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Found 12 results

  1. I dismissed Mitch Trubisky having been drafted as the top quarterback in the 2016 NFL draft (with the #2 overall pick) as a boneheaded decision, but when some guy named Patrick Mahomes went as the second quarterback (with the #10 pick) ahead of Deshaun Watson (the #12 pick), I took it personally. The Trubisky pick was unwise, but Patrick Mahomes? This kid is *unbelievable*! Who knows whether he's going to last, but in just his second NFL season, he's the odds-on favorite for NFL MVP, and has as many touchdown passes this year as Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers - combined! As much as I love Deshaun, I just have to take my hat off to Mahomes, and nod with respect. Look at this play from Sunday's game against the Indianapolis Colts Baltimore Ravens: The Chiefs were down 24.-17, with 1:29 left in the 4th quarter, and it was 4th-and-9 from their own 40-yard line. How was this possible? http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-cant-miss-plays/0ap3000000997603/Can-t-Miss-Play-Mahomes-hits-Hill-for-INSANE-fourth-down-conversion In case anyone thinks Mahomes is a fluke, he led the NCAA in Passing Yards in 2016.
  2. Clemson University Bio for Deshaun Watson Aug 30, 2016 - "Deshaun Watson Opens Up on Mom's Cancer Battle: 'She's Living Life to the Fullest" by Campus Insiders on watchstadium.com Deann Watson had tongue cancer, similar to what Grant Achatz had - they are two of the fortunate ones who (this seems fitting) licked it after brutal treatments of chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery. Dec 29, 2016 - "Clemson's Deshaun Watson Embraced the 'Student' in 'Student-Athlete" by Rick Bonnell on charlotteobserver.com Watson earned his Bachelor's Degree in Communications in Dec, 2016. "'It was a lot of early mornings and late nights,' Watson said. 'I just tried to nap here and there.'" Jan 24, 2017 - "Dabo Swinney Compares Deshaun Watson to Michael Jordan" by Joseph Zucker on bleacherreport.com Apr 29, 2017 - Deshaun Watson buys his mom her first new car.
  3. There are several nice pieces about readers favorite ballplayers. Mine was "the Mick". Mickey Mantle. I know I share that memory and perspective with many many of a certain age and time. In fact Bob Costas who gave the "official" eulogy at Mickey Mantles funeral used these words: You can read the eulogy here You can see it on video here: In the late 1950's and early '60's television had been around for a while but the volume of sports broadcasting was limited, sports broadcasts were simply rare, but living in the New York area we got to watch the Yankees and we got to watch the Mick. Nobody ever filled out a uniform so well, took a more powerful swing, and crushed more tape measure home runs than the Mick. At those moments when the meat of the bat hit the center of the pitch it was bye bye baseball!!! He looked damn good doing it: the All American boy. Mickey played at a time with phenomenal outfielders: Mantle and Mays in Center Field. Frank Robinson, Hank Aaron, Roberto Clemente, and Al Kaline in Right Field; all of them were sublime outfielders who were awesome 5 skill players. They are the ones that come to my mind. You might suggest others. As the 60's evolved and more baseball hit TV one got to watch more of them. Each was spectacular. Mantle always looked the best doing the same things as all of them. He was naturally strong and incredibly fast. He was timed at 3.1 seconds batting lefty from Home to First, still considered the fastest time in baseball. He did that with injured legs. And he crushed home runs. Crushed them. If you search on the web for "who hit the longest home runs" you'll find two articles referencing 10 long home runs. One is exclusively about Mantle's 10 longest. The other is a Sports Illustrated article featuring long home runs by a variety of players. Mantle is first on that list...and they reference two of his mighty shots. He could club them. Mantle's career was annually short circuited by injuries. He was injured in his rookie year in '51, and it is suggested he played with a torn ACL ever after. He was timed at 3.1 seconds to first after that injury and other leg injuries. Recently Mickey Mantle came to mind for me on several fronts. Albert Pujols just passed Mickey on the all time home run list. Pujols now has 540. Mantle has 536. Pujols is 16th on the list of all time home runs and Mantle now 17th. Above them are at least 6 cheaters who are tied to steroids. On a list of who hit the most home runs per at bat. Mantle is tied for 15 at one every 15.11 at bats. Above him are ranked at least 5 known steroid cheaters. Besides Pujols passing Mick, a short while before my old town classmates had a reunion. It was fun and relaxing. Among the "jockish" guys I heard more than once, phrases such as this" "crushing the ball like the Mick". One guy had posted a nice FB picture of him hitting a golf shot. Responses included...."you look like the Mick". Mickey Mantle and making the perfect swing go hand in hand and is deeply imprinted in a generation's mind. Mickey Mantle was beyond sports. He was truly mythological. I suppose he ranks with the first TV Superman; The Adventures of Superman. It ran from '52 to '58. That roughly coincides with the start of Mantle's and Mays' careers. What wonderful synchrocity At the start of that show Superman would be described: Faster than a speeding bullet (I reference 3.1 seconds to first one more time ). More powerful than a locomotive (I think of that as more of a football basketball analogy: Jim Brown, Earl Campbell in football and Charles Barkley come to mind). Able to Leap tall buildings in a single bound (Mickey Mantle could put baseballs at the top or over huge stadiums.) Mickey Mantle was the living sports analogy to Superman. Now we learned way later in life that Mick was a drunk, a philanderer and womanizer, he was not great with his wife and kids, and had flaws up the kazoo. Regardless as a child and a teenager Mick was a one and only idol...for myself and I suppose millions. Here is to you Mick. Take another swing at a pitch....the greatest swing in the history of baseball.
  4. An all time Knick star is impressed by Porzingis Bernard King was a great player, a great Knick, resucited his game with the Bullets, and always played the game with smarts on top of his tremendous skills. His smarts made his skills better. An encouraging comment from a keen student of the game
  5. Gee this poor guy is in basketball limbo. Jahlil Okafor has only played in 2 games this year and is awaiting a trade or buyout... Just waiting With lots of turmoil in his career he played decently in his rookie year. Playing time diminished in his second year and now he is a guy awaiting a new team. For a micro second I was thinking the Wizards....but nah. He needs playing time to see if he has a decent career ahead of him "76ers' Jahlil Okafor Remains Hopeful for a Quick Resolution" by Adrian Wojinarowski on espn.com
  6. I doubt anyone here has heard about the death of Tucker Hipps, but Hipps was a pledge in my very own fraternity at Clemson University, Sigma Phi Epsilon, and the circumstances of his death have been, to put it kindly, "suspicious." I found out about it several months ago, and it made no sense then: Apr 1, 2015 - "Clemson University Student Killed After Fight With Fraternity Brothers About McDonald's Breakfast :Suit:" by Jason Silverstein on nydailynews.com It didn't make any sense then, and it made even less sense as the weeks and months passed without any news - people were apparently out for a morning jog at 5:30 AM, and, as the story went, Hipps (a very fit young man) supposedly fell behind during the run, and nobody even noticed he hadn't returned. He was found in Lake Hartwell, just under the Highway 93 bridge - it's wide-open highway, and there's *no way* that someone in a group of runners is going to simply disappear. There was something very wrong with this story, but nobody was saying anything. Aug 8, 2015 - "New Witness Says Clemson Frat Pledge Died After Being Forced To Walk Railing" by Jordan Sargent on gawker.com This really resonated with me, because the one time in my life when I came closest to dying, was when I was out four-wheeling with some friends - the fuel line got pinched, and we all had to walk back. It was either 1) walk an extra five miles or so through dense woods, or 2) walk across a train trestle which was very near the bridge where Hipps was found (you can see it on top of the map below - the rectangle on the left side of the water is a rocky outcrop, descending 10, 20, 30 feet down - it was the most dangerous part). The trestle was about 1/4-mile long, and if a train had come, it would have meant jumping about 60 feet into water which is often shallow and rocky - I thumbed my nose at the devil that day, and lived to tell about it, but whenever anyone asks me, "What's the closest you've ever come to dying," I tell them this story of stupidity, foolishness, and peer pressure. To this day, I cannot believe I risked my life by doing this - one thing about walking across a train trestle: there's about six inches of space between each tie, and you can't sprint; you have to essentially tip-toe (at high speed, needless to say). I strongly suspect there is a widespread cover-up about the death of Tucker Hipps, and much more will trickle out as the stool pigeons start to sing, one-by-one: Feb 4, 2015 - "Clemson Sig Ep Suspended For Five Years Following Pledge's Death Last Semester" by Bogey Wells on totalfratmove.com A five-year suspension for a local chapter is pretty much of a death sentence, and this is probably as it should be. It's all so needless, and very, very sad. To the Hipps family: If you ever find and read this, I hope you find peace and resolution to this senseless tragedy, and that you manage to make some good come out of this terrible situation. This, even though nothing will ever bring back your son.
  7. It's funny how knowledge builds upon itself - I was looking at "The Man in the Funny Suit," which somehow led me to "The Balance of Terror," which led me to "The Enemy Below," and I noticed that this was Doug McClure's film debut (this post could just as easily go in the Film Forum). I knew the name Doug McClure well, but I didn't know why, so I went to his Wikipedia page, and started reading - although he's most famous for his role in "The Virginian," I've never watched TV westerns (not even "Gunsmoke"), so that wasn't it. But I kept reading, and lo and behold, he played in "Mr. Denton on Doomsday." Until recently, I'd never watched TV since I was in high school (I don't even have one plugged in), but I'm becoming more-and-more convinced that Rod Serling is one of the most important figures in television history. I've done a fair amount of reading about him, and he was on the front lines of race equality, but was stymied by Hollywood bureaucracy, and had to walk a fine line between doing what he wanted, and towing the party line - it's amazing how much his scripts were destroyed in the process: 03/27/08 - "Uncensored: 'Twilight Zone' Creator's Script on Emmett Till Case" by William Cates on washingtonpost.com Anyway, Doug McClure, as Mr. Grant, played only a small role late in the episode, but I encourage anyone wanting to watch a representative "Twilight Zone" episode to see that one (it's not "the best" or anything, but it's quite good, and it will make you feel sorry for Mr. Denton (Dan Duryea) within the first three minutes) - it's available for free to Amazon Prime members.
  8. *** SPOILER ALERT *** *** DO NOT READ THIS IF YOU PLAN ON SEEING THE FILM *** I sent DIShGo an email, with the instructions *not* to open it until she was finished watching "The Usual Suspects," which she finished last night. The email said this: "In my entire life, I have never felt more manipulated or cheated than I did from this movie. The ending made THE ENTIRE MOVIE IRRELEVANT. It could have been *anything*, depending on what they chose to put on the wall. It was insulting, it was bullshit, and it was a complete waste of the viewer's time - yet, all the sheep say what a great movie it is. Yeah, right. Bullshit." --- I'm going to say one other thing, and I may as well say it here: I am *so damned sick* of these wannabe film critics (and I fully realize that I *am* a wannabe film critic) throwing around the word "noir" as if every crime-related movie since 1940 falls into that category - these people are dumb as hell, and don't know what they're talking about, but boy, they sure think they sound smart by using that word. SPARE ME! Sorry.
  9. After months of trying, and attempting to recommend "Cold Fever" to people, I finally found it for rent online. It's not the easiest thing in the world to do, but it seems safe enough - it will take a leap of faith, however. Believe me, I've tried *everything*, and finally found something that worked, with one caveat. Go to icelandiccinemaonline.com, sign up for an account, and then comes the leap of faith: You need to purchase credits to watch films, in increments of 5 Euros. Renting "Cold Fever" requires 3 Euros of credits, and as of this writing, I have 2 Euros in my account - they're just sitting there, and probably won't be used, so I'll be happy to give them to anyone wanting to watch the film. The catch is that 2 credits aren't enough; you need 3, and so you'll need to purchase 5 more regardless. However, if you do purchase 5 more, I'll give you my 2, and you'll have a total of 7, which will give you enough to watch two films (assuming the second one is no more than 4 credits). I'll also need to figure out a way to either transfer my credits to your account, or give you access to my account, so just write me, and we'll figure this out together. Okay, now for the caveat: This is mostly an English-language film - the Icelandic parts are almost non-existent, but the very beginning is in Japanese, and when I saw this in the movie theater, 20+ years ago, I'm pretty sure the Japanese part was sub-titled into English; this version has no subtitles at all, so I'll need to tell you what they're talking about in the first 10-15 minutes of the film. Once I do, it will be extremely easy to follow: *** SPOILERS FOLLOW *** Hirata is a wealthy young Japanese businessman, played by Masatoshi Nagase with *hilarious* subtlety. His parents traveled to Iceland for a vacation, where they perished, and if I recall correctly, the anniversary of their death is coming up (it might be the one-year anniversary, or 5 year, but he's a young man, so it couldn't have been too long ago). It is customary to honor your parents by traveling to the place where they died, and performing a ritual at that location, which is what sends Hirata to Iceland in the dead of winter. That is the point where, about 15 minutes into the film, you see him boarding an SAS flight to Iceland, and that's the point where you no longer need sub-titles. *** SPOILERS END HERE *** I really didn't spoil much in the previous section, so it won't kill you to read it, and in fact, you'll *need* to read it unless you understand Japanese, because I'm telling you what happens in the non-sub-titled portion of the film - it won't ruin anything, and you'll need to know the set-up to enjoy the film. The rest of the movie is the "road film" portion, and it alternates between laugh-out-loud funny and darkly, strangely funny. I really recommend this film, not as a masterpiece, but as a 90-minute little gem - a "small film - that will be 90 minutes very well-spent. And, as I said above, I'll be happy to give you my 2 credits - get in touch. If you don't want mine, I might take yours - either way, the extra credits shouldn't go to waste.
  10. A friend, who is always mining for gems musically speaking, turned me on to Ted Hawkins several years ago. I only have one of his recordings. "The Next Hundred Years" is well worth checking out. His voice is somehow warm and sweet yet hardened and haunting. There's definitely a bluesy aspect to his music, but also a lot of folk and soul. I can't really think of anyone quite like him. He was a busker at heart; always reluctant to record his music. One of my favorite tunes is "Strange Conversation": I had a strange conversation My baby called me on the phone She said that your next lover's gonna be the blues And now I'm gonna be gone I like his take on Credence Clearwater Revival's "Long As I Can See The Light": Enjoy!
  11. Here's Vocal Sampling's cover of "Hotel California." The guitar solo starting at 5:30 is particularly impressive.
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