition to this year's Final Four. If Shelvin Mack and Gordon Hayward get hot from outside, I don't think Michigan State can keep up. They key player for Butler is Matt Howard. The Bulldogs' undersized center will have to compete against the nation's best rebounding team. The Spartans are playing without star point guard Kalin Lucas but that hasn't affected them the last two games. And how do you pick against Tom Izzo, who has led his teams to six Final Fours in the last 12 years? I have a simple answer for that: I don't.

Michigan State 68, Butler 62

West Virginia vs. Duke

West Virginia proved to be the best of the No. 2 seeds and continued the momentum created by winning the Big East tournament championship. Their 1-3-1 zone befuddled the top-ranked team left in Kentucky, and they're going to rely on that happening again. Da'Sean Butler, Devin Ebanks and Kevin Jones are the stars that led the Mountaineers throughout the season, but point guard Joe Mazzulla stepping in for Darryl "Truck" Bryant carried them to the Final Four. His career-high 17 points against Kentucky helped him earn the East Regional's Most Outstanding Player. Duke is led by the three S's in Nolan Smith, Kyle Singler and Jon Scheyer. Scheyer is the key. Kentucky lost to WVU because they were 4 for 32 from three-point range. I expect Scheyer to hit at least four, and the Blue Devils will win the game at the free-throw line late in the game.

Duke 72, West Virginia 68

Championship Game

Duke's size and talent is superior to Michigan State's. And even though Izzo gets his team to overachieve, he only has one title. I'm going with Coach K and his three titles. And I think Scheyer will get payback for not winning the ACC Player of the Year and be named the Final Four's MOP.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Celebrity Infidelity

I'm tired of hearing about celebrity sex scandals, especially Tiger Woods and Jesse James. They act like they had psychological problems, so they checked into "sex rehab." Yeah, like that's going to fix anything. There is a problem, but it's something they control. It's not some subconscious phenomenon that's out of their hands. The real problem is easy to see: marriage.

These two men cheated because they wanted to have sex with more than one woman for the rest of their lives. That's normal. That's not a psychological problem. The problem is they shouldn't have gotten married. But they did and wanted to maintain the lifestyle of a single man. So there is a solution to the problem. If you want to maintain the single life, don't get married. End of problem.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Sweet Sixteen Preview

How does your bracket look? Thought so. Let's move forward.


Butler vs. Syracuse

Syracuse looked as good as anyone in the first two rounds. With Kansas ousted in the second round, the Orange have become the favorite to reach the title game from this half of the bracket. Butler is a solid team, but to win this game they might need to hit 15 or more three-pointers. Shelvin Mack has hit nine in the first two games, so anything is possible. I think Syracuse's zone defense and transition offense will be too much to handle.

Xavier vs. Kansas St.

Kansas State has a team built for the NCAA tournament. Jacob Pullen and Denis Clemente comprise one of the best backcourt duos in the nation. They have breezed by their first two opponents and look headed to an Elite Eight match-up with Syracuse. Xavier's only shot is that Jordan Crawford blows up for 30, which could happen. But I think the higher seeds will advance.

Players to Watch

Andy Rautins for Syracuse was on fire from beyond the arc against Gonzaga. With Arinze Onuaku still out, expect Rautins to lead the Orange past the Bulldogs.

Jacob Pullen of Kansas State is a big-time performer who has scored 49 points in the first two rounds. Xavier can't guard him, so I expect huge numbers.

Scariest-looking person left:

Kansas State coach Frank Martin


Washington vs. West Virginia

This is the Washington team picked to win the Pac-10. Quincy Pondexter and Isaiah Thomas have carried the Huskies to the Sweet Sixteen and are definitely the best double-digit seed left. West Virginia suffered a season-ending foot injury to guard Darryl Bryant. That shouldn't affect the Mountaineers too much since they have Joe Mazzulla back at the point. This game could come down to which player is more clutch: Pondexter or West Va.'s Da'Sean Butler.

Cornell vs. Kentucky

The Big Red have played great so far. They're probably the best Ivy League team ever and are the best three-point shooting team in the nation. That being said, they don't have the athleticism to keep up with Kentucky. Zero chance of winning. Zero.

Players to Watch

Kevin Jones of West Virginia has stepped up in the team's first two games, averaging 15 points per game. He will be important on offense and will be called upon to contain Pondexter.

Darius Miller of Kentucky will be a key for the Wildcats' success for the rest of this tournament. Miller had a career-high 20 points and was a major factor in pulling away from Wake Forest in their second-round game. If he is knocking down shots, Kentucky will not be beaten.


Tennessee vs. Ohio State

The Vols took care of business in the first two rounds but didn't look that great. Melvin Goins stepped up with 15 points in the three-point win over San Diego State, and their length and athleticism was too much for Ohio. Ohio State looked vulnerable when teams keyed in on Evan Turner. With Tennessee's size, other players will have to score.

Northern Iowa vs. Michigan State

Even with the Achilles injury to guard Kalin Lucas, I think Michigan State has enough firepower with Raymar Morgan, Durrell Summers and Maryland-slayer Korie Lucious to get past the Panthers. Northern Iowa's Ali Farokhmanesh has hit two game-winning shots, but I think the magic stops here.

Players to Watch

Jon Diebler for Ohio State will be a major factor. Georgia Tech was able to hang in the game with Deibler struggling. But when he got hot, his four three-pointers really opened the lead. He will be important in stretching Tennessee's defense to open lanes for Turner and David Lighty.

Jordan Eglseder is the 7-foot center for Northern Iowa. If the Panthers are to advance, he will have to dominate the undersized Spartans on the interior.


Saint Mary's vs. Baylor

Baylor looked shaky in both games but has the talent to reach a Final Four. LaceDarius Dunn and Tweety Carter kept the Bears alive. But to advance, Ekpe Udoh has to do a much better job of guarding Omar Samhan than Villanova and Richmond. Also, Mickey McConnell of Saint Mary's should have to call his next bank shot for it to count.

Purdue vs. Duke

The Blue Devils were given the easiest route of the 1-seeds but still have to play the games. They destroyed UAPB and California but are in for a dog fight with Purdue. Chris Kramer on Jon Scheyer will be a great match-up to watch. The Boilermakers have proven the critics wrong. I stuck with them up to this point but Duke has looked very impressive.

Players to Watch

Omar Samhan for Saint Mary's has been the most dominant player in the tournament so far. McConnell and Dellavedova kept feeding The Sandman in the post, and he turned that into 61 points. To advance, expect the same approach from the Gaels.

JaJuan Johnson of Purdue could be the key to hanging tough against Duke. The versatile center must take advantage of Zoubek on the inside. This would turn the game into more of a grind, which puts a lot of pressure on Duke's three S's (Smith, Scheyer, Singler) to hit shots from the outside.


West Region

Kansas State over Syracuse

East Region

Kentucky over West Virginia

Midwest Region

Tennessee over Michigan State

South Region

Duke over Saint Mary's

Sunday, March 14, 2010

NCAA Tournament Predictions

The Madness has arrived. Let's do this.


Kansas is the clear tournament favorite as the overall No. 1 seed, so I'm not going to pick against them. The Jayhawks are the least vulnerable of the top seeds because of so much talent, experience and depth. In the regional final, I think they will go up against the Georgetown Hoyas. With Monroe, Freeman and Wright, they reached the Big East title game, losing only because of another game winner by West Virginia's Da'Sean Butler.


On Kansas' half, a possible second-round match-up with Northern Iowa could be really tough. They dominated the MVC, which is perennially one of the best non-power conferences. They have an inside presence with Jordan Eglseder and excellent guard play.

In the bottom half, the Tennessee Volunteers are the most dangerous outside of the top seeds. They are incredibly inconsistent but as good as anyone when Wayne Chism plays well. UT is the only team to beat the top two teams in the nation and are certainly capable of doing it again.

Burning Question: Can Evan Turner carry Ohio State to the Final Four?

Winner: Kansas


Even with the two losses down the stretch and minor injury of Onuaku, Syracuse is clearly the best team in this region. The Orange have the most talent and are the most difficult to prepare for since they play a 2-3 zone defense. In the other half, Kansas State has exactly what it takes to make the Elite Eight. They have two exceptional guards in Pullen and Clemente and a fiery coach in Frank Martin.


In the top half, the fourth-seeded Vanderbilt Commodores have the team capable of defeating Syracuse's zone. With Jermaine "Dolla'" Beal and John Jenkins shooting well from beyond the arc, Vandy can be a dangerous team. Also, the Gonzaga Bulldogs will give the Orange a challenge. With veteran guards Matt Bouldin and Steven Gray and freshman forward Elias Harris, the Zags could find themselves in the Sweet Sixteen.

In Kansas State's half, the Xavier Musketeers are a team to watch out for. You may remember forward Jordan Crawford dunking on LeBron James. He's also scoring about 20 points per game and is difficult to defend.

Burning Question: Will Syracuse's slide at the end of the season continue?

Winner: Syracuse


The Kentucky Wildcats are the most talented team in the nation. They win even if they aren't playing well. John Wall will be the No. 1 pick in the next NBA Draft and has set himself apart through his play-making abilities in clutch situations. Also, DeMarcus Cousins is going to be tough to match-up with for almost every team the Wildcats will come across. The West Virginia Mountaineers are the best team in the bottom half. They proved that this weekend by taking home the Big East tournament championship. Butler's heroics and the versatile Devin Ebanks will make this team a tough out.


Texas is one of the most enigmatic teams, starting 17-0 and ending up as an eight seed. They have the depth and size to push Kentucky in a possible second-round game. Also, if a four seed can be a sleeper, Wisconsin's style of play could throw some teams off. They slow things down and shorten the game, and that could force Kentucky to hit shots from the outside to advance.

Marquette is a team capable of making a run. They've played great competition throughout the year in the best conference. Lazar Hayward is an underrated player who is averaging 18 points and almost eight rebounds per game. He can light it up at any point.

Burning Question:
Will the youth of Kentucky hold up in another single-elimination scenario?

Winner: Kentucky


The Duke Blue Devils have the experience and the easiest draw of the top seeds. I expect Scheyer, Smith and Singler to carry them to the regional final. Villanova has struggled, losing five of seven. But they made the Final Four last year and still have Scottie Reynolds. I'll take their guards in March every time.


Louisville could be a tough out for Duke in the second round. They have great upside with Edgar Sosa and Samardo Samuels but are on/off. In a one-game situation, coach Rick Pitino could rally his team to a major upset. Siena also has a great draw. They have a tournament win in the recent past and face a Purdue team who has struggled without Robbie Hummel. In the bottom half, Notre Dame has a decent shot to advancing a couple rounds. They learned how to play without Luke Harangody and have greatly improved at the end of the season.

Burning Question: Can Duke capitalize on the favorable bracket they lucked into?

Winner: Villanova

Final Four

No.1 Kansas over No.1 Syracuse.
No.1 Kentucky over No.2 Villanova

Championship: Kansas versus Kentucky

National Champion: Kansas

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Championship Week

NCAA conference tournaments are already underway. Tickets are being punched for the Big Dance, and bubbles are bursting (like UConn's earlier today). Here are my picks for the six power conferences.


Even with the loss at Maryland costing them the outright regular season title, Duke has had a lot of success in this tournament. They have won eight of the last 11 and are easily the best team in the conference. Maryland's Greivis Vasquez was named the conference's player of the year, and it wouldn't surprise me to see these two teams in the final. But without the home-court advantage, I don't see the Terrapins repeating that success.

Winner: Duke

Big East

The B-East tournament will definitely have the most games with quality opponents, but I don't think that will allow for much drama (especially like the 6-OT game between UConn and Syracuse last year). It will be won by one of the top three of Syracuse, Villanova and West Virginia. Guard play is important in March, which gives Villanova a good shot against 'Cuse in the semis. But the Orange trounced the Wildcats by 18. They could definitely do it, but 'Nova has to get hot from beyond the arc to beat the zone. I'm not counting on that happening. I'm looking for Bob Huggins' Mountaineers to beat the Orange in the championship with Da'Sean Butler being the tournament's best player.

Winner: West Virginia

Big Ten

This tournament was up for grabs between three teams just a couple weeks ago. Then Purdue's Robbie Hummel went down with a knee injury. The way I see it, the title will go to either Michigan State or Ohio State. The Spartans are last year's NCAA runner-up but they're not consistently good. Plus the Buckeyes have the nation's top player, Evan Turner. Kentucky's John Wall will be drafted No. 1, but Turner will win the Wooden Award as the nation's best. He is leading the conference in scoring and rebounding and is second in steals and assists. Also, he is sixth in field-goal percentage, which means he's not taking half his team's shots to get that total like South Carolina's Devan Downey. Oh, and Turner recovered from a broken back earlier this season. I'm not choosing against a guy with that type of heart.

Winner: Ohio State

Big 12

I'll make this brief.

Winner: Kansas


Does anyone really care?

Winner: California


Kentucky is the favorite, but the most dangerous team has already beaten the Wildcats. Enter the Tennessee Volunteers. The two will most likely meet in a semi-final bout on Saturday. The winner will take home the crown on Sunday. Kentucky has looked vulnerable when not hitting shots from the outside. UT's length and athletic ability could disrupt the inexperienced 'Cats. Here's one vote for Bruce Pearl as coach of the year, in the conference and the nation. Losing the team's best player Tyler Smith could have sent the Vols into a tailspin. Pearl kept them together, though, and winning a conference title would be nothing short of amazing.

Winner: Tennessee

These are my picks. But March is my favorite month for a reason. Anything can happen in college basketball. And I expect this March to be no exception.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Academy Awards Preview

The 82nd Academy Awards are here to honor the finest in film for 2009. And I hope they actually do.


I will start by taking on the easiest category. This is the biggest lock of the night. I feel bad for the other nominees in this category for having no chance. Christoph Waltz as Col. Hans Landa in Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds is the best performance from the past year. Bet on it.

Winner: Christoph Waltz


This category also seems to be a lock, with Mo'Nique sweeping all the major awards leading up to tonight. Though I hate rewarding someone who has done nothing of merit up to this point in her career (Reminder: She was in Phat Girlz), no one else nominated really blew me away.

Winner: Mo'Nique


This is the deepest category of the night, but it seems as though the fifth time will be the charm for Jeff Bridges. Crazy Heart was not a great movie and not his best performance, but he's done enough to earn this as essentially a lifetime achievement award.

Winner: The Dude


If there was one potentially frustrating category for me, here it is. If Sandra Bullock wins, she will be the first to ever win a Razzie (Worst Actress for All About Steve) and an Oscar in the same year. It proves she is barely trying to do good work. And her performance in "The Blind Side" is perhaps the most overrated from the past decade. It once again shows how shallow the talent pool for female actors is in Hollywood. There is no way Meryl Streep should not win. She's one of the two best actresses in the world (Along with Kate Winslet) and is far superior to anything Bullock will ever do.

Winner: Meryl Streep


Tarantino got robbed at the Golden Globes. His take on WWII is easily the best and most original screenplay. I hope the Academy shows him some love here, since the top awards seem to be a two-horse race.

I mentioned he got robbed. This was done by Jason Reitman & Sheldon Turner, who will win for best adaptation. For some reason there is only one writing category at the Globes. The Hollywood Foreign Press should fix that.

Winner (Best Original Screenplay): Quentin Tarantino
Winner (Best Adapted Screenplay): Jason Reitman & Sheldon Turner


These two categories are closely contested. Though most of the momentum is with The Hurt Locker and its director Kathryn Bigelow, I think these awards should go to Avatar and James Cameron. He worked on it for four years, and created new technology that changed the possibilities of 3-D filmmaking. He created a new world and new language. And the movie shattered his own Box Office record (Titanic) by taking in over $2.5 billion. Though gross revenue shouldn't give movies like Alvin & the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel any Oscar buzz, this is on a completely different level. Though I think The Hurt Locker and Bigelow will win, I would vote for Cameron and Avatar.

Footnote: It's an embarrassment that The Blind Side was nominated for Best Picture.


The Best Animated Feature category deserves multiple awards this year. Up will win, but Fantastic Mr. Fox, Coraline and The Princess and the Frog could easily win in other years.


How was Michael Moore's Capitalism: A Love Story not nominated for Best Documentary Feature?


I'm curious to see Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin host. Though I doubt they are the best choice, both are great performers. But Steve Martin hasn't been funny since the '80s.

Hugh Jackman did an amazing job as last year's host. Hopefully, they will do the same tonight.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Movie Review: Shutter Island

An effective film is supposed to communicate ideas and evoke emotions. The latest Scorsese/DiCaprio collaboration focuses on the latter and is easily the best film released in 2010 so far.

Those who know me well are aware that I rarely watch horror movies. However, I made an exception for this since it is not the typical slasher flick but a horror film with depth. And that depth comes from the strength of the cast.

Leo is one of the five best actors going, so of course he kills it. The most perfectly cast role is Ben Kingsley as Dr. Cawley, whose eerie charm is a major asset to the film's suspense. But the biggest surprise for me was Mark Ruffalo's performance as Leo's partner Chuck. I dismissed his ability after watching the dreadful "13 Going on 30," but he made up for it by proving me wrong here.

One thing that made this a truly great horror film is its effective use of setting. Most in this genre use the stereotypical rainy night to set the tone. This film offers a secluded island consisting of poorly lit fortresses, rough terrain and bad weather.

The purpose of this film is not to make the audience jump. Although it does have a couple of those moments, it also makes you think. And I guarantee it will keep you guessing til the end.

Grade: A-

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Gay Pop Star Will Top Hot 100

From the first time I heard it, I thought Adam Lambert's "Whataya Want From Me" would reach No. 1 on the Billboard's Hot 100 chart.

My predictions are occasionally wrong, but that hasn't been the case with pop music. I felt the same way about three songs released by new acts in the last six months: "Down" by Jay Sean feat. Lil Wayne, "Fireflies" by Owl City and "Tik Tok" by Ke$ha. They all reached No. 1.

Adam Lambert has an advantage over those acts. He gained popularity by finishing runner-up on the ratings juggernaut known as "American Idol." Give the title to Kris Allen, but my money's on Lambert to have the better career. (For sports fans: I also predicted Kevin Durant would be better than Greg Oden in the NBA, even though Oden was drafted first. Count it.)

Also, if Lambert manages to obtain a No. 1 hit on his first album, that gives some credibility to an openly gay male singer in today's pop culture. I am interested to see if he can do anything to help make America more accepting of gays/lesbians or if he will turn them off even more like he did at the AMA's. Either way, I think he will have a chance to make an impact since "Whataya Want From Me" is climbing the charts. It is now No. 28 on the Hot 100 and has only been receiving airplay in Nashville for a few weeks.

It won't be easy to reach the top. The Black Eyed Peas took over this past week with "Imma Be," which will be difficult to dethrone. They controlled the No. 1 position for 26 consecutive weeks in 2009 with "Boom Boom Pow" and "I Gotta Feeling." Even with the Peas at the top, though, I'm staying out on my limb about Lambert reaching No. 1.

Hopefully, he will, and I can keep my streak of predicting No. 1 hits intact.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Almost Super Sunday (A.S.S.)

Sunday was nearly a great day for American sports. The NFL season is over. March Madness is still a couple weeks away. All eyes were on one event: Olympic hockey.

In perhaps the most anticipated event of these Winter Games, the gold medal game featured host country Canada against the U.S. Just one week ago, the Americans stunned the Canadians with a 5-3 victory and hoped to repeat that effort Sunday.

Canada had different plans.

They took a 2-0 lead in the second period, which made me think an American victory was highly unlikely.

That mindset allowed me to fist pump when Zach Parise tied it at 2 with under 30 seconds left in regulation.

The U.S. had all the momentum going into the sudden death overtime period, but one small defensive letdown was all it took for Sidney Crosby to further cement his status as a Canadian national hero.

A silver medal is still a great result, though, by a team picked to finish eighth in this tournament, with G Ryan Miller named the MVP.

So while gold would've been much sweeter, at least we can blame Canada for making our Sunday slightly less rewarding.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Super Bowl Preview

No in-depth preview here--the past two weeks and four hours today have already done that. Just a couple quick thoughts for today's game.

Who's Under Pressure?

Indianapolis: This one is obvious. The pressure is on Peyton Manning to deliver his 2nd Super Bowl win. He will own all the QB records, but if he doesn't come away with another title, other like Montana, Brady, and Elway will have a big leg up on him. He's the best player I've ever seen, and he has to prove that once again. The Saints defense is much improved but still allows a lot of yards and points. If he can't capitalize on that, his legacy will be diminished. Defeats in big games usually fall upon the team, but if the Colts don't win today you can bet at least 90% of the blame will be placed on one player: Peyton Manning.

New Orleans: The pressure is on Reggie Bush. Why not Drew Brees? Because no one outside Louisiana expects him to outplay Peyton. He cements his reputation as an elite QB with a win, but it's not necessary to keep him on that level. People were stunned when Bush was not the No. 1 pick. He was a two-time national champion and Heisman Trophy winner at USC but has been mediocre four years into his NFL career. The expectations had seemingly gone away, and everything he did was just a bonus for the most potent offense in the League. That changed three weeks ago in their Divisional Round win over the Cardinals. He blew up and owned that game, accounting for two long touchdowns. Bush has the most to gain for the Saints in this game. If he is the dynamic game-changer today, it will prove once and for all that he is not a bust--and that's a lot of pressure on a guy who was the team's third-string running back.

Prediction: I always choose the Colts. I have for at least the past seven years--no need to change now. They have won every game this season when trying, and they're better.

Colts 34, Saints 27


Sunday, January 31, 2010

2010 Grammy Awards...I Gotta Feeling

Tonight is music's biggest night. I'm disappointed that pop has completely taken over the major categories, but my picks are in regardless.

Album of the Year
"I Am ... Sasha Fierce," Beyoncé
"The E.N.D.," the Black Eyed Peas
"The Fame," Lady GaGa
"Big Whiskey and the Groogrux King," Dave Matthews Band
"Fearless," Taylor Swift

Since the best album of the year wasn't nominated (21st Century Breakdown by Green Day), I am forced to choose the best nominee. Dave Matthews Band outclasses the other four by a great margin. If not DMB, then I hope Taylor wins, since she actually writes music and doesn't have any songs that contain a chorus that includes, "Boom Boom Boom."

Song of the Year
"Poker Face," Lady GaGa and RedOne, songwriters (Lady GaGa)
"Pretty Wings," Hod David and Musze, songwriters (Maxwell)
"Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)," Thaddis Harrell, Beyoncé Knowles, Terius Nash and Christopher Stewart, songwriters (Beyoncé)
"Use Somebody," Caleb Followill, Jared Followill, Matthew Followill and Nathan Followill, songwriters (Kings of Leon)
"You Belong With Me," Liz Rose and Taylor Swift, songwriters (Taylor Swift)

Since "21 Guns" by Green Day wasn't nominated, I am going with the boys residing in Nashville, Kings of Leon. I would be embarrassed to watch someone win Song of the Year with either of these choruses: "If you liked it, then you shoulda put a ring on it" or "My p-p-poker face, my p-poker face." Ridiculous.

Record of the Year
"Halo," Beyoncé
"I Gotta Feeling," the Black Eyed Peas
"Use Somebody," Kings of Leon
"Poker Face," Lady GaGa
"You Belong With Me," Taylor Swift

I gotta feeling the Black Eyed Peas are going to win this award. Next topic.

Best New Artist
Zac Brown Band
Keri Hilson
Silversun Pickups
The Ting Tings

From what I've read, the Zac Brown Band are the favorites. That's f-ing retarded. MGMT is in a different league than the other four nominees. They've written three of the best songs I've ever heard ("Time to Pretend," "Kids," and "Electric Feel), and I would be willing to put my life on the line that the other artists in this category combined will never accomplish that feat.

There they are. It won't surprise me if I don't get one of the major awards correct, but I definitely chose the best of the nominations we have been given. Peace.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

NFL Divisional Round Predictions

I was 2-2 on Wild Card weekend because I gave Green Bay's defense and New England too much credit. I'll try to do better in the Divisional Round. Let's do this.

Saturday Games

Arizona Cardinals @ New Orleans Saints

The Cardinals put up 51 points against the No. 2 defense last weekend. The Saints only scored 44 total over the final three weeks. Their offense is no longer balanced, and the defense hasn't gotten the amount of turnovers as earlier in the season. Plus, I'm not picking against perhaps the best post-season quarterback ever, Kurt Warner.

Cardinals 41, Saints 37

Baltimore Ravens @ Indianapolis Colts

The Colts have the best player of all-time in Peyton Manning. It's at home. Joe Flacco is playing hurt. The Colts were once again my pre-season Super Bowl pick. And while the Ravens have destroyed my hopes before, I don't see any reason to go against Indy in this game.

Colts 24, Ravens 17

Sunday Games

Dallas Cowboys @ Minnesota Vikings

This is the hardest game to call in the Divisional Round. The Dallas Cowboys are the hottest team in the League. Their defense is tenacious, Romo isn't making mistakes and the running game is finally clicking. But, the Vikings have a sick run defense and don't rely on the big plays like Philly. Brett Favre will get the ball into the hands of his playmakers and AP will break out of his slump. And Jared Allen will force a Romo turnover. I'm going with Minnesota.

Vikings 24, Cowboys 21

New York Jets @ San Diego Chargers

The Chargers are the most talented team in the League. Rivers (as much as I hate him) is an elite QB and is playing as well as anyone. They're going up against a rookie in Mark Sanchez and will be much more effective against their vanilla offense than Cincinnati last week.

Chargers 28, Jets 17

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Yet Another Reason Why NBC Sucks

If there's one thing in the world that pisses me off, it's messing with my boy Conan O'Brien.

Perhaps my favorite TV personality, and easily the best host in late night, O'Brien is being bumped to make room for the aging and increasingly unfunny Jay Leno.

Leno, whose prime-time ratings have been abysmal, agreed,in 2004, to turn "The Tonight Show" over to O'Brien in 2009. He didn't want to let go of the position in the end and has publicly made it clear that he wanted his former time slot back.

In steps NBC.

The NBC executives responsible for this have clearly not paid attention to their own network's or O'Brien's history. The first few years of his stint on "Late Night" were blasted by critics. Yet he continued to develop his own style and superb comedic timing, which led to him becoming the best in the business. He developed a growing fan base, especially with young adults, and if given the right amount of time (Hint: it's more than the 7-8 months he's currently been on) he would no doubt take "The Tonight Show" back to the top.

And one thing that proves his top-notch character is the statement he released on the situation. It reads as follows:

People of Earth:

In the last few days, I've been getting a lot of sympathy calls, and I want to start by making it clear that no one should waste a second feeling sorry for me. For 17 years, I've been getting paid to do what I love most and, in a world with real problems, I've been absurdly lucky. That said, I've been suddenly put in a very public predicament and my bosses are demanding an immediate decision.

Six years ago, I signed a contract with NBC to take over The Tonight Show in June of 2009. Like a lot of us, I grew up watching Johnny Carson every night and the chance to one day sit in that chair has meant everything to me. I worked long and hard to get that opportunity, passed up far more lucrative offers, and since 2004 I have spent literally hundreds of hours thinking of ways to extend the franchise long into the future. It was my mistaken belief that, like my predecessor, I would have the benefit of some time and, just as important, some degree of ratings support from the prime-time schedule. Building a lasting audience at 11:30 is impossible without both.

But sadly, we were never given that chance. After only seven months, with my Tonight Show in its infancy, NBC has decided to react to their terrible difficulties in prime-time by making a change in their long-established late night schedule.

Last Thursday, NBC executives told me they intended to move the Tonight Show to 12:05 to accommodate the Jay Leno Show at 11:35. For 60 years the Tonight Show has aired immediately following the late local news. I sincerely believe that delaying the Tonight Show into the next day to accommodate another comedy program will seriously damage what I consider to be the greatest franchise in the history of broadcasting. The Tonight Show at 12:05 simply isn't the Tonight Show. Also, if I accept this move I will be knocking the Late Night show, which I inherited from David Letterman and passed on to Jimmy Fallon, out of its long-held time slot. That would hurt the other NBC franchise that I love, and it would be unfair to Jimmy.

So it has come to this: I cannot express in words how much I enjoy hosting this program and what an enormous personal disappointment it is for me to consider losing it. My staff and I have worked unbelievably hard and we are very proud of our contribution to the legacy of The Tonight Show. But I cannot participate in what I honestly believe is its destruction. Some people will make the argument that with DVRs and the Internet a time slot doesn't matter. But with the Tonight Show, I believe nothing could matter more.

There has been speculation about my going to another network but, to set the record straight, I currently have no other offer and honestly have no idea what happens next. My hope is that NBC and I can resolve this quickly so that my staff, crew, and I can do a show we can be proud of, for a company that values our work.

Have a great day and, for the record, I am truly sorry about my hair; it's always been that way.



He respects "The Tonight Show" too much to move it back. He respects "Late Night" and Jimmy Fallon enough to not jeopardize the potential of their success. And he ends by lightening the tone with a hair joke. That is why he is the best.

And another reason why NBC sucks!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Wild Card Weekend Predictions

The NFL Playoffs are here, ladies and gentlemen. Three of the four games are rematches from Week 17, and I expect those results to be the same. Let's do this.

Saturday Games:

New York Jets @ Cincinnati Bengals

Last week's match-up ended in a 37-0 shellacking by the Jets at home. I don't expect this one to be a blowout, but I do think the Jets will come away with a win. They have the top-ranked defense and rushing attack in the league, and Cincinnati hasn't looked good in the second half of the season.

Jets 23, Bengals 17

Philadelphia Eagles @ Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys also shut out the Eagles last weekend, 24-0. I don't think the Cowboys' defense will hold Donovan McNabb and Desean Jackson scoreless again, but they are one of the hottest teams entering the playoffs. Plus it's at home. And they have the motivation to win their first playoff game since the mid-'90s.

Cowboys 31, Eagles 24

Sunday Games:

Baltimore Ravens @ New England Patriots

I hate the Patriots. I hate the Ravens. Wes Welker is hurt. New England's defense isn't as good as it has been. Baltimore has a much-improved offense and should have won in New England earlier this season.

With that being said, I do have a rule that will allow me to pick this game. Don't bet against the Patriots. I haven't done it and don't intend to start now. And I hope they get blown out by San Diego next week.

Patriots 27, Ravens 24

Green Bay Packers @ Arizona Cardinals

I wanted the Cardinals to win the Super Bowl last year. I want the Cardinals to come out as the NFC champions for the second year in a row. But I don't think it's going to happen. Kurt Warner belongs in the Hall of Fame. Larry Fitzgerald is the best WR in the game. But the Packers are better right now. Their defense is strong, and Aaron Rodgers & Co. should be able to outscore the Cardinals who may be without receiver Anquan Boldin. If I'm off on one prediction this weekend, hopefully this will be it.

Packers 31, Cardinals 30