Fresh Spins

Hello again,

The time has come to dish the news and watch it spin.  Here’s something fresh.  Completely random mode turned on here.

NFL Super Bowl Matchup Is Set-A rematch of the 2007 Super Bowl where Eli Manning and the pesky Giants took down the Tom Brady Machine.   I like this matchup a lot because it pits a great offensive juggernaut against a well balanced NYG attack.   How did they get here?  The Patriots arrived via a soft Baltimore offensive attack, late game mismanagement, and a horribly missed 32 yard field goal yanked right by former Ravens kicker Billy Cundiff.   On the same day The Ravens defense shuts down Tom Brady(in other words, doesn’t allow a passing touchdown), the Ravens falter late and miss a gimme kick.   The Giants outlasted the 49ers in overtime on a fumble by San Francisco returner Kyle Williams, booted a 30 yard field goal and completed a miraculous run to the Super Bowl that was impressively reminiscent of their Super Bowl run a few years ago.   Eli Manning owns a new record for the most road wins in the playoffs(5) and comes up huge at the biggest stage.   Eli is the anti-Lebron.  He takes low expectations and explodes through the roof on center stage.   My money will be in my pocket but once again I like the Giants to take down the Brady train again.   If Joe Flacco and the Ravens can nearly push Brady to the brink of elimination, the flaming Giants can do it.

Ides of March is a disappointment.   Plain and simple.   George Clooney’s devil’s dance about the cost of politics on the human soul takes a powerfully simplistic subject matter(political swordplay on the mind) and delivers a PLAIN return.   Nothing that happens in this movie is great or surprising.  Nothing blows the mind.   Clooney, Ryan Gosling, Paul Giamatti, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, and Marisa Tomei all deliver decent performances but for me the script is weak here.  Clooney’s direction is assured and fine, but there is nothing Oscar worthy(as the bells are ringing around Hollywood right now) going on here.  When I finished the film, I got on with my night instead of taking a drive, smoking a cigar and dicing up my thoughts and emotions over a series or movie like I did when I finished Showtime’s Homeland.   The plot here is simple.   Gosling’s idealistic campaign manager is driving Clooney’s Governor train towards the Presidency when emotions, revelations and a change of heart derail everything.  Clooney is telling us that politicians say one thing and do another and to me that is very old news.   This is the opposite of Margin Call, one of the best films of the year and a candidate in Buffa’s mind here for Best Picture.   Call took a simple concept(the story leading up to the economic collapse) and blew my mind with the execution.   A cast of all star acting talent, a juicy script and potent direction powered that film.   Ides doesn’t execute anything but a general decades old truth.   Politics claims a piece of your soul if you choose to get involved.

The Blues Get a Chance to Be Somebody in Detroit and they failed.  An early 1-0 lead turned into a quick 2-1 2nd period deficit and the Blues drop their 3rd consecutive defeat to the Wings.  Save me the “punch a Red Wings fan” routine and calculate that its quite frustrating to lose three times in a row to the team you are chasing when you have had the lead in two of those games.   The Blues have 64 points and are lingering around the top spot in the NHL.  This team is capable of greatness and needs to take the next step of beating a great team on the road.   Tonight they could have done what the MU Tigers did on Saturday.  Go on the road, beat a great favored team and climb a ladder.  With a win, the Blues would have had 66 points and a point more than the Wings.   With the loss they received a 3 point deficit in the Central and a 4th place seating after midnight’s viewing of The NHL network daily action.

Mike Matheny will be a quality manager in MLB.   You heard it here third but mark my words  I like his approach.   Matheny has a hands on approach when teaching, and that’s a HANDS ON as in distributing knowledge and not HANDS ON as in Jerry Sandusky.   Matheny has something every manager and coach in the pros wishes to attain and that’s respect.

GOP Candidates falling off the board like flies and there’s one reason.  Rick Perry is the latest and here is why.   Politics is a deadly game that makes ambitious souls pay a toll and give a piece of themselves most aren’t willing to sacrifice.

Haywire is a great movie because it is blazing and alert.   Steven Soderbergh’s action thrill ride has one idea on the mind and that’s authentic in your face action scenes mixed with spy espionage and drama.   MMA figher and model Gina Carino makes a fine debut here as Mallory Kane, a CIA ghost forced to kill her way to freedom when her agency betrays her and goes for her head.   Kane goes on the run and the beauty is in the eye of the action scenes here.   Haywire is crafted from the same brain that put Jason Bourne’s journey together, but here the authenticity pays off big.   Matt Damon had to learn a martial art and work for months to attain a certain speed.   Carino already has the speed and instant credibility during the action scenes and can act as well.   The supporting cast here is surprisingly game.   Michael Douglas, Antonio Banderas and Ewan McGregor just to name a few.   Channing Tatum and Michael Fassbender are two of the assassins who take a run at Kane and the result are two of the greatest cinematic action creations in recent years.   The key is both fights start quiet.  The films opens as  Tatum meets Kane in a diner, attempts to make nice before coffee is tossed into the face and the two engage in a brutal beat down that ignites a story that runs through Barcelona, Dublin and New York.  The second fight, between Kane and Fassbender’s Paul, is a slow devil dance between two killers.   Paul, masquerading as Kane’s partner, walks her back to a hotel room before they sand their fists with human flesh.  Haywire is an energetic spark plug of a film.   Please don’t come looking for a vast story with underlying morals.  This is a shoot em up thriller with genuine talent and small moments of emotion.  Mallory Kane was wronged and she will seek her freedom with a side order of vengeance.   Haywire is the first great film of 2012 because it’s quiet and patient with its action and easy going with the storytelling. The hook is Carino and her brutally honest portrayal of a betrayed soul looking for revenge.   She is the real deal and a big reason Haywire works.   Kudos to Len Dobbs no nonsense script and Soderbergh’s “go ahead and make my day” direction as well as the 93 minute running time.

The Rams hiring of Gregg Williams and Brian Schottenheimer as defensive and offensive coordinator, respectively, continues the buzz around Rams Park.   These are solid inspiring moves that signal a change in the direction.   The hiring of Williams and Schotty Jr. mean one thing.  The Rams are hiring people who come from an environment where a Super Bowl championship is the preseason goal.   There will be no cuddling and pre school sessions this season.  Class is in session and the firing line is set.  Williams won a Super Bowl in New Orleans and Schottenheimer chased one in New York with the Jets.  Stan Kroneke is making his move and I don’t think it is to London.   The Rams signing up to play 3 games in Europe doesn’t mean Stan is moving the team.   Here’s one small assurance.   Fisher went through the turmoil in Houston when the Oilers were moved to Tennessee and he wouldn’t go through that again.  He signed a 6 year deal that runs through 2017.  While we ponder the chances, 2012 is looking better and better.  Now the goal is find these seasoned minds some players to insert into the game plans and schemes and win games with.  First matter of business. Find Sam Bradford a toy to play with in the wide receiver game.

Understand my coffee fascination.   Nearly every night, my home turns into the Buffa Brew house.  I take out my weapons of caffeine aided destruction.   I set up the french press, which distills the least amount of water into and from your coffee for a strong blend.   I brew 2 shots of espresso to go with it, and steam a little milk to put on top of the  gunpowder blended coffee treat. In other words, I don’t fuck around.   I need coffee.  Its my juice.  Every morning before work and every night after I leave work.   Its my gas station.   A cheap addiction.

Give Joe Paterno’s legacy a break people.   Everybody makes mistakes and live to regret them.   Paterno made one oversight and lost his job due to it and saw his school clouded in embarrassment and shame. He didn’t join in the evil doings of Jerry Sandusky.   He basically transferred responsibility.   That is no reason to forget what he did at Penn State.  He won over 400 games, coaches for 60 years there and won a few National Championships.   After 2004 and 2005 when Penn State had bad seasons and he was urged to retire, he stayed and went to the Orange Bowl and won another BCS title.  Paterno endured every kind of obstacle in life and achieved every goal.   He fell victim to inaction but his legacy can’t be tarnished.   Before you jump his grave, ask yourself this.  What would you have done?  Joe’s a legend in my book.

Ryan Braun, on the other hand, can suck it real hard.   Until proven innocent, he cheated, laid an asterisk next to his 2011 MVP and with the departure of Prince Fielder, ruins the Brewers reputation.   He used illegal steroids, got caught and will sit out 50 games.   Mr. Showman gets to take a seat.  Lets not ease up on him because…wait for it…he didn’t know.  He knew exactly what he was doing.

I love Liam Neeson and the way he is reinventing his career.  The man knows how to pick roles and serve a purpose in film.  After many years of misses, he came back in 2005 with Batman Begins, playing a teacher turned villain  and then exploded with Taken, an international action thriller gut shot that gave him his first leading star hit of his career.  Then…he lost his wife to a terrible skiing accident.   Afterwards, all he has done is continue to kick ass in action films and thrillers like A-Team, Unknown and starting this weekend, The Grey.   Neeson plays a security detail attached to a crew of oil drillers whose plane gets stranded in Alaska.   The group think the conditions are dire until they encounter the real enemy, loud angry wolves.  Neeson is a statue of action hero authenticity.  There isn’t one shred of you that doubts the man’s abilities in a role.   All he has done in his career is taken every kind of role.   Drama lead in Schneider’s List.  Romantic supporting part in Love Actually.   Action lead in Rob Roy, Taken, and Unknown.   He is the most convincing aging action star out there that you beg for him to do more films.  He is in demand.

Long Live Justified on Tuesdays.   The FX drama keeps on shooting straight with an episode that raises more issues for Raylan Givens(Timothy Olyphant).   An old flame comes back into his life in the form of a CIA agent(the lovely Carla Gugino).  She compounds Givens’ problems.  He already has a pregnant woman in Fiona, an old nemesis in Boyd Crowder mixing things up, and a new bad guy in town in a mobster from Detroit(Neal McDouraugh).   He is also recovering from a bullet wound that has hindered his aim.   Season 3 promises many new challenges for our favorite lawman.  Olyphant is so good in the lead role that you nearly forget you’re watching the same guy who wavered in cinema for 15 years.

Song of the Day-The Antlers performing “Kettering”

This atmospheric instrumental slow boiling rocker will quietly move down your spine and rush into your heart by midway.   Good stuff for A Tuesday.

The tune comes from the new HBO special, On Freddie Roach, a documentary series from director Peter Berg on the legendary boxing trainer who keeps on training some of the top fighters in boxing while suffering from Parkinson’s.   His punchers include Manny Pacpuiao, Amir Khan, and Julio Caesar Chavez Jr..   Roach is a former fighter who has lived with the disease most of his life and isn’t missing a beat.   He triumphantly maintains every duty of a trainer, including putting the mitts on and going toe to toe with his younger fighters.   Berg’s series on him is an open dedication to a man who inspires the bleakest of conditions to rise up and live their lives as if nothing is wrong at all.   Roach is the classic fighter that will NEVER go down and his words on how he will die leave a mark.  The man is a potent combination of will and determination.

“If I die using the mitts in the ring, so be it.  I don’t want the fighter to be fucking mad.  I will tell him I had it coming.”-Roach

Smaller Things-

*Once again, pull back the 1.7 arbitration offer to Jason Motte and offer him 2 years at 2 million apiece.   Low liability there.  With his performance in last years run, he earned the dough.

*I expect Skip to get challenged by Tyler Greene but the question is can Greene hit MLB pitching.  My answer is no.

*Albert Pujols won’t be the kind of legend in LA that he was in St. Louis.   Plain and simple.  He gave up more than he knew when he left this city.  Icon status.  I respect his work here in 11 yrs but I am severely disappointed in his decision to chase more cash and then cry about it like he was disrespected.   A real shame.

*Why can the Giants win the Super Bowl?  Tell me why not.

*Working out is as much a mental battle as it is physical.   Being at peace with your body is vital in this life.  If not, strive to change things.  We are what we are in this world.  Stop crying about the weight and lose it.

*Watching Wings and Blues brawl at end of a downer and let me tell you. If I was out there, I would be accused of murder. No retreat, no letup, no stopping the aggression. They would escort me from the building for damage done.

*Bruno Mars sucks big time. NO NO, he does people. Every time I hear his song on the radio, I feel like breaking his neck, snapping my radio in half or sending a Black Key over to his house to teach what real music is like.

*Dying happy should have little to do with regret or envy and everything to do with satisfaction.   Be glad where you end up and not where you didn’t go.

I have run out of things to discuss.  There’s a reason behind these words and I hope you got the message.  If not, better luck next time.   All I know is I work in 6 hours and I need some sleep.

Thanks for reading and goodnight,

Dan L. Buffa

 

 

 

 

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