The Rant Lounge Posting

Hello,

Here’s a quick highly random blast of material that may seem familiar but is actually completely original and bleeding authenticity.  I don’t get to pull 2 hours of my time away writing about current events when I am banging out 12-14 hour shifts at work this month.   My company is wrapped up in its busiest month of activity and there isn’t a lot of time to clean the head.  What I do manage to put out is genuine blunt opinion.   I am the guy who walks up to you and smashes you over the head with information and walks away without giving you a towel to clean yourself up.  I swing in, hit you hard and let you decide what is worth remembering.   If you are a member of the St. Louis Blues, avoid this blog because it may cause a concussion.

Tebow mania.   A quick blast on the man they call Tim Tebow.  I started writing this before he was traded from Denver to the New York Jets last week and finished it the day the trade was completed, which was Thursday.    Let’s drop a grenade.

Tim Tebow deserves a chance to be a starting QB in the NFL.  At least for another season.  He is raw but helped turn a franchise around in 2011.   He took a 1-4 team and turned them into a 9-7 playoff team.   His defense played well at times but they also got smoked by the Vikings, Lions, Patriots and Steelers.   Every QB would like Matt Praters foot as their insurance ticket, but every kicker needs a player to get the team into his range.  Tebow deserves a shot at QB.   Sure, he could be a tight end or fullback in his sleep, but the kid loves a challenge.  Whether its Jacksonville or Miami, Tebow will get his shot.  He made terrible passes in 2011, but he also made unbelievable ones as well.   The Pittsburgh game in the playoffs will never be forgotten.   No one can discount or ignore what Tebow accomplished last season, and that includes his haters and doubters.   Skeptics hate this guy but his talent is legit.   He’ll rise somewhere else.  You’d label me a Tebow loyalist and you wouldn’t be wrong.   I like the kid, always have supported him(while recognizing his flaws) and find his style of football to be exciting.   He will reinvigorate a city once known as a football town from the bench.   Tebow isn’t just a football player.   He’s an event.  He loves his baby Jesus but craves winning more.  Before he retires to a church in India, he’ll leave a mark on this game.   Yes, I wrote this while kneeling in traffic.

This is what he is to a team.  An asset.  He gives you the three sprinkles of greatness.   Business, athletics and personality.   It’s hard to really dislike Tebow.  You can doubt his football ability until the end of the day but hate the man is a wrong deed.   How can you?  He really really likes him some Jesus.   So what?  I am not an atheist but I don’t believe in bringing the big GOD down to earth’s proceedings.   Tebow does it every minute.  Right now, he is sucking down some Jesus prayer.   Disliking Tebow for his religion wouldn’t be a smart route.   What if he turned around and hated me for my beliefs?  I would find a steel pipe, dip it in holy water and hit him over the head with it.   I will disagree with Tebow on his religious endeavors but praise every other aspect of him.   He does charity work whenever he isn’t sucking down some Jesus.   He goes around the country and throughout the world for charity work.  If someone needed to be cloned, Tebow would be the first candidate.  He does good all over the map.   He means what he says and has backed up the talk with some walk.   Sometimes athletes tell the truth.   Arriving in New York City as the most celebrated backup QB of all time, this will be Tebow’s “Albert Pujols” moment.   Is he really about the team and not himself?  Will he take a job as a backup for a second time after taking over Denver and sending them to 8 wins and a playoff berth and win?   If he does, I am a firm believer in goodwill.  This is his moment.  I’ll make a solid bet that Mr. Tebow will be a starting QB in the NFL again.

Okay, so did the Jets make a good move?  Yes and no.  In a way, this is Jets GM Mike Tannenbum showing zero faith in Mark Sanchez, and who can blame him.  Coupled with the enormously unsettling Rex Ryan heights, Sanchez has gone 27-20 in the regular season and 4-2 in the postseason but has generally sunk.  He gets his stats due to a adept defense and solid running game.   Sanchez shows few signs of becoming a breakout solo talent and Ryan and his coaches poked their front office suits for a Tebow boost.   They go it and for only 1.1 million this season.  However, Tebow’s salary could jump to 6 million in 2013 and Sanchez is making 12 million a season.   Next year, the Jets could be the laughing stock of the NFL in paying two quarterbacks a combined 19 million to produce a 9 win season.   One scenario.   We will see.  My best guess is Tebow gets more involved each week, which puts so much pressure on Sanchez that his arm snaps in half and he submits to the Tebow power.  The Jets didn’t bring Tebow there to be a bench warming faith nut.   They brought him there for a franchise adrenaline shot.

The Carpenter Trails Begin.  Carpenter has been rebuilt by surgeries all over his upper body throughout his rigorous career and he is a true soldier on the grinding way down.  However, the low fan will pout here, bitch about Carpenter’s tendency to get hurt and take too long to make the right call.   The right call now is to point out that a deal needs to be made.  Carpenter takes very good care of his body and HATES being sidelined, so if he misses a couple months, gets healthy, its all good.   Look at the bottom line.  He is out indefinitely and this news must send general manager John Mozelaik to the phone looking for Roy Oswalt’s number.   Give the vet a chance because there is no choice. At this point, the Cards need protection.   Pay Oswalt his 10 million dollars because you have to be smart and not hold out and extend solid reliever Lance Lynn past his athletic ability and talent level.   This isn’t the time to be stubborn.  Mozelaik must pull the quick Jew move here and pull the trigger on Roy, who desperately wants to be a Cardinal.

Story goes that Roy Oswalt wants to pitch at midseason.   I would inquire Mozelaik to call him and persuade him with Benjamin Franklin and his family of clones.  Any man can be bought.   The Cards need protection and Lance Lynn isn’t the answer.   Unless Shelby Miller is ready for a two month audition, call Roy.  Lynn is a solid reliever but an average starter.   There’s no need to turn him into McClellan 2.0 and push him back and forth between the rotation and bullpen.

Skip Schumacher  goes down with an oblique injury, which opens up competition for a platoon between Tyler Greene and Daniel Descalso.   Tyler really needs to impress me because he can steal bases and play defense but he really can’t hit major league pitching.  Descalso is a strong defender at multiple positions and has a better bat.  Edge goes to DD here.

A sad note. Sunday night, Henry Rollins came to town and I didn’t go see him.  Part of this is blamed on the fact I waited forever to get a ticket.   The other blame specs fall on bank account tightness(houdini check tricks) and drained memory muscles.   Henry is a ranting maniac and I had been looking forward to a 2.5 hour display of one man standing in place telling stories, shrugging off stress and clearing the head.  I missed it and I’m pissed.  I’m not “out of coffee” mad but closer to “no bacon bits for my salad” sad.   You know me and Henry.  We’re from the same breed of “blunt informers”.

Also, listen to Hanni El Khatib, a new Blues artist who isn’t a terrorist or Osama’s sixth cousin but a gritty cool musician with a unique sound.  Think Black Keys mixed with Jack White.  Look up “You Rascal You” or “Wait, Wait, Wait” and tell me what you think.  I heard him on Californication and downloaded an entire album.

Sergio Martinez VS. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr..  Time to give the kid a beating.   Sergio is the guy to break Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.’s cherry.  Boxing got this right for a change.  Martinez is the savvy talented veteran who has earned the right to deal Chavez Jr., a pretender with 45 plus wins and no real challenges, a firm beating.  The middleweight division ruled that these two men meet in the ring right as Chavez Jr. was setting up another fight with a bum he could beat one handed.   Martinez stopped Paul Williams and owns a belt and a career full of challenges and 50 plus wins.  He will serve the kid a beating and blood will spill for a good reason this summer.

The Blues take a few hits but keep on rolling.   Please, harsh loyal Blues fans, appreciate what this team is doing.   I am every game.  They lost 4-3 and 1-0 to the Ducks and Kings last week, but didn’t go down without a fight and stole a point in LA before beating Phoenix 4-0 on Sunday.   At this point, the Blues need to finish strong, get as many points in their account but keep their heads up.  Don’t let the confidence level dip now.  Straight ahead this team shall go.   I hate fans who shove all the casual and halfway in fans out the door at this point.   What happens to the Blues?  Sink or swim?  It’s how they deal with losses like Thursday that will define how their season ends.

The Blues need to continue to collect points, play well and are playing some home games this week to pad their lead.  Everything changes when the playoffs begin.   We know that from a certain incident with Sharks over 10 years ago.  The next 2 games are very important.  The Blues stranglehold over the top spot is slipping a bit(4 points), so it would be primitive to take down the Preds at home and Hawks on the road this week.  The Blues finished their second grueling road trip on Sunday and now have to confront two teams that have handed the Blues more losses in 2012 than any team.  If we get 3 points at least, the home ice advantage becomes very realistic.  For the Blues, Scottrade traffic in the playoffs is everything. Most nights, this team can compete with any team(the team has been blown out only twice in Hitchcock’s tenure) but the home ice is pivotal for this team.

The Rogues in Blue are battling the Preds as I type and enjoy a glass of Devil’s Cut Jim Bean whiskey.   A deliciously smooth blend of alcohol engineered here to release the stress of one day and the incoming pressure of another.   The middle man drink.   On Saturday night with friends, I pulled out a 7 year old JUG of Jack Daniels.  I poured a glass, added a little water and downed it in less than 15 minutes.   I poured another.  I am starting to enjoy a glass of whiskey over a beer.    I harbor 12 bottles of Guinness Black Lager in my fridge at the moment but right now they are the Angelina Jolie same old familiar tasting brew to the divine digesting Christina Hendricks “man drink” in this Devil’s Cut.  Blame it on the Mad Men addiction or the need for something more, but I’m drinking whiskey with regularity these days.   Can you dig it?

Saints pay the bounty instead of rewarding it with dollars.   Saints Head Coach Sean Payton was suspended for the 2012 season and former Saints defensive coordinator and current Rams coach Gregg Williams is out indefinitely for employing a bounty system on the team from 2009-2011.    The coaches paid players extra money for laying deadly hits on quarterbacks and random players on the field.   This is a bigger slap on the wrist than Bill Belicheck’s Patriots getting fined and losing draft picks for Spygate.   The Saints shakedown is Commissioner Roger Goodell pounding in the nail of player safety.   The man is going to make an example out of these old school physical maulers by putting the coach out of business and the ex-defensive ringleader out for even longer.  I won’t say I agree with it because physicality is a part of this game and if we are going to start handing out slaps for excessive hitting, the line will get long very quickly and the time given will be extreme.   I understand Goodell’s stance here, saying that players can’t go headhunting and quarterback safety has to be enforced.   I just think it’s soft and pushing the game in an uncomfortable direction.   When do players not go head hunting or try to lay on an extra punishing hit for good measure?   James Harrison leads with his head all the time and I don’t care.  I am a fan of gore.   Carnage is what makes football the most popular sport in America.   Baseball is nostalgic but football is wonderfully violent.  What is it if the boss keeps chipping away for player safety and makes this game an edgy version of two hand touch?   Bad deeds my friends.   Let the blood stand.   Keep the hits coming.   Payton didn’t deserve a year.   Williams deserved 6 games but no one deserved a full season.   Its cold and brutal but it’s my take.   Someone get me my violin.

Rams deal with Gregg Williams blow in stride and sign wide receiver Steve Smith, a former New York Giant who specializes as a slot receiver and accumulated 1022 yards and 7 touchdowns in 2009.   The man can play and will serve as an Amendola like third down option for Sam Bradford.   If Amendola returns, the wide receiver core only gets stronger.  However, the Rams still need to draft Justin Blackmon to give them some size on the outside and an obvious size advantage.   Imagine Amendola and Smith on the inside with Danario Alexander and Blackmon as your deep threats.     Head coach Jeff Fisher will hire assistant coach Dave McGinnis as his defensive coordinator and the Rams will move ahead.   The offense adds an element with Smith in place but needs the magic man in Blackmon.

Web Site Hype-Expectations lean on your shoulder in this situation.  With the website more than a month away and prep to be done, its a surreal feeling knowing your work will get global.   Writing underneath the covers is cool and productive, but unleashing it on the world is quite another.  I can tell you this website is a lot more than a hobby fill in.   We have plans for this site that reach beyond a free time plug and farther into an occupational duty and need.   Stay tuned my friends.

Justified Moment of the Week.  As the series’ weekly hour of greatness begins to unfold tonight, let me allow you a look back at last week’s episode.   An hour of television I deemed the best I’ve seen in years.  A bad guy’s dilemma with our hero Raylan.  Underestimating the crafty double dealing US Marshall.    Every season, the good guy encounters a new breed of villain.   The baddies learn of the Marshall’s strengths and make an attempt to attack his weakness.   The lawman persists in his pursuit as if he doesn’t care what happens as long as the bad men fall.   This season, a Detroit mobster fled to Harlan named Robert Quarles(played by the great ad-libbing Neal McDonaugh) and he wants to take over the town.  He left Detroit for specific reasons that slowly unfold but we immediately know Quarles is a methodical perfectionist who is a bit crazy.   He tries to seek out the criminals in Harlan and slowly twist them until they fit his wrinkled plan.   Quarles runs into a brick wall in Givens.  He can’t be bought, reasoned with or dealt with easily.  He takes work.  In an episode aptly named “A Guy Walks Into A Bar”, Quarles walks into a bar and threatens Raylan after his plea to control the sheriff crumbles in a slight of hand move by Givens foe/friend Boyd Crowder(the brilliant Walter Goggins).   Raylan responds by pulling out his gun, clearing the bar and firing a hole into the ceiling.   He tells Quarles, “Why wait(to get the fight on)” and the two share a delicious stare down.   Justified is the best scripted show on television.  Best dialogue in the house.  I know you’ve heard it all before but this will only continue as this series wraps up its third season in April.  Here’s a taste of the scene I was talking about.

Black Keys Song of the Week-Black Door from Magic Potion

Update on the Blues-They take down Pekka Rinne and the Predators at Scottrade by the score of 3-0.   A legit dominating win that truly sets the Blues up for a decent run towards the end of the season.   Rinne is the thorn in this team’s side for the past 2 seasons and after outlasting him in Nashville in a shootout win in February, the Blues beat him straight up tonight.   The shutout was the 15th of the season for the Blues and a record setting 30th win at home this season.   Jamie Langenbrunner, David Perron and TJ Oshie scored for the Blues but the real star was Brian Elliot.   The low hanging fruit sign hasn’t allowed a goal in 187 minutes and has 3 shutouts in a row, the last 2 bringing wins.  The Blues strength is versatility in 2011-2012 but the heart and soul is great goaltending from Halak and Elliot.   This team continues to surprise even the most cynical fans in this city sickened by past defeats.   The road ahead is interesting indeed.

The Discovery Channel fired Bear Grylls and cancelled his show, Man VS. Wild, last week and I kind of hate it.   Grylls was fun to watch every Wednesday for 12 weeks a year, watching him survive in the worst conditions.  A former British soldier turned survivalist turned teacher, Grylls taught us genuinely helpful tricks for keeping a pulse when you are stranded and made it entertaining.  Sure, it wasn’t as dangerous as it looked, but the thrill was there along with the danger he faced.    Grylls was fun to watch because he ran at serious danger and not away from it.  In 2010, he had his crew bury him alive in tons of snow to experience what being trapped by an avalanche felt like.  His carbon dioxide levels dropped down to drastic measures and he held out longer than most would to prove a point.     He brought viewers to the Discovery Channel and opened the door for current shows Deadliest Catch and Sons of Guns.  The reason had to be cost and production schedule and fierce demands from Grylls and his fearless crew, but something tells me a deal could have been worked out.

Random Fire-10 Things

  • Tiger Woods winning a tournament doesn’t prove he is back.   He is simply alive again and a threat to all the average “not as good as Tiger” golfers who thought the king was finally dead.   Woods win this week makes him a contender.   Don’t get too worked up.
  • I have a desire to see The Hunger Games but won’t spill blood over a seat.  I will be the smart person taking this movie in at cinemas three weeks after its release, when the boner has died down and the diehards are reading the second book.
  • Wrath of the Titans could be a smelly pile of dog shit when it hits theaters, but Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson, and Ralph Fiennes dueling inside the legends of Zeus and the Gods tales sounds like a guilty pleasure to me.
  • To watch The Walking Dead 18 hours straight next weekend or not to watch it and wait for the second season to finish?   Decisions are everything.
  • Mad Men finally returned on Sunday and delivered a 2 hour premiere that proved to be revealing, powerful, informative and utterly exhausting.   This is one of the best shows on television because it’s an extension on existentialism and the idea that individuals want to mean something.   Jon Hamm’s Don Draper is a twin brother of Tony Soprano in the fact that his biggest threat is his own disbelief in his existence and appeal.  One man protects himself with two cast iron shields.  A great show but one that takes plenty of time and patience.   The 2 hour premiere felt like 6 hours in a 1960s advertising firm.   Good and bad.
  • Looking down at your kid and reminding yourself you helped make this person never gets old.   It happens at least 5 times a day.
  • Overtime and extremely tiring work schedules mean something when the paycheck arrives but not much at all the rest of the time.  When you get paid, the check runs away to bills and all you are left with is the feeling your life is slipping away pretty quick.   Hence the need to do something more useful with your time.
  • Once again, complaining about gas prices is like screaming at the sky for raining on your picnic.   Get a hobby.   Start walking, live closer or make a friend.   Just don’t complain.  You’re better than that.
  • Ryan Reaves is a mad man on the ice.   A perfect 4th line grinder who knows how to fight and skate with the puck.   Reaves isn’t just a goon or enforcer.  He is a hockey player and one who knows his job.  He gets out there, lays clean body checks and feels the need to throw a shoulder into anyone.    An exciting young talent.
  • Most underrated Blues player.  Alex Pietrangelo.   Secret front runner for the Norris Trophy.   He accumulates minutes, logs tough shifts, collects assists and is a real leader and the finest of the young breed of gunners on the Blues.

That’s all folks.  The tank is empty, the mind needs rest and the body is in need of a refuel.   Work starts soon here at the stroke of midnight(hint hint, I am not at home writing this).    Things need to be done and there aren’t many people to do it.   Thanks for reading and if you cared to looked twice, I appreciate the time given.  A writer is only as good as his readers.

Good morning,

DLB

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The Rant Lounge

Let’s slip into a little topical discussion in the Quick Hits Variety as the night falls and another 24/7 bull rush settles in.  I don’t get a lot of time these days to blog because of the 50 hour work weeks at Senoret and the life of being a dad and struggling to have one, but here I am with a need to be unleashed.   Let me unplug and load the guns and hit a few things before I shut things down for the night.

Rams Trade 2nd overall draft pick to Redskins-A solid move for a few reasons.   The Rams came away with 3 first round draft picks from Washington the next 3 years.  They also acquired their 2nd round pick this year.   The Rams moved from 2nd to 6th for 4 additional picks and very good good ones at that.   Let’s examine this.

*I like the Cortland Finnegan signing, even at the hefty price of 5 years and 50 million, but this team has more needs.   A legit backup running back and a wide receiver to start.  An offensive lineman or guard to add onto the load.   Paying big for Finnegan, the Nyjer Morgan of the NFL but a very good defender who gets inside receivers’ heads, was expected because it’s the first week of free agency and Jeff Fisher coached him in Tennessee.

*I don’t like the lack of a wide receiver signing on this team.   Watching young track junkies Mario Manningham and Pierre Garcon run off elsewhere and the market for WR start to plummet without a Rams sign is bad news for this offense. If Sam Bradford doesn’t receive a target to hit downfield in 2012, the results won’t change much.   Sure, the offensive line needs to keep him upright, but when he does stand tall in the pocket, he needs a toy to play with and Manningham was almost the guy.   He was talking dollars and years on Sunday night but the Rams lost him to San Francisco.   The main problem on offense is the lack of a wide receiver downfield threat to stretch the defense.    Fail to fix this area and the consequences will be firm.

*Giving defensive end Kendall Langford 4 years and 24 million is a bit of a stretch.  A man who recorded 3 sacks in every game for Miami last season gets 6 million dollars to chase the QB here.   Hopefully he can stop the run or serve another area because giving him valuable cash is something I can’t wrap my head around.  The Rams cut a few players to fix the salary cap room, but bringing in Langford for so much cash is risky business.  Stan Kroneke needs to open the wallet and get a receiver on this team who can outwork a defensive back and make plays.

*A deal in the works for Justin Blackmon in the draft ends all this tribulation.   Blackmon is young, talented, fast and was a stud for Oklahoma State for 4 seasons.   Sign a free agent or find a way to get Blackmon.   Danny Amendola is a slot receiver and he is an unrestricted free agent.   Who is playing wide receiver for this team?   Brandon Gibson and Danario Alexander, a combo that could only fire up an arena football league fan base.

The Decision 2.0.   Peyton Manning chooses the Denver Broncos.   This choice works for all parties.   Manning gets to stay in the AFC, play for a contender, play for John Elway and give Tim Tebow a fresh start elsewhere.   Tebow doesn’t get the harder end of the boot here.   He is beloved in Denver and that could be a bad thing for a young QB like Tebow who needs to improve his passing ability.   Manning comes in, takes over, gives Tebow a chance to return to his hometown in Jacksonville and take over the hurting Jaguars.   Tebow needs to go to a place where he can rebuild a franchise with a willing head coach who can create an offensive scheme around TT football.   Raw arm or not, Tebow is a legit winner.  He took a 1-4 Broncos team in 2011 and turned them into a playoff team who took down the Steelers in Pittsburgh.   He needs to get better but is better than a backup QB in the NFL.   Eventually, he may succumb to a backup QB role but it isn’t happening anytime soon.  The man sells tickets and product.  Think about it.  Tebow took Denver to the playoffs with help but with a flair for winning. A raw arm but a skill set higher than Brady Quinn. He will get a healthy shot in Jacksonville because he will bring excitement and MONEY to a franchise. Playing in his hometown next to Gator town, Tebow will do more for Jaguar nation than Garrard or Gabbert. At least for the short term. Tebow turned a morbid Bronco nation into a winning football frantic frenzy and Elway owes Tebow that no matter what Peyton does. Tebow could throw 18 INT and still bring the fans in. And you know the ultimate rule in sports is the games are secondary to the business. Moneymakers like Tebow are rare. He’ll find work somewhere and it won’t be backing up anyone whose name doesn’t end with Brady. See for yourself.

As far as Manning is concerned, he takes over in Denver with a 3-4 year contract that provides stability to his career and insurance for the Broncos.  Manning will have to adjust to far different conditions in Denver than Indy.   Outdoor grass and colder weather for a man recovering from his 4th neck surgery will be a challenge.   Peyton landing in Denver was a sure thing once Elway got his radar directed at the Tennessee product.   Unless Tebow won a Super Bowl, he was never going to cut it in Denver because Elway wanted a classic pocket passer like Manning leading his team.   Once Manning was released, John went into bounty hunter mode and chased Peyton down like a piece of gold.  Whether or not it works out, the excitement will be hard to resist for a Manning lover or hater.  He stays next to Brady and will still face the Chargers, his nemesis.   He can only meet Eli in a Super Bowl just like in Indianapolis.   The situation changes slightly and Manning picked a solid team to land in.   San Francisco was credible because of the defense and legit all around talent.   Arizona had juice but lacked a structure and instant ability to contend.  Seattle and Miami were kicked out early for unknown reasons having to do with get a map and fuck off.   This will be interesting.

The Blues roll on into first place while taking a tough loss in Chicago, a shutout loss in Carolina while rebounding with a resounding win over the Tampa Bay Lightning.  Sometimes you have to lose to gain and if you are the Blues, the sweet and the bitter come hand in hand.   The Blues sit comfortably in first place in the NHL at the moment and whatever happens from here on out, take a seat and recognize what this team has become since November 8th when Ken Hitchcock took over as head coach.   We all know the last time  the Blues won the Presidents trophy they choked big time against San Jose in the first round back in 2000.   Something tells me, crazy as it is and will stay the following month, this team is different.   The most amazing thing about the Blues this season is their record and play despite a rash of injuries that tromps previous seasons.    David Perron, Andy Mcdonald, Matt D”Agostini, and Alex Steen have missed significant time.   David Backes went down in Tampa after blocking a shot.   During their time on the ice, Perron and Mcdonald are game changing talents.  Without them for long periods of time, the Blues are staying strong.  That’s something.  What’s going on?  The depth of this roster is stronger than last season and Hitch is unleashing the talent in each player and not restricting it like Andy Murray and Davis Payne did.   Let em go is the motto these days.   Look at them attack teams, hurt teams, walk away wounded only to come back and steal big games.   When they lose, they don’t go down easy.  Take Chicago’s triumph over us last week.   Blowing a third lead in the United Center this season, Jaroslav Halak stole a point from the Hawks with a 37 save pure phenomenal performance.   Halak laid claim to the #1 goalie job on this team with his New Year rebirth and going 9-0-1 in his last 10 starts.   Halak is making big saves and giving his team a bump when they need it.  The goaltending is the strong point behind this squad.   Halak and Brian Elliot rank in the top 5 in the NHL in multiple categories.   Their goals against average is ridiculously stingy.   The depth is strong as well.  Jason Arnott has added 16 goals and much needed grit and leadership to the young team as well as Jamie Langenbrunner, who is determined to throw his body anywhere if it pushes the momentum in the Blues direction.   Ian Cole, newly signed Jaden Schwartz, Ryan Reaves, Chris Porter and young gun Alex Pietrangelo are quiet stars of this team.   Pietro leads the team in minutes and has a 20 game plus points streak.   Backes leads the team in goals and points.   At least 5 players have 15 goals.  This team lacks a Ovechkin or Giroux but contain a versatile group of energy plugs serving one purpose each night.   Win at all costs and don’t blow it all in the third period.   Watching the Blues is a good time right now.  For all the Blues homers who claim the packed houses contain tag along worshipers, think again.  This fan base deserves a real winner.  We have only waited since 1967 for another shot at Cup glory.  If we seem over anxious over our chances, write it off as stalled patient optimism boiling over.   I watch this team good or bad, follow them, lie dead with them and stand tall with them at the moment.  Real fans stick around for every game.   There are 3 weeks left before the playoffs start.   My hopes begin and end with a playoff win.   We haven’t had one of those in 7 years.   St. Louis deserves a hot blooded round of playoff hockey here.   Let’s leave the Stanley Cup drama alone for now.  Focus on finishing strong, getting home ice advantage and winning a playoff game or series.   With the Zig Zag rogues in dark blue, all you can hope for is a baby step.   This week the Blues are in Anaheim and Los Angeles to continue a 7 game road trip.   The Blues’ improved road record has been the high mark of a consistent second half of hockey.

Cardinals start to hit and pitch in camp.  Games are fake but pitches and action are real and clues lie everywhere.   Waino’s quality starts, Freese’s newfound power and early signs of health issues with our senior staff have already dropped obsessive poison into the 2012 championship defense.   Carpenter’s neck injury isn’t as bad but just how bad is it?   Furcal has a sore leg?  Beltran’s body isn’t game ready?  These are professionals, right?  Give me 10 million dollars and play right field with a wooden leg and a strap on for tripod support.  Come on.  Baseball blues are back.  Spring training isn’t my blue heaven for these Redbirds.  Mike Matheny was given a quality set of cards to play with but how long before a few of them bend and break?  How will he do?  Depends on who plays and who sits.   The roster consists of more than a few aging veterans hanging on the thread of past injuries.   Beltran, Berkman, Carpenter, and Furcal all take the field like ticking timebombs.   Matheny seems to know what he is doing and is taking a direct no bullshit approach, but it’s only spring training.   Wait until late May or early June.   Wait until a losing streak.   The real talent and worth of a new manager is how he handles adversity and a real shit stack of fate.   Matheny has respect, strength and a juicy roster.   However, as found on every MLB roster, landmines lie everywhere and one bad day can turn a season on its head.   That’s baseball.  That’s sports.  A daily gamble and headache.   A win only increases greed and need. A  loss calls into question everything a fan knows is right or wrong.   You don’t truly win anything in this game until you throw a cut fastball, watch it soar to medium depth in left field and fall in Allen Craig’s mitt to finish off  the most improbable World Championship run ever.   February and March bring reassessment, rebirth and expectations larger than moderation for a St. Louis Cardinals team still feeling the buzz of a triumph.   Anybody who tells you Game 6 has left their head is lying big time.   Through loss and key gain, the Cardinals are riding high again and won’t go down without a fight.   This roster is built to win without Pujols, but how far can it run on older legs?   Questions surround every corner.    It has only begun.

*Big season for Motte/closer role for Cards.   If Motte is great, a huge problem disappears and the Cards gain 10-12 more wins per season.  If Motte falls to earth and finds his fastball too straight, problems persist in the 9th inning again.  Motte was a big reason the Cards turned things around in 2011.  He took over the closer role in August and sealed a leak previously left for dead by Ryan Franklin, Mitchell Boggs, Eduardo Sanchez and Fernando Salas.   Motte developed a second pitch and turned into a dominant righthanded threat.    Will that continue?  Motte asked for 2.4 million in arbitration and got 1.8 million for 2012.   His performance affects the entire team, especially a rotation held together by duck tape.

Music of the Week-“Hometowns” By the Band of Skulls.  Slow, melodic, low key and perfect.   Suck this in and breathe easy.

Mumford and Sons’ second album is my most anticipated album of the year.   Their first collection, Sigh No More, took the country by storm and turned them into folk rock kings.   Their second effort is described by lead singer Marcus Mumford as “doom folk”, which means more of the same and that is just fine.   Keep the good tunes rolling with your second effort.   Mumford specializes in storytelling, crowd pleasing banjo blasts and hymm like blues tales.   Here is a track from their soon to be released second album.   It’s called Lover’s Eyes.

*The General’s Tunes-The lost and found Buffa Section.   James Blunt’s “All the Lost Souls” for 3 dollars at Shop N’ Save.  This former British soldier can croon the ballads and deliver with purpose.  A smoother yet just as dark male version of Adele.  Tunes like “Carry You Home” and “Same Mistake” reveal a mellow yet torn side of a talented ballad singer.   Blunt is just that with his music.   A crafty radio voice who seems too good to be true.   For 3 dollars, I’ll take it.

*Black Keys Song of the Week-Leavin Trunk, from the album, The Big Come Up.  Telling you this band is awesome has lost its muster after the 19th mention.   I can only tell you this two man band is one of the best musical revelations in the past 20 years.   Their music is timeless, consistent, full of juicy blues funk and is a mood boost.

*New Artist of the week.  Hanni El Khatib.   This blues garage punk artist combines wicked Keys like guitar hooks with a well worn and worked voice meant for a dive bar located deep in the love dungeon.   Spotted on Showtime’s Californication, Khatib’s new album released in September is very good and deserves a listen.  Here is a taste.

Coffee Drink of the Week-Dark roast, Sumatra blend, kick in 2 shots of espresso.   Ladies and gents, I give you a Black Eye at Starbucks.  Gorillas could bathe in this liquid. Strong as an ox and very tasty.   This coffee could claim an aisle at a paint thinner shop, walk itself to your hand and build you a bench.  Its bold.  Starbucks has a new size drink and its called the Trenti.  A 30 ounce blast of iced coffee for 3.45 that will last a solid needy soul at least 35 minutes.   Starbucks is unrolling new food selections, but keeping the family core wrapped around the almighty coffee bean.   They know what they are and what they do best.  Make strong erotically alarming coffee.    Without coffee, the crime rate would go through the roof.

MU loses in first round.  No madness here my friends.  Just quiet death.  You hear that….its the sound of a choking sensation. Classic Tigers collapse. Another great season dies an early death. SEC bound.  I am a bandwagon rider here and watch them sparingly, but overlooking their choking trend is hard to hold your tongue on.  Being a former MU student also gives me room to slap this team.   They must be reading from the Tony Romo big game playbook.   Losing to Norfolk in the first round while SLU beat Memphis and ran MSU to the buzzer is completely embarrassing.    Another season up in smoke.

Random Hits-

Jeremy Lin, anyone?   The sound of a deflating boner can be heard around the NYC skyline.

While the Caps resemble a trainwreck, Ovechkin is still the most exciting player in the league. The Russian Entertainer scored 2 more goals tonight in Detroit to give him 32 in a season disguising a slow death in Washington.

21 Jump Street was a letdown yet not a disappointment.   I went in with low expectations.  The remake garnered solid reviews, looked decently funny and seemed like a logical choice to hit a theater but I was left unsatisfied.   The problem here was overachieving.   The directors, writers, and stars all tried REALLY hard to make a funny retro remake that called on all buddy comedies and scored with young audiences.   Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill are fine, but the overall product here adds up to a hollow slice of Hollywood fluff sent out to confuse audiences into thinking what they are watching is inventive and original.    Just another retread.   You can stop now Hollywood.

Tweet of the Week-From Dwayne Johnson

“Rise and grind – the paycheck aint earnin’ itself. 24/7”

Dan McClaughlin has returned to Fox Sports Midwest after quitting the Jack Clark/Josh Hancock diet.  He left the twins at rehab and is back in the saddle again, for better or worse.  Let’s run back a little bit real quick.  McClaughlin burned out in October, getting his 2nd DWI of the year as the Cards ran towards the title.   He was nearly fired and would have been if Bill DeWitt Jr. had the final say.   He was sent into aggressive rehab, stopped kicking it old school and lost over 40 pounds or one ass cheek from a Kardashian.   Good for him and FSN, which requires mildly annoying news commentators with quirky natures and recycled senses of humor.   Danny Mac is back and without a small chinese boy in his stomach.  The gang is back in the FSN booth.

Sergio Martinez, a lightweight champion, needed 11 rounds to dismantle Irish contender Matthew Macklind on Saturday, but aligns himself for a quality fight that may include Manny Pacquaio or Floyd Mayweather Jr. if they decide to not fight each other again.  Since all parties are afraid of Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and his sledgehammer fists, Martinez will look to land a big fight and he deserves it.  He is undefeated in the past 5 years and has slowly climbed to the top of his division.  A quick counter puncher with power, Martinez is an aging lion like Bernard Hopkins, but carries plenty of ability and hunger to be the best.  If Floyd and Pac Man don’t want to share a ring, they should invite Sergio into the ring.

By the way, one can hope that proud immensely likeable Puerto Rican fighter Miguel Cotto lasts the entire fight against Floyd and lives to take the challenge against young gunner Alvarez, the Mexican champion who is 21 years old, packs C4 on his fists and needs a challenge.   Alvarez will end Shane Mosley”s career(chasing one last paycheck) on the undercard to the Mayweather Jr.-Cotto fight card and need someone to fight.  Hopefully, Cotto takes that chance.   Boxing needs to get exciting again because plenty of players exist in the game today.   Leave the business out of it and get in the ring with a man who could take you down.

You learn a lot of things in life.   How to drive.  How to love.  How to cook.   How to survive.   The one thing you don’t learn is how to deal with death.   It shocks, befalls, rips and shakes us in so many ways there isn’t a chance to win.   They tell us to celebrate a life.  When we do that, we get so close to what made them wonderful that it hurts too much.    Every time I think about Meme, I want to talk to her, tell her how I’m doing, listen to her tell me what I should do and go see her.  The biggest obstacle with death is that its impossible to ever truly communicate with them again.   Life sucks at times.   Death sucks every time you let it in your life.

Kids are powerful.   They can change your mood in a second and require you to focus in.   Vinny goes down to sleep at 8pm and I have to go into his room a couple times to rebink him and make him pass out.   Sometimes, I lay him in the middle of the bed, put the bink in his mouth and leave and other times I hang out there and stare at my kid.  He looks up at you like the man standing over him is a million dollars worth of cool and it can cure a rough day.   Honestly, Vinny is my little prince and I am his soldier.  All day, I run around work, making money, doing my job and I come home to my prince and my queen.   Each day includes a decent array of duties and moments, but nothing beats looking down at something you helped create.   Kids are powerful little beings.

Goon may be the best hockey film since Slapshot.   A movie about enforcers beating the shit out of each other for a living has to pay serious homage to the 1970s Philadelphia Flyers cheek crunching teams that lived by the rule of “If They Couldn’t Beat You, They Could Beat the Shit Out of You”.   Sean William Scott plays the lead character, a walk on fighter with a special ability to pound faces into mashed paper but the juicy role here lies in Liev Schrieber’s part as an aging fighter trying to take down the peoples champ in Scott’s new player.   Schrieber played the role as a tribute to old tough guys like Bob Probert and Dave Schultz, the latter being a Philly Flyer who was nicknamed the Hammer.   Schrieber is the reason to see Goon, a must see for any hockey fan.

And I am done here.   Closing up shop and getting some sleep before the grind begins again in a few hours.  Take care and thanks for reading.

Goodnight and good luck,

DLB

 

 

 

 

The Set List

With hardcore blues music on my mind, allow me to polish off a few topics as we turn over the night into the new morning.  Midnight means one thing for me.  Get things off my chest.  Here we go.  

Peyton Manning Revisited

This afternoon and evening I had a well played battle with a good friend over The Manning effect.   There wasn’t a ton of fighting over the Colts decision.  The majority was spent jostling over the idea of Manning’s absence playing a decent part in the Colts 2-14 dud of a season in 2011.  This was a good time and always will be.  Standing by your point and defending it with vigor and passion. That’s freedom.   How does a team go from a playoff contender to holding the top draft pick inside one season when losing only one key player?   The Peyton effect everyone.   I am a Manning fan, but this can be seen from miles away.   Let’s review a few things and hit this one more time.

1.)The Colts put themselves in this position by giving Manning the 5 year/90 million dollar contract after a major neck surgery.  Any surgery with the neck is major.  Why give him 5 years at that kind of cash when his status was in question?  Manning couldn’t have asked for that deal or firmly requested it.  I agree that the 28 million dollar bonus and long term contract had to go.  However, why not create a new 2-3 year deal?  Trust me.   Quarterback wasn’t your problem, as seen in the difference in 2011 from 2010 and the 12 seasons before it.  Manning has gas left in the tank, something to prove and another ring to attain before he quits.  Why let him do it elsewhere?  I can understand the decision by Colts owner Jim Isray.  I just don’t like it and more importantly, I don’t agree with it.

2.)The Colts also didn’t bother to draft/trade for a resemblance of a backup quarterback or successor to Peyton until running into Andrew Luck.   Drafting Luck is smart.  Dropping Peyton and throwing Luck to the wolves right away isn’t the right move.   This is a QB driven league.  Manning is a hall of fame quarterback and arguably the best technically sound mind behind center of all time.  He has plenty to teach a kid.  Why not groom Luck and build around Manning’s last hurrah and get set for Luck ball?   Your problems lie on defense and your offensive line, so why make the big change at QB so soon?  Questions is all I have.  The decision was understandable but didn’t make much sense.  Money isn’t a problem because you can restructure.

3.)Manning was a difference maker in his time as the leader and face of the team.   I have been told there is no logic to my statement that Manning’s absence had a lot to do with the Colts downfall in 2011.   I can see it from a distance.   Manning leads Colts to 9 playoff appearances, 2 Super Bowl appearances, gets 4 MVPs, a Super Bowl MVP, and gives the team an annual chance to crack the playoffs and he goes down and the team record falls to 2-14.  There are variables involved all around the team but the biggest one is Manning missing.   He is a special kind of quarterback.   Why else would Pierre Garcon, Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark all have off years?(trust me,  I know, I had all three on my fantasy team).   Manning made them great and without him, they faltered as well.  The team performance was due to a few things, but the offensive collapse points directly to the missing presence of the man who called all the plays himself, designed the playbook, paid the offensive coordinator’s check and orchestrated the action.  Peyton did all of that on a weekly basis.   How is that not the biggest effect from a team that averaged 12 wins from 2002 to 2010 and went 2-14 in 2011?  The Colts won 13 games in 2007, 12 games in 2008, 14 wins in 2009, and 10 in 2010.  The Colts won the Super Bowl in 2006 and returned in 2009, beating the Ravens and Jets to get there before losing to Drew Brees and the Saints.   They lost to the Jets last year in the Wild Card round.  Why release a player who has brought all that success to your franchise as recent as 2010?  That is my problem.   Peyton Manning wasn’t your problem, so why release him?    There is logic here.   Mostly, it’s just an opinion.   This isn’t like the Rams playing horrible football and deciding to start a rebuild by drafting Sam Bradford.  The Rams have been bad since 2005 and need more than a quarterback.  They had no quarterback.  How many GM”s or Owners would let Peyton Manning walk?     The move will have an effect on the league.  Manning has stated he will make his choice in the coming week and I think it will be Seattle.  They are willing to pay for the Manning-Reggie Wayne free agent combo and need a quarterback desperately.  Pete Carroll will cream his pants and love the last piece of the puzzle.  The NFC West is a weak place and Peyton can easily win here.  He doesn’t want to play for Washington and play Eli twice a season.  He can meet him in the playoffs instead and settle a score.  Denver is a wild card selection but they have Tebow Nation.  Seattle is Manning’s destination.    Jim Isray can only hope he made the right move.   He’s letting over 110 wins, 54000 passing yards, 399 touchdowns, 4 MVPs and a Super Bowl winner walk away with gas left in the tank?

Blues Continue to Rock at Home/Take Over NHL Lead

After a 6-1 road trip, the Blues come home and embarrass the Chicago Blackhawks 5-1 before beating the Anaheim Ducks Thursday night 3-1.   David Backes becomes the team’s first 20 goal scorer and Andy McDonald adds another nifty no look pass to his resume.   The Blues move into first place overall in the NHL with a Rangers loss.   For one night, the Blues are in first place.  It is March 9th.  That’s the most impressive thing.  The Blues have enjoyed great success under Ken Hitchcock even with a tough wrath of injuries.   David Perron and McDonald missed a portion of the season early on with concussions.   Matt D’Dgostini, Alex Steen and Kris Russell are out with concussions right now.  Steen has missed over 30 games.   Jamie Langenbrunner is out with a broken foot.  Kent Huskins is nursing a sprained hand.  The Blues have been hurting all season and still managing to consistently stay in the hunt for the top 3 spots in the entire league.  Blues fans, this team may be for real.  It’s still a surreal feeling to watch this team play so well, so dominant and manage to win big games.  They have won 28 games at home and are getting close to 100 points.  Exciting.

Ryan Braun Isn’t Innocent

Let’s get something straight.  Ryan Braun isn’t innocent and never was ruled innocent.  Anyone who has paid attention to any legal system understands its many flaws.   Ryan Braun was found guilty of using performance enhancing drugs and given a 50 game suspension.  He appealed and the arbitrator found that the MLB policy was violated by the testing party.  After obtaining the sample, the tester left it in his office over the weekend instead of sending it out right away.   Therefore, Braun’s lawyers found a loophole in the policy, stated the sitting sample over a period of days as a violation and used it as a means to get the player away clean.   In a more severe case, this would be like lawyers getting a man off for robbery.   The lawyers stated that the sample could have been tampered with during the period it was on the desk in the office.   Braun isn’t innocent and was never found innocent.   A bad part of my wording last week was stating Braun was proven innocent.  The reality is he never got away clean.  He simply got off and will slip back into baseball.  The Brewers need him for star power and MLB gets the message and won’t push the case.  As anything in life, it all is about money and Braun means too much.      MLB only chases down ex-stars so he is safe.  He just isn’t considered clean anymore.

Matt Adams Hype Needs to Slow Down

Sure, the kid has cranked 2 hits this first week of spring training action.   Let’s not jump to ridiculous conclusions.   Adams has power and will see plenty of action in the minors in 2012 but that will be all.   Every time some young player starts cranking long balls and there is a spot open on the roster in two years, fans go nuts.   Adams is a big kid and has talent, so lets see how it all plays out.  His defense isn’t good, so he will play first base.   He may come up big in 2013 or 2014.  Pitt him against Memphis pitching and see how he fares.   I love a load of hype as much as the next guy but this is way premature.   Just because Albert is gone doesn’t mean we have to start sucking a minor league power bat’s dick just yet.

Speaking of Albert Pujols, we will see a lot of him in red this season on ESPN and FOX.   He stayed out of the NL but he couldn’t stay away from the color red.  It just doesn’t look right.   This transition will probably take awhile.

While the Oscars sucked and few films made my balls tingle in 2011, The Town still ranks as one of the best films in recent memory.   Ben Affleck’s ode to his hometown in bank robber central Charlestown, Ma was so authentic, well done, action packed, and contained stellar acting and pacing.   It was a cops/robbers classic.  Affleck was great as Doug McRay, the criminal seeking a different life and the supporting cast was genuinely excellent, especially Oscar nominee Jeremy Renner, Jon Hamm, and Rebecca Hall.   The Town was old school cool and a modern classic at the same time.  Affleck knows how to make Boston crime drams and this was genuine.   On Tuesday, a special collector’s edition was released and it features a new documentary, 34 extra minutes of film, storybooks, FBI files on the crew and other goodies.   I am a sucker for behind the scenes porn and finding out how a film got from point A to Z.   This will be in my collection.

Archer is a underrated classic on FX.  A dry hilarious James Bond spoof masquerading as a  regular comedy scores high because of its crude subjects matters and the lead character’s complete disdain for authority.     Think of James Bond in comedy mode.   Archer is a funny series and the key is Jon Benjamin’s great work in the lead role.   Voice work is tricky and he nails it cold.

While Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao find ways to not fight each other, there are fights out there.   Victor Ortiz and Andre Berto climb back into the ring in a month to settle a close first fight that Ortiz won by decision.   Sergio Martinez is fighting a bum on HBO on Sunday.  Canelo Alvarez, the young Mexican fighter with gun barrels for firsts, is going to promptly end Shane Mosley’s career before The Mayweather Jr./Cotto fight.   Pacquaio deals with the undefeatred yet beatable Timothy Bradley.   I am up for a good fight anytime.

As I sign off here, I crank up the Black Keys early heavy blues album, The Big Come Up.   These guys are a apecial brand of musician and show it in the studio and on stage.   When I see them at Chaifetz Arena on April 27th, I will be looking for them to put a little gold on the ceiling.  You can slowly fall asleep to this music not because it puts you to sleep but gives you the knowledge that you are listening to greatness.   Here’s a track off the Big Come Up called “Leavin Trunk”.  Listen for the nasty good hard guitar entrance the song throws at you.

That’s it.  I must go now because I am tired as hell and need sleep, as in my eyes are closing and the hands are flat lining.   Thanks for reading and don’t forget about the new website my friends and I are starting, http://www.film-addict.com.   Go there, enter your email and start getting newsletters and movie updates on May 4th.   2012 could be an exciting year.

Goodnight,

DLB

The Buffa Blast

Here’s a quick dose of meds from my head.  45 minutes to write and then set to launch.  


Peyton Manning gets released by the Indianapolis Colts.   After 14 seasons, Peyton is heading elsewhere.   This is NOT a surprising move at all.   When Bill and Chris Polian were fired a couple of months ago, the departure of Manning was inevitable.  Polian drafted Manning in 1998 and was his main confidant, so when he was let go, the process started for me.  I didn’t crack about it here too many times, but things happen.  My instant reaction is that I don’t approve of it.   I don’t like the move.  The Colts didn’t want to pay Manning 5 years and 90 million after 4 neck surgeries and I don’t blame them.  The 28 million dollar bonus for 2012 was also insane, but there were ways to keep the faith, lock in Manning for a 2-3 year contract and let Andrew Luck learn a few things.  Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady did the same thing, and turned out a lot better than Alex Smith and Mark Sanchez.   Small sample size, but you get my point.   Manning is throwing again, working aggressively and will be in line to start in the fall.  He hasn’t taken a hit yet or gotten into real play but he will be back.   I am a Manning fan, but I am looking at this from both sides.  The Colts were 1-15 without Manning last season.   Without one main player, The Colts went from a 10 win team to the top pick in the NFL draft.  Connect the dots.   Tom Brady went down for the season in 2008 and the Patriots finished 10-6 under Matt Cassell.  That’s the brilliance of Manning and the clue to how important he was to that team.  He was the instructor, navigator, leader and team captain.   He deserved another chance.  Jim Isray wants to start new so he cleaned the house.  The final piece was getting rid of Peyton Manning.  He wanted to get the engine restarted in Indy for a long time.  He just needed a good reason.   Manning was on his way out when he missed the entire season and required another small surgery in 2011.   From a distance, I don’t like the move.   That is from my position.  Inside the talks and the operational duties of the Colts, I have little clue.  I don’t know how much Manning wanted.  I don’t know what Isray’s position is.  I am handing out pure opinion here.   Manning wanted to retire a Colt and wanted to finish what he started.  Isray and the Colts are going in a different direction.  Come September, Manning will have a different team to lead.  My first contenders to land Manning are the Seahawks, Dolphins and Redskins.   Seattle won’t win a Super Bowl with Taveris Jackson and the Dolphins and Redskins don’t even have a quarterback they would let drive the team bus.  All three teams need a real deal quarterback.   Watching Manning attack the Rams twice a year is scary but very exciting at the same time.  Seeing him in a different uniform will be a shock at first, but soon enough Manning will win big with another team.  He wasn’t going to win a Super Bowl in Indy with that team during the remaining years of his NFL career.  He gets a new start in a different city in 2012. 

The safest bets in sports last year were Peyton Manning and Albert Pujols retiring with their first teams at the end of their career.   Both players won’t play in their respective birth cities this year.  This proves anything can happen in pro sports.


I’m a little late here but here’s my Oscar review.  Let’s be blunt.The Oscars sucked.  They were slow, involved movies unseen by half of its viewing audience and basically casted the viewer out on loser island for half the telecast.   It was also painfully long.    So long, I left the Oscar party early and went home to read about who won Best Picture.   The Artist won the top prize and its lead star, a French dude named Jean, won for conveying emotion and captivating the audience without saying one fucking word for the entire film.  That’s right.  The Artist was a silent film.   That isn’t a full on smack or support vessel of hate.  I didn’t see the movie.   I didn’t see Hugo or War Horse either.   I only saw 3 of the 9 Best Picture nominees.  For the better part of the ceremony, I was watching just to see how pissed off the stars could get at host Billy Crystal.   Too bad Crystal didn’t throw his nasty curveball all night and kept his heater in the back pocket.   Billy went soft, played it safe and didn’t zing anyone in the room.   He took a smash at a politician who was 3,000 miles away.   That’s all.   Martin Scorsese had a film nominated for best picture and I didn’t see it.  For the first time in years, I didn’t give too much of a hint of shit for the Oscars.   Why?  Did my film choices veer too far down the beaten path of critic hatred?  Yes and no.  I thought Margin Call deserved a Best Picture nod because it was brutally honest, didn’t tie a sweet knot around its ending and involved strong acting and a script that dripped sweat and tears.   Demain Bichir was nominated for A Better Life and that was a pleasant surprise.   Brad Pitt was noticed for one of the ballsiest performances of the year, playing the still living go for broke A’s general manager Billy Beane with a sheer confidence unseen in any young movie star right now.   George Clooney was nominated for the Descendants in a film that cut to the core of emotional detachment among a family but also stood as the last film I saw with my late grandmother, Meme.   The Oscars didn’t leave an impact.  They were plain jane shitty, a poor representation of the Super Bowl of movies.    The Kodiak Theater went dead last Sunday.   

5 Ways to Fix the Oscars-Quick Remedies
1.)Cut the running time folks because you are losing viewers.  I don’t like winners being cut off during their speech but lets cut some of the categories.   Best Sound Effects and Sound Editing can be the same category and you can also condense Documentary shorts which have two separate awards.     The attention span of people today is short and sharp so lets make the big night entertaining.   Do that by cutting categories that only exist to pad a time.   
2.)Stop showing the scientific awards break.  The slot where we see a prior award show for all the technical shit that people don’t care for and only the nuttiest film nerd can appreciate.   Put it on a different channel at 2am in the morning.   
3.)Add a category for Stunt work.   Why is this side of film being overlooked?  Everybody appreciates and loves a great action scene and that only happens with excellent stunt workers and coordinators.   Cut out all the silent film and shorts and add this category.    Stunts aren’t easy, involve skill and need to be recognized on a big night.  
4.)Go unscripted.    Tell the presenters and producers to go blind and see what fireworks come out.   Great performers can get the job done without a script.   I don’t like the scripted reality skits that carry zero appeal and garner zero laughs.   This starts by getting a new host who hasn’t done the show before.   We don’t need two hosts.   Only an overly long show needs two hosts to bring the proceedings home.   Get one funny host.   Let Will Ferrell do it.   Conan.  Jim Carrey.   Eddie Murphy was a great choice until he bowed out with Brett Ratner.  Let Robert Downey Jr. go at it without a script or line reading.    Bob Hope made hosting so fun because he did it so smooth nobody thought a script existed.  Why the structure?
5.)Once again, cut the Best Picture nominees back to 5 films.  Why are all the other categories 5 picks or less and the top prize involves 9 movies?  A soft move in a reach to get more viewers.  Guess what?  The idea failed.   Cut it back to 5 films.  

The Blues beat the San Jose Sharks 3-1 and finished the toughest road trip of the season at a 5-1 clip.   Impressive work by the note, especially when you think of the injuries this team still faces.   Jamie Langenbrunner, Matt D’Agostini, Kris Russell and Alex Steen are out with injuries.   The greatest attribute of Ken Hitchcock’s work is the ability he is to conjure performances from a team hurting in depth.  His reliance and confidence in Jaroslav Halak is the best.   Since Hitch Hockey took over, Jaro is 20-4 and reestablished himself as the top goaltender on the team.  Brian Elliot is having a near flawless season but this is Jaro’s team again and that’s the way it should be.   Hitch hockey is infecting the whole team and the Blues are beating opponents with authority.   With Detroit’s loss today, we are in 2nd place in the Western Conference, a point behind the Canucks, who edged us out 2-0 last week in a closer battle than the score card suggested.   The Blues come home to their dome of dominance on tonight against Chicago and continue against Anaheim on Thursday.  The hard part of the stretch run is gone.   Now the endurance test begins.  I think this team has more in store for us.   Keep the Blues fever going.  This team deserves to be the talk of the town right now.   They are that good.  One more thing.  Put Bj Crombeen on the bench and let Chris Porter play more often.   Porter and Ryan Reaves are very good 4th line grinders who know how to perform when they hit the ice.  Crombeen is a worthless player who can’t even fight that well.   Every facet of this team needs to be firing on all cylinders if they are to survive in the hot pressure cooker months of March and April.    They need to beat Chicago in order to build confidence against the strong teams in their division.   With Detroit, Nashville and the Hawks all playing well and riding into the playoffs, the Blues must be able to beat one of these teams in a 7 game series.   Beating the Blackhawks tonight makes that fierce task a clearer reality.   With 1 win in their 8 games against their division, the Blues are making this divisional battle an uphill battle.

Adam Wainwright is excited about returning to the mound and I can’t blame the kid.  You spend 12 months away from real competition and are deprived of the heat of battle, and the thirst will get to you.   Cardinal baseball opened up spring training games today and while the exhibition style doesn’t energize the blood levels, the thrill of baseball returning is inspirational fanfare.   Spring is around the corner, warm weather is defeating the colder air and players are gearing up.  The obsessive order will soon take over.  Wainwright creates a superiority in the rotation and turns the Cards into a pitching centered attack.  When you have Carp and Waino firing at the top of the hill, things will be easier than asking Kyle Lohse to step into a higher rotation spot.   The divisional scrums will shed blood from our systems, Cards faithful, but I guarantee you any shade of Wainwright will make 2012 a better season.   After winning “the whole fucking thing” without him in 2011, the expectations for this season are at least fair to moderate. 

The Way, written and directed by Emilio Estevez, is a powerful and poignant reminder of the unbreakable bond between father and son.  Estevez directs his real life father Martin Sheen in the performance of his career as a father who travels to France to deal with the death of his son(Estevez).   This isn’t spoiling a thing.  This happens in the first 10 minutes.   The son, Daniel, was a free spirit who was attempting to  make the famous trek through France and Spain along the “El Camino Santiago”, a pilgrimage that lasts weeks or months to complete but purifies the soul and gives a man time to think.   Once he gets to France, Tom decides to take the pilgrimage himself and finish what his son started.   Along the way, he meets several people who help him reconnect the dots between his estranged son’s passion and his reluctant confidence.   This is a passionate film made for a reason by Estevez, who wisely employed his father Sheen here in a juicy role.  For the majority of the film, Sheen carries the story and is the center of the action.   What we see is a father dealing with the loss of his by throwing himself into his son’s life right at the end.  Estevez and Sheen are good role players here and you feel the connection.  There are few surprises here but tons of enjoyment.    The story material is sad but the execution here doesn’t reek of depression.  It’s uplifting.  The Way teaches you to celebrate a person’s life over letting regret and sadness surround you for too long.  

Awake’s pilot was intriguing and hooked me.   The premise is complex but connective and emotional.   Jason Issacs is a cop who was involved in a horrible accident with his wife and son.   He is stuck in a dual reality perplexed state.  In one reality, his wife lived and in the other, his son survived.  He deals with this by wearing different color bracelets in each world.  How does this happen?  He spends a day in one reality, sees a shrink, comes home to his wife and goes to bed.  When he wakes up, he sees a different shrink, watches his son play tennis and goes back to bed where he wakes up in the other reality.  The viewer has to pay attention in the first hour but the payoff is there. Issacs is such a good actor that this framework works.   He isn’t depressing and he is charming and stoic enough to keep us connected to his character.  He is skilled character actor being given a lead role here and it is pretty good.   The show will only continue to get more interesting as we hang in the balance with him and his arrangement.  The show is good enough to convince me to take that trek.   

I have no interest right now in the political race.  The last time I got involved in this game was with Obama and while he has made some good  changes, he hasn’t done enough to make me approve of my involvement and kept up with the proposal he gave us.  He was a good talker and a weak performer.   Take away the health care bill(average at best) and finally getting the US soldiers home(still not done yet) and I don’t see a ton of action.   To me, every politician who gets into the White House will be a dud.   Until you fix the broken machine, Washington DC will be joke.  Everybody is involved for the wrong reasons.   There aren’t a lot of things being fixed.  When the game changes, the players will follow.  Barack Obama wasn’t as dreadful as Bush, but he didn’t perform much better.  The only reason Bush graduated from college with a C average was his dad.  The only reason Bush was a governor was his dad’s pull.  The only reason Bush was a President was his dad and the Bush dominance in Florida.  He was reelected because he didn’t have a good opponent.  Obama had money and made it in.  The difference is noticeable but minimal.  Politics is a gladiator sport because its exhausting without any real gain.  It’s like going to the gym and seeing no results for your work.    This is an opinion so settle down political nut jobs.

Curt Schilling is eligible for the Hall of Fame this year and I think he is a strong candidate.  He doesn’t come to mind instantly when it comes to all time greats but he is worthy because he was pretty good for a long period of time and dominant for a short period of time.  His work with Arizona and Boston is noteworthy and his postseason work is hall of fame caliber on its own.  I remember what he did to the Cards in 2001 when he outdueled Matt Morris twice in a playoff series.   We all remember the bloody sock in 2004 against Boston.   Schilling, fake blood or not, shut down the Cards in the World Series.  He led the league in complete games 4 different times.  His overall postseason record was 11-2 with a 2.23 ERA.   Dominance in the middle of a long very solid career gets him into the Hall of Fame on the first or second attempt.  

Heartless Bastards is a fine rock band who create a unique brand of music.   Their fourth album, Arrow, is a solid collection of mid tempo rockers.   Erika Wennerstrom(lead singer, writer, guitarist) has a voice that wavers between sadness and cool despair, but the style of the tunes are eclectic and carry a low hanging energy.   It’s softer rock ballad work going on here and the essence of it is mildly addicting.  You keep listening to it because you know something great is there but you can’t pinpoint it.  Their music isn’t heartless but they sing like they don’t give a shit about critics or limits.   They mix in many different types of music genres here and the result works.   Here is a preview track, “Parted Ways” in the studio. 

I made coffee today that would have made good bath water for gorillas.   Bold, black, strong as an ox and smoky.    Fair trade to say the least.   That’s how I like it.  I have to drink it black.   I need to be waked up and pleased in the morning.   At night, I drink it darker and stronger.  I’m a major league coffee drinker.  I drink it because I need it and because I really fucking like it.  

That’s all.  Thanks for reading.  Goodnight.

-DLB

The Weekly Dose of Buffa

As the night turns into the morning here in the southern section of St. Louis city, allow me to cast a small light on a few subjects.  The usual suspects, random bits of information and otherwise unheard of rounds of dialogue brought to the light here in this corner of cyber space.  The kids are in bed, the weary are departed into the dream world and all that are left are the mad men shouting in the night.  Loading the hands and unplugging the mind, here we go.

Things to Talk About

1.)Act of Valor is a highly intense and very well done film about the life of a Navy Seal and their dangerous jobs.   For 2 hours, we get to spend a mission with 7 Seals and an adrenaline rush is the result of this journey into the theater.  All I can offer you is fasten your seatbelts because this ride gets bumpy, messy and is ultimately filled with a blood soaked tribute few other action films can offer.  A thoroughly authentic movie.  The plot is your regular Seals hunt mad terrorist scheme, but the juice here lies in the details. A standard snatch and grab recovery mission goes red when a terrorist attack comes to the shores of our country.    That’s only the start of the chase and the rest is gravy.  I can’t go into further detail without ruining the gritty parts of the film.  This film examines the brotherhood behind the group.  7 real Seals were used in this film, and they controlled the play.  They performed the stunts, designed the story from real missions and the directors let them bring their own toys to the show.  Please don’t step into the theater looking for great acting or a complex story.   The reason to see this movie is to revel in the brutally honest action and life of a Seal.   An intense tribute to the patriots serving our country.  The decision to use real Seals is key to the action.   We’ve seen films with actors portraying bad ass heroes and playing Seals and soldiers.   We haven’t gotten a film showing us the real deal.   This is a fresh concept with the novelty and timeliness lacking in Hollywood lately in a sea of reboots, remakes, adaptations and sequels.   This is a shot in the arm to Hollywood and a worthy #1 hit at the box office.

2.)The Cardinals and Yadi Molina agree to a 5 year, 75 million dollar deal that keeps the coveted catcher in red until 2017.    Look, it’s a lot of money for a player like Molina, but you must look beyond the details to understand the need for this deal.   Molina’s value goes beyond paper stats and a Cardinal fan knows how much he means to the team.    With Dave Duncan out of the picture, Mike Matheny went to Cards GM John Mozelaik and told him he needs Molina to be his guide in his first season as manager of the team and more important, he has to have his #1 pitching database machine locked up for years to come.   Molina is vital to the pitching staff, the running game, the clutch hitting spots and overall fear among the opposing teams to allow him to test the market in October.   Give him one reason to walk away and this team is in serious trouble.  All you have to do is ask Adam Wainwright how much he is counting on Molina in coming back from Tommy John Surgery to fully get the extend of Molina’s worth.   He allows the fewest stolen base attempts in the league and has thrown out 41 percent in his career.   He also happens to be hit .300 and deliver the clutch hits.  He showed up to spring training slimmer and is looking to carry this pitching staff in a season that will rely heavily on solid starting pitching.   Without Albert Pujols, the offense will yield success to the arms of the pitching staff and this is where Molina is so important.  He is the Zen Master to the rotation and the rock behind the young bullpen.   He is the most important person on this team right now.  Pay him his money, no matter the dollar sign, and keep moving.  Close friends have expected this reaction from me and believe me, I don’t like throwing away money.   Giving Kyle McClellan 2.5 million is still ridiculous.   However, for a player of Molina’s worth, 15 million per season is worth it.  Keep in mind in the coming years, when his arm wears down or he needs rest, Molina can also play first.   Just an extra slice of gravy to this pressure yielding agreement.

3.)Devon Alexander scored the biggest win of his boxing career last Saturday in a stunning domination of Marcos Maidana at Scottrade Center.  The featherweight crown was up for grabs on Alexander’s home turf, and unlike previous decisions, this one wasn’t connected to a hometown result.  Alexander earned this victory with a great performance.   He outboxed, out punched and simply beat up on the power punching Maidana for 10 rounds.    Devon needed this win badly.   After losing to Timothy Bradley and barely escaping two fights against Andrei Kotelik and Lucas Matthasye,  Alexander was on the verge of being one of those mid-career casualties.   An exciting fighter who hits a wall, can’t win the big fight and gets stranded in no man’s land.  Alexander delivered a show and stamped it with conviction.  He moved up to 147 pounds for the fight and threw harder punches,  boxed relentlessly and showed the world he is a genuine threat.   Good for him and the city of St. Louis.  Our champ is still in the game.

4.)The Rams will indeed think about trading their 2nd overall draft pick and are smart for doing so.  After Robert Griffith III’s performance at the Scouting Combine last weekend, the 2nd pick stock went way up.  Teams want the kid and will hand over plenty of lock down his rights.   Andrew Luck is going first to the Colts and RG3 will go 2nd now for sure.   The only question is who and how much they will hand the Rams to reserve the right to select him.  The Rams need a playmaker themselves so they will be thinking real hard about who they deal with.  You don’t want to drop too many spots so the Browns(#3) and Redskins(#6) are the prime matches for a trade.   At least 2 first round picks, 2 second round picks and money compensation will be handed to the Rams in this deal.   Their main obstacle is seeing where Peyton Manning ends up with.   If he stays in Indy and the Colts take Luck, the Rams will trade with the Redskins, who badly need a QB and if they can’t take Manning will go after RG3.   If Peyton departs to Washington or Miami, the Rams will look elsewhere, like the Browns(who could trade with Miami) and do their work there.  My only concern is the Rams dropping too far and losing out on a chance to draft Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon.   The Rams have improved their coaching staff, found a new GM but they must improve their roster and it starts with Blackmon.  Treat this like Christmas and get Sam Bradford a toy.   Trading the pick is fine.  As long as you allow yourself to find the player you want and need.   Blackmon is a possible freak and could give the offense the explosive playmaker they need.   Trade the pick or not, if the Rams have any sense in the world in April, they will select Justin Blackmon from Oklahoma State and give Mr. Charter Communications a healthy new toy to play with.  Blackmon is everything the Rams need on offense.   Burst of speed, height and an ability to adapt and learn.  Unless a reliable dance partner comes forth with a trade that is sure to bring the Rams equal value, don’t pull the trigger and stay put and take this kid.  He is a freak.  Calvin Johnson meets Andre Johnson.  Get it done and save me the explanation for building new pillars.  Blackmon will put gold on the ceiling.  The Rams need to get an impact player no matter what they decide to do.   Maybe you draft RG3 and The Browns draft Blackmon and you do a trade.   Either way, get Blackmon or a running back.   SJ39 is on his way down so he needs help.

5.)Ryan Braun got away from the blame, but that doesn’t make him an honest fella.  The Braun party used the rule book and policy details against MLB to allow him to get away with cheating.    Get a grip, put down the kool aide and get real.   Was he cleared of the charge and moved aside from the 50 game suspension?  Yes.  Is he cleared of all doubt and suspicion?  Fuck NO.   Ryan Braun’s case is a wickedly peculiar one.   The urine sample was left on a desk for a few days unguarded and the arbitrator has ruled the specimen was tampered with or wasn’t enough to convict the Brewers 2011 MVP player.   The serial number and tags weren’t messed with, so where’s the real proof the sample was tampered with at all?   It’s a murky case and a darker shade of grey on a puzzling subject known as performance enhancing drugs in sports.   Braun is cleared but still under the watchful eye of the baseball republic.   His coming season will be monitored closely.  By the way, fuck Braun.   He is the showy bitch who cheated, used a technicality to get away with it and in any honest fan’s eyes, won’t escape conviction.  The fact it happened to a rival star player only sweetens the gravy pot here.  The only better outcome would be Brandon Phillips coming down with steroid juice in his throat.

Maybe the theory is true.  They all could be dirty.

6.)The Blues lost 2-0 to Vancouver tonight in their 3rd game in 4 nights, but they are still 4-1 on a tough 6 game road trip that concludes Saturday night in San Jose.   The Blues lost to the Western Conference leading champs, but they played a hard physical game and didn’t fall by much against a game Roberto Luongo and relentless Canucks attack.   The Blues have turned a scary road trip into a real success with shootout wins in Nashville and Winnipeg and easy victories in Calgary and Edmonton.   After losing to the Bruins at home, the Blues are thriving as road warriors and installing a brutal physical defensive style of play that teams are having a hard time contending.  Brian Elliot and Jaroslav Halak rank in the top 5 spots in the NHL in goal against average and the offense is spread out among 4 players with 15 goals.   This is happening as the team deals with injuries.  Alex Steen, Matt D’ Agostini and Kris Russell are all out with concussions and Jamie Langenbrunner is sidelined with a broken foot.   Doug Armstrong stood pat at the trading deadline and I support the move.  The Blues don’t badly need a new player and will only get stronger when they get healthier.  Their game is strong at the moment and its great to see them play like this.   They finish the trip out west in San Jose and come home to host the Blackhawks next.   The Blues are handling the feared road trip quite nicely and setting themselves up for a April playoff shootout.

The Blues are beating good teams and bad teams but losing the tough battles to Vancouver and Boston.   They finally did beat Pekka Rinne and Nashville and played their 3rd game in 4 nights last night so I’ll cut them slack.  They are doing very well on a tough 6 gm roadie so hopefully when they get back to Scottrade(palace of dominance) they get back easy street.
Their turnaround play under Hitch is remarkable.   He is a lock for coach of the year.

7.)Justified, the brilliant modern western on FX, gathers its greatness from a few things, namely Timothy Olyphant’s performance at the lead character, Raylan Givens.   The supporting cast is brilliant and the writing is strong, but its a show centered on one man.   Givens and his struggle with a lethal brand of justice that involves bullet holes from time to time.   The key to this show is Givens staying a love torn, beaten up soul and generally pissed off crime fighter.   If he gets too happy or settles down, the guard falls and the show becomes uninteresting.  Similar to David Duchovny’s Hank Moody on Californication, Olyphant’s U.S. Marshall has to be in a stressful revved up state of mind in order for the show to really work well.  Nobody is tuning in to see Givens happy with his on/off again flame Winona(The shedevil, Natalie Zea) and quitting the Marshall business.   We want him cold blooded, full of piss and vinegar and mad at the world.   Running around Harlan, Kentucky mad as hell.   That’s what makes this show great.  An unhappy justice seeking leading man.

8.)Things that bother me.   Drivers who weave into your lane without a blinker on no matter the distance they have to spare.   Drivers who fail to recognize the idea of a four way stop.  Old people who continue to think the mindset of a 60 year old is far greater than a 30 year old.   Old people who don’t listen, work slow and think that since they haven’t died yet, we move on their time.  Bad parents piss me off.   The kind of parents who fail to recognize the fact that their “troubled” teenager is harboring a need to kill.   A high school boy in Ohio walked into a cafeteria and opened fire on innocent people because he wasn’t loved enough, hated people or felt the need to impose his will on unmatched people.  Three teens died as a result.  Listening to the parents of a lost kid, you get enraged at the parents of the killer.  I hate it when they say they had no idea.  Sure you didn’t.  The kid seemed aces until last week, right?   Bullshit.  Parents who don’t act and get their kid in the right place aren’t doing their job.  I am not calling people mind readers but I will say somebody fucked up along the way.   High school shootings are too frequent.

9.)  Cardinals Note.   They enter spring training with championship expectations in camp but also with the silent 10 count from around the corridors of baseball.  Without Pujols, baseball pundits aren’t expecting much from the Cards and that’s fine by me.  On August 25th last season, we were counted out as well.   The rest is history.   Expect the unexpected in sports all the time my friends.  You never know….

10.)Music recommendation of the week comes with a special treat.  I present to you a song by Mumford and Sons that has made plenty of appearances before but this time I give it to you with the added benefit of the lyrics.   I love songs that tell stories.  The songwriter painting an entire world or situation with one song and pulling us into it with his lyrics.  Marcus Mumford wrote “Dust Bowl Dance” from the debut album, Sigh No More, and here are the lyrics and the link to the song.

The young man stands on the edge of his porch
The days were short and the father was gone
There was no one in the town and no one in the field
This dusty barren land had given all it could yieldI’ve been kicked off my land at the age of sixteen
And I have no idea where else my heart could have been
I placed all my trust at the foot of this hill
And now I am sure my heart can never be still
So collect your courage and collect your horse
And pray you never feel this same kind of remorseSeal my heart and brake my pride
I’ve nowhere to stand and now nowhere to hide
Align my heart, my body, my mind
To face what I’ve done and do my time

Well you are my accuser, now look in my face
Your opression reeks of your greed and disgrace
So one man has and another has not
How can you love what it is you have got
When you took it all from the weak hands of the poor?
Liars and thieves you know not what is in store

There will come a time I will look in your eye
You will pray to the God that you always denied
The I’ll go out back and I’ll get my gun
I’ll say, “You haven’t met me, I am the only son”

Seal my heart and brake my pride
I’ve nowhere to stand and now nowhere to hide
Align my heart, my body, my mind
To face what I’ve done and do my time

Well yes sir, yes sir, yes it was me
I know what I’ve done, cause I know what I’ve seen
I went out back and I got my gun
I said, “You haven’t met me, I am the only son”

11.)  Kobe Bryant is better than Lebron James.   Clear and simple.  He has 5 more championship rings than James, but when it comes down to it, I want the ball in Bryant’s hand with seconds left on the clock and the game up for grabs.  He will break his back or neck taking that shot to send it to overtime or win the game for his team.  He stayed in LA after Shaq left and won 2 more rings.   He is a killer in the playoffs and is carrying an old depleted Lakers team this season, averaging a league high 29 points per game and playing no matter what injury he is dealing with.   Understand that basketball is one of the most physically crippling sports in the world(I’ve played it, trust me) and you have a true warrior in Bryant.   Love or hate the man.  He continues to amaze.  He suffered a broken nose and concussion in the all star game on Sunday.   It didn’t stop him from dropping 28 points in a win on Wednesday night.   It’s what he does every night, during every game and has become a constant in Laker land.    Kobe Bryant is a dominant player. Kobe is the clutch superstar who has gotten to a point in his career where he doesn’t need the off court nonsense to mess with his game.  Lebron is stuck in it and he did it to himself by going to Miami.   Pressure cookers only suit certain players.
12.)What makes a topic news worthy?   In a land of constant updates and fake stories, we search for real news.   Justin Bieber getting a haircut isn’t news.   American Idol trimming its contestants to 13 isn’t news.  A magazine cover isn’t news unless its a 6 page Rolling Stones article on a war hero.   Bryant nursing a knee injury isn’t news worthy.  The Rams deciding to trade their 2nd pick is worthy because it opens up a realm of possibilities in my mind.  If it gets people talking, it’s news worthy.
13.)Website hype.  In a couple months, a couple good friends of mine and I will open up a new website for movie lovers craving a fix.   It will have reviews, stories, random bits and the original take on film missing in popular sites like IMDB and Coming Soon.   Those sites aren’t user friendly and don’t connect.   Our website will and proof will come in a real website in May.   Details will follow and soon enough, movie fans will have a new site to check up on.   Construction is up and moving and a web designer is in place.    I am crafting a Jason Statham story for late April and a piece on Marvel films in addition to other stories.  I am doing this because its my dream to get my writing out there and run down some credibility.   My grandmother Meme always wanted me to chase my dreams and I am going to finally chase one for real.  After spending years here crafting my skills, its almost time to break loose.   I can only hope you will be along for the ride.
14.)Father bliss comes in the small moments.   Tonight, I fed my 5 month old kid a bottle before he went to bed and as I put the bottle down and rocked him to sleep, he stared directly into my eyes and didn’t break it for a couple minutes.   I’d look away and look down at him and he was trying to hold that stare as long as his little eyes possibly could.   It was awesome.    A father and son sharing a quiet moment in a loud world.  Kid continues to blow my mind and keep me on my toes as any 5 month old would.
15.)Jon Hamm was on Letterman last night and he was quite good.   As we all know, I am a big Hamm fan and its easy for me to lay out the love for a hometown talent like Jon but he is a good interview on late night television.   You can tell when the actor/actress is sitting on the couch at the behest of his agent/publicist and when he or she actually wants to be there, entertain, promote their film and tell a few stories.  That’s why I tune in.  The stories that are told.   Hamm is a huge Cardinals fan and talked about his playing days in high school and college.  He is a catcher and still plays in a “40 year old don’t get hurt” league and played at the University of Texas with a man named the Rocket.   He talked about getting hurt on Mad Men(a office show) four times.   All in all, he is a class act who doesn’t forget an ounce of his rough past and loves where he is at.   He lost his parents before he was 20 and worked for 15 years in Hollywood before he earned Mad Man status.  Respect is deserved and seeing him dish the scoop on Letterman is a good time.  Check it out if you want here.
16.)The End of the Road.  Random topics. The Clint Eastwood spot from the Super Bowl doesn’t get old at all.  I converted the youtube video to a MP3 and threw it on 3 workout mixes.  If that spot about the recovery in Detroit and the ongoing fight in the recession doesn’t get your mood turned up, nothing will.   The man is old school brick tough and was the right pick to lead that commercial.  “Its halftime, America…”The Yadi deal was 5 years because a 30 year catcher can’t get more than that unless you are unfortunate like the Twins and hand the keys to the next 8 years of your life to Joe Mauer, who is already tuning down after he cashed in.  Hopefully Yadi lays off the guacamole and keeps himself in shape and only gets better.  I ran into the Carlin gauntlet yesterday(expected) and dealt with his complete opposition to the deal.   He hated the annual dollar of course but as we both stated, the risk is worth the potential reward because of what Molina means to Matheny and the pitching staff.  Check out Freddie Roach and HBO’s six episodes now that they are all on demand.    The behind the scenes look at The Pacquaio and Khan fights is great but the true juice here are the stories that Roach tells you about his boxing career, his Parkinsons Disease fight and dealing with superstars like Manny.   There are six 26 minute episodes and they are worth your time on a lazy Sunday afternoon where the weather and body mileage remind you couches and fine entertainment are your friend.  
End of Rant Thoughts, Part two.  My thoughts on the MLB playoff alteration and the addition of a two team wild card slot playoff game.  I like it.  I have no problem with making playoff entry tougher so bring on the extra wild card team and sudden death game.   Let’s add a dusting of Carlin and add gasoline fires to the infield and landmines to the outfield grass.
A drunk is a drunk for life but Josh Hamilton is handling the fallout from his relapse quite well.   He fucked up but he is coming straight out and calling himself on it in the media and not standing behind the team while they take the shot.  That gets some respect in my book.   Floyd Mayweather Jr. failing to give Manny Pacquiao a 50/50 split of the pay per view money may have made them drift apart in talks but I still blame Top Rank promoter Bob Arum for sinking the ship.   If Floyd is the top earner, he calls the shots.   Money does talk and walk.  I expect the Brewers and Reds to make a decent run at the Cards this season but it comes down to pitching and the Redbirds have those teams beat.   The testing process in MLB might need a revamp but it seemed to work fine with Manny Rameriz on two occasions.  The Blues are realistic contenders in the Stanley Cup race at this point.  They play a very consistent game and give every team a decent fight.   They lost to Boston and Vancouver(Stanley Cup teams last year) these past 2 weeks but each game was an even battle that was separated by a couple plays.   Coffee is still great and iced coffee is my preferred blend right now.  Iced coffee is brewed double strength so it can combat the ice that is combined with the coffee which makes it as bold as ever and perfect for my afternoon wake up call.   The world we live in is a loud chaotic place but it is worth fighting for every day because of the future it could hold, one that involves my son Vincent.   That’s a reason to get up every day ladies and gentlemen.
That is all.  Enjoy the content here and come back for more when the mind needs to run free again.   Until that time, take care of yourselves and be safe.
Thanks for reading and goodnight,
-Big Guy Productions(a nickname given to me by Chris “Irish” McHugh)