Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Better Luck Next Time Huskies

Better Luck Next Time Huskies

It’s official, there is no season opener Easter Bunny that would have delivered a historic win to Northern Illinois University’s football team over Ohio State, not even the one that got 285 yards against the potent Buckeyes.

All the Huskies can do is sift through the ashes and appreciate that they have walked away from a bout with what will be a killer team this year. Go Buckeyes, please, and pick on someone else. Shut up those Texas Longhorn fans for starters.

I admire the class of the program, if not the announcer we had on television for the game, the guy had to have come from the Ohio State press machine. Every statement he said was prefaced by "This extremely talented player from OSU," or "NIU needs to be perfect because…", the man made Harry Caray and Hawk Harrelson seem objective.

Another thing I think it is important to mention, coming from my mother, who went to the game, the Ohio State fans, to a person, were friendly and very complimentary before and after the game of NIU and our feature player, Garrett Wolfe. Of course, this seems much like the Major league baseball player visiting the farm team, telling the also-rans that they should buck up and keep trying…

Nonetheless, these are the Huskies, the Northern Huskies, whom I have watched be bad, very bad, ignorably awful, mediocre, and surprisingly good, against the "insert your adulation here, network praise-clone" Ohio State Buckeyes, and the Huskies didn’t get ignored, or completely manhandled.

Just Maybe, the best football player on the field was wearing a Huskie’s uniform(#1), unfortunately, the next 10 or 15 best players were all Ohio State. OKAY, maybe that Ginn guy is just as good, and those were only about the third and fourth times anyone has caught Garrett from behind there guys, good job.

This week, we’re just gonna spank your little brother school, Ohio(No State) University and send them back to Ohio while paying them and their fans the same respect you paid us, thanks!

Monday, September 04, 2006

2006 Chicago Cubs – An Obituary

2006 Chicago Cubs – An Obituary

First of all, I want to thank all of those gathered here for attending what may seem trivial, much like the death of a hamster or goldfish, but may be crucial to our being able to move on. That you are here at all means you cared and most of all, are not one of those annoying bandwagon jumpers, they are all Sox fans, at least for a couple more weeks.

We are here to mourn the loss of a season that never was, a team that never came to life, and, hopefully, a managerial career that has taken a sharp spike and course to another town. I see among you a scant few Dusty supporters, bless you for sticking with him, because he did not stick "trusty" you or any of us. Those of you hating him, let it go, he just didn’t get the job done. He needs to move on and make us wonder how we ever let him go.

Be happy in the knowledge that along with this season we have put behind us nagging problems like Neifi Perez and faced the knowledge that Yes, Corey Patterson will do good once we let him go. Look on this season as a period of finally letting go of the dream of the Cy Young Pitching staff including Kerry Wood and Mark Prior.

Hopefully, next year we won’t be treated to diagrams of Kerry Wood’s elbow/shoulder/…etc.

Adding to this thought, which started on Saturday, and on Monday is outlined even more after a couple more games, the Cub’s have pronounced themselves officially dead.

They are dropping like flies because now it doesn’t matter. Michael Barrett went down, and today, Carlos Zambrano gets shelled and then hurt, leaving the game. I can’t blame Carlos for giving up, and applaud his restraint as he watched an organization quit around him.

Derek Lee should be spared this last month, but maybe, and this is the eternal optimist in me, maybe they can build from this. As Dusty gets run out of town and the supposed saviors of the franchise nurse injuries, maybe he can form a bond with a core group, Juan Pierre, Aramis Ramirez…WOW, I almost did it again.

As I began three days ago, thank you all for coming and remember, if the Cub’s can’t win, root root root against the Sox!(If you have to ask which one, never mind).

Rescue Me – " Hell " – Single Episode review

Rescue Me – " Hell " – Single Episode review

I just wrote about "Rescue Me," as a whole, and want to review a single episode as a contrast. This week’s episode, titled, "Hell," is nominated for convenience and that it was outstanding. As I mentioned, there were two lives hanging in the balance at the end of "Twilight,", the previous week’s episode.

Tommy’s brother, on a stakeout, was shot, and his station chief had a heart attack while having sex with a lady he’d met, who was an illegal alien and left instead of calling 911. The show starts with a montage of Tommy, set to music, as he gets the news about his brother, identifies the body, tells his wife (who was living with Johnny), and kids, and generally looks over-whelmed. It is life devastation on the level of Sipowicz on NYPD Blue, and throughout the show they dip into that well. To keep the whole hour from being a sob-fest, lighter moments are spread in between shattering revelations.

Tommy goes to the firehouse where everyone is wondering where and the chief both are, and tells them his news, as well as setting up logistics where the firehouse is taken care of and everyone is able to go take care of more business. Tommy takes his buddy Lou with him to tell his father, who is living with Lou’s Uncle in a sort of old man’s frat house.

He tells his Dad, who is given a glass of whiskey by his housemate, and his father asks to be excused to go into the bathroom for a moment of privacy. It is just one of the moments in this episode, not overly acted at all. In a show of extreme dysfunction, every performance is done under-stated.

Interspersed are two of the younger fire fighters, one who has recently been in a gay relationship and seems to be struggling with his sexual identity. They are in a bar where the straight firefighter explains how much better his partner has it because he can hit on anyone, anytime, simply because he’s gay. It is symbolic of the male-oriented dialogues that weave through the story lines, tongue-in-cheek not overdone.

Another side plot is Franco, who is involved with a complicated girl ( I leave it at this because like everything else in this show, nothing can be simplified into a quick line), that takes a picture out of his daughter’s bedroom and points out that she is the spitting image of his daughter.

Amid all of this, the Chief, Jerry, is found at home, taken to the hospital, and wakes up some time later with his son at his bedside, did I mention that they sometimes start something up and seem to change their minds?

Tommy sets up the funeral. When he returns home, there are two messages from his brother on his answering machine, as his brother tries to mend fences, work out their differences, to a machine. One of the solutions he offerd out was that maybe he shouldn’t be with Tommy’s wife. In the funeral home, with his brother before anyone else has arrived, Tommy says he wishes he knew if his brother got the message that Tommy left for him. Only his wife hears him, and asks him what the message said.

Then they are picking up his brother’s personal belongings, where Tommy takes out the cellphone and plays his message, "unheard" on the speakerphone. Tommy tells him he’s sorry for beating the shit out of him at his father’s birthday party when he found out that his wife and brother were together, and tells him he can’t help it. He loves her so much. His wife is right there as the message plays. It is riveting.

Then comes the funeral, with bagpipes and tons of people. Tommy is sitting in the front row as his cousin, who died in the World Trade Center, watches from the side, joining Tommy’s dead son, beside the preacher and taking him away before the vision ends. Just then, as if another one of Tommy’s ghosts, a young woman appears and gets the attention of Tommy’s sister. It turns out to be Tommy’s other sister, a deaf mute that was sent away as a youngster and comes back for the funeral. Fittingly, the long lost sister seems to be the best adjusted of the lot.

In any given episode this show takes chances and makes sloppy mistakes that would mean death to most shows, but I have read that it has already been renewed for at least one year. Maybe it is the heart beneath all the sordid and cluttered plots that keeps this show breathing, like a victim these men drag out of a building.