Month: November 2012

Extra Hits Before The Week Ends


Run with me a little here as I clean up the scraps in the head before the work week continues.  A stream of consciousness runs now.

RAMS beat Arizona and improve to 4-6-1, which includes two wins against the Cardinals.  This was our first win since the win over Arizona in the dome in early October.  A big road win over a weak opponent is something I’ll take.  There are local scribes who think its not a big deal because of the inferior opponent, but may I remind those people that Arizona was 4-6 before the loss and our local fighting Rams can lose on any given Sunday.  This is the same team that found hardship in any opponent for the past 5 seasons.  I treat any win by this team with excitement.  The Rams beat up rookie quarterback Ryan Hindley and the defense intercepted him three times for a pair of touchdowns.   Janoris Jenkins, the problem child talent taken in the second round whose performance has seen its highs and lows in 2012 so far had his second straight strong week.  He became the first Ram cornerback to return a pair of touchdowns back in a single game.   Sam Bradford rebounded from the embarrassing Jets game to throw two touchdowns to one interception while only completing 8 of 17 passes.   Danny Amendola, deemed doubtful until game time, started and made a sensational 38 yard catch in the second quarter.  He is as tough as it gets in this league and means everything to this offense.  That same attack scored 17 points today without Amendola being much of a factor.  The game ball goes to Jenkins but the power ball of the day belongs to Steven Jackson, the bloodhound running back unleashed on the Cardinals today.  Carrying 24 times for 139 yards and averaging 6 yards per carry, Jackson set the pace for the day and showed his coaches why its wise to allow him to dictate the offense.   Incorporating a west coast style this week, the Rams were able to control the game with ball possession.  Jackson has been a horse for three straight weeks, rushing for 321 yards on 71 carries, which goes for a 4.5 clip.  He only has one score in those three games but his actions cause the defenses to readjust their game plans and open up space for Bradford and company to do their damage.   I haven’t seen Jackson this explosive, consistent and healthy since 2006.  For three weeks, he has been the monster in the backfield, dragging multiple defenders or running them over.  If I were Jeff Fisher, I would keep handing the ball to the beast.  It would be nice to face the tolerable Cards for a couple more weeks, but this kind of win puts a team on a roll.  The difficult part of the schedule is mostly over and we get the 49ers in the dome next weekend for a big time showdown that brings the two teams with a tie on their record back into the same building.  The 49ers have thrived under backup QB Cory Kitzpatrick and are steamrolling again.  Can the Rams slow them down and gain the advantage on their home turf?  It will be interesting.

RICKY HATTON saw his career end where many of his opponents saw their end in the ring with him.  Looking up at the wrong end of a 10 count.  Hatton made his comeback to the ring on Saturday night against Vyacheslav Senchenko, a talented welterweight with only one loss.  While he was ahead on all three cards at the time of his knockout in the 9th round, Hatton was getting outboxed and got dropped by a vicious body shot to the liver that sent him to his knees in agonizing pain.   Hatton hadn’t fought in three years and his last fight saw its end inside the second round versus Manny Pacquiao, when he got knocked out cold.  Hatton’s life sprung downward into a dangerous rabbit hole, including heavy drug use, depression and suicide attempts.   Saturday night saw his final demise but also allowed the British star fighter to retire comfortably and with respect and dignity.  If he survived another round, there’s good reason to think Hatton scores a decision victory and gets a shot at Pauli Maliggnaggi(an overrated talent whom Hatton had beat once in his career and dealt Senchenko his only loss ironically enough) for a belt.  However, the opponent landed a deadly blow reminiscent of Hatton’s arsenal of punches and ended Ricky’s career.  He retired and hopefully can rest being a trainer and father.  It’s hard to not like the guy because he is honest, hard working, and made a comeback not for money but to close the book on his career in a brighter fashion.

*ANDRE BERTO AND ROBERT GUERRERO engaged in a hand to hand bar fight on Saturday night on HBO, or so I heard.  I will have to watch this because there are few times in modern day boxing where the judges are pushed to the side and the gloves and hearts of two men determine the result.  Today I found myself watching the greatest hits of Arturo Gatti and Mickey Ward from their three legendary battles in 2002-03.  Those two men ended up being good friends and boxing confidants after their fights were finished, but for three fights and 36 rounds, the two men battered each other’s faces and redefined their respective careers.   The 36 year old iron spirit of Lowell, Massachusetts in Ward(powerfully portrayed by Mark Wahlberg in the terrific film, The Fighter) going up against the iron jawed Gatti, who was 30 years old and a hot commodity.  Go to Youtube and look up Ward/Gatti 9th round and you will see three minutes of sizzling bloody action that was the cornerstone of their fights.  Two guys, standing in the middle of the ring trading punches, refusing to back down, and giving everything located in the deepest parts of their body.  It’s boxing at its finest.  If I train for 6 weeks full tilt, you can bet I’m leaving everything inside that ring.  Why do it any other way?

BOARDWALK EMPIRE draws its season to a close next week and the hour featured Sunday only wet the lips and lit the fires for a big time shootout next week.  For non watchers, the story this season revolved heavily on the transformation of Nucky Thompson(Steve Buscemi) from a corrupt political type to a full time gangster/criminal.   For years, the former city treasurer had other men do his dirty work.  By last night’s episode’s end, when Nucky’s life and world was shattered by assassins, we found out what he was all about and where he held his highest interests.  Next Sunday will be interesting to see where our central anti-hero ends up.  Back in charge of Atlantic City or laying on his back.   While he can’t die yet, Nucky isn’t guaranteed a spot in the safest graces at all.  That’s the beauty of this show.  Plug in a room full of anti-heroes, criminals, killers, and evil men and see who looks like the good guy.  Television works us over because it makes us root for bad men.  Nucky isn’t evil but he isn’t a good man either.  Like everybody else, he is simply trying to survive and make some money while doing it.   This season, he has seen his city and way of life overtaken by an immovable object in Bobby Cannvale’s Sicilian gangster wannabe Gyp Rossetti.  Gyp has pushed Nucky to the brink of extinction by using his connections, fearless attitude and brute strength to intercept the man’s liquor business and also taken people close to Nucky.  It’s a classic showdown on a show full of colorful characters like Lucky Luciano, Arnold Rothstein and Al Capone.  Cannavale makes Rossetti a full bodied entertainment, jacking up the ruthlessness by providing the bad man with quirks including a short fuse, anger management issues and a guy who likes to be choked during sex.  Cannavale is a versatile actor but this role showcases all of his skills and puts them to full use.   Gyp is reckless, small time, deadly and only wants to become a made guy no matter what happens.  In a scene coming after an attempt on his life, Cannavale walks down a hallway naked, bloodied, with a loose belt hanging from his neck and a pistol in his hand.  An iconic moment for a juicy supporting character that has bumped this layered entertainment to an even higher level.   A lesson being learned on Dexter right now is the better the bad guy the better the show and the longer it lasts.   Weak adversaries bring down the good guy/center character of a show.  Great bad guys are souls you love to hate and can’t take your eyes off.   Cannavale and Ray Stevenson(currently giving Dexter Morgan a headache) are living proof of that ideal.

GOOD MUSIC I’ve been listening to lately.  Gary Clark Jr. singing When My Train Comes.   Mumford and Sons singing Not With Haste from their mesmerizing new album, Babel.  Greg Holden singing Lost Boy from a recent episode of Sons of Anarchy.  22-20’s rocking Devil In Me.  Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash teaming up for Girl From North Country.

TOM CRUISE surprises people to this day.  The box office king and three time Academy Award nominee is doubted after decades of success and I just shake my head.   Cruise stars as Jack Reacher in the title role of the film adaptation of Lee Child’s books, and many of the book’s lovers are outraged at Cruise playing a guy listed at 6 foot 5 and 250 pounds on the page.   Let me remind you people.  ON THE PAGE.  Film adaptations are tricky.  Unless you want to cast the Rock in the role, forget about similarities and watch an actor take over the role.  No one works harder on their films than Cruise.  He produces his films, headlines them, does the bulk of the promotion and also does his own stunts at the age of 50.  He loves the thrill of the action and doesn’t mind being doubted.  He was doubted before he made 4 box office smashing Mission Impossible films.  He was doubted before he masterfully played Lestat in Interview with The Vampire.  He was doubted before he went cold bad in Collateral.  He is a movie star and a solid actor with mesmerizing performances to back it up.  Forget his personal life.  He loves Scientology, a religion that is blasted by all the other GOD lovers out there for being rogue and full of shit.  That’s too full of irony to even mess with.   We don’t watch these guys to see into their personal life.  While a movie nut like me can appreciate Cruise’s charity work, dedication and off screen nature, most moviegoers need to focus on his films.  If you don’t like him or his work, that’s fine.  Just stop losing your shit when he takes over a role.  There is no one who works harder to get it right than Cruise.   The man is a midget and can dominate a screen, especially if it has to do with action. I praise actors, especially stars, who put their life on the line, earn their millions and do their own stunts.  It’s called dedication.  Respect it or go back to Lifetime’s soap operas.

THE CARDINALS need to invest in a long term option at shortstop.  I am fine with the news that Rafael Furcal’s elbow is sound and he will be ready for spring training.  For a guy making 7 million in 2013, that’s good news.  However, if any logical mind thinks he can be counted on for more than 130 games, you are certified crazy.  Furcal is an aging half broken body sitting with at least three ticking time bombs on his fragile body.  2013 could be his last hurrah and it will be in a platoon role.  John Mozelaik needs to get to work and find a reliable hitting and fielding replacement to back up Furcal and be there if he goes down.  Pete Kozma turned heads and wooed a lot of people in October, but he will be a bench bat and may be exposed if he starts more than 15-20 games.  If we find a great second basemen and stick Kozma and Descalso behind Furcal, that’s alright.  However, it’s more practical to secure a shortstop.   Call Texas about Elvis Androus and contact Cleveland about Asauldral Cabrera.    Kolten Wong is expected by many to take over at second base in late 2013 or 2014, so second base isn’t a big need outside of a one year deal to a veteran.   The Cards could also secure a full time shortstop and let Furcal, Descalso and Kozma split time at second base.  Options are what this team has and they can’t waste the 22 million in payroll that has opened up.

THE CARDINALS CAN’T TRADE TREVOR ROSENTHAL.  In any deal whatsoever.   He’s too versatile and explosive of a talent to deal.  Keep him around.  He is a special player.  He throws a 101 mph fastball and cuts it off with a 80 mph changeup.  He is a starter by trade but worked in relief in 2012.  He is young, ready and cheap.  You don’t find guys like this every year.  Lance Lynn had an impressive 2012 season but had plenty of ups and downs and got run support.  Joe Kelly is a useful piece but the commodity here is Rosenthal.

SIGN JASON MOTTE TO AN EXTENSION. Forget arbitration and give the man a long term deal.  2-3 years.  He tied for the league lead in saves(48) in 2012 after dominating hitters in the 2011 playoffs.  Don’t mess around.  Get it done.  He is your closer.

FREE BRIAN QUICK, the Rams second round draft pick at wide receiver.  Remember Danario Alexander, the tall big time talent out of Mizzou who wasn’t utilized here.  Well, he is thriving in San Diego.  What will happen to Quick and why isn’t he playing more series for this offense?  He gets one big catch per game and sees 5-6 more snaps before hugging the bench.   Rams executives and coaches thought his guy was the eighth wonder of the world in pro camps and may have gambled on selecting him.  Well, let’s see him fail on the playing field.  The Rams are a young team full of burgeoning talent and need to play the kids.  Quick is an impressive looking player.  Chris Givens is a rookie setting records and leading all rookie wide receivers in touchdowns and yardage.  Why can’t Quick share the spotlight?  With Steve Smith down, Lance Kendricks dropping passes and Amendola strugging to stay healthy, Quick deserves the chance to be a factor.

SONS OF ANARCHY BROTHERHOOD-SPOILERS FOR SHOW WATCHERS!  As the series draws its fifth season to a conclusion tonight, this show runs deeper than fiction.  While the cast members of this Sopranos on bikes FX masterpiece have to act like brothers on set and stand by each other, it’s comforting to see that artistic matchmakers turn into real life friendships.   So when the beloved noble club member Opie(sensationally rendered by Ryan Hurst) was told by show creator Kurt Sutter in April that his character would be killed off, Hurst and fellow cast members and real best friends Charlie Hunman(who stars as Jax), Mark Boone Junior(Bobby) went through various stages of grief.  As Hurst recalled, “it was hard to kill of this character from inside mind.  They teach you how to create and build characters, but not to get rid of them.”   Hunman’s idea was to get together at his place and use a samurai sword to start the shaving of the Opie beard, which has grown in legend since his demise in September in an episode called “Laying Pipe”.  Part of the greatness of this show(now in season five) is the ideals and mythology it represents.  There are obvious comparisons to Hamlet and Macbeth in Sutter’s creating and writing here.  Opie was Horatio to Jax’s Hamlet, a best friend and ally.  When Opie dies, an object of sacrifice for another club member’s accidental murder of a mob bosses’ daughter, it’s a tough scene to watch.   It’s as powerful a death and drawn out and sudden at the same time as you will see on a popular show.   The cast members quickly became close friends and when you work together for 6 years, letting a trusted friend and c0-star go is harder than it looks.   Seeing these guys come together off screen, do this wicked ritual of catharsis, shed tears and remain bad ass friends to the bone is cool and enlightening in this day and age.  Watch this clip to find out the particulars and read more about the way it went down.


*Work is work.  After a couple weeks back on the grind, I can tell you there were things I miss about unemployment and also a few things I am glad are gone.  I miss being home with my son, watching daytime screenings, easily going to the gym and having plenty of time for film-addict.  Now, time is of the essence every moment.  I get up at 5am, hit work at 6am, get off around 3pm, head to the gym, speed work out, pick up Vinny from daycare and come home.  He gets dinner, I do a million things at once(dishes, laundry, clean up, mess around with him), and then its bath time.  After, I try to bang out a few things on the website and maybe shoot bullets at the blog page.  Gallons of coffee and water run through my system every day, creating a backwash of dirt water.  I eat as good as I can and breathe occasionally.  He goes to bed and I do a million other things while waiting for my overworked wife to come home from a 10 hour shift.  This is the life of a full time working family.   Little time for goofs.  Occasional freedom.  Quick thinking and moving.  Everybody needs to earn money and would like to do a little less doing it.  My life isn’t that easy but I roll with the punches and like having a family.  You forget how nice your life is when you are whining about work or time to do side work.  I am content yet feel rushed.

*The Rock and Jason Statham are the new Arnold and Sly.  They are the most convincing action stars on the planet and that’s not an easy thing to do.  It’s more than muscles and one liners.  It’s a presence and a trust from the audience to be effortlessly entertained.  The Rock doesn’t go deep into character like Day Lewis but he thrives in this field. Statham is a British fitness expert and a man with a history of action violence that translates like an athletic ballet of carnage.  Their new movies, Snitch and Parker, put on full display two men who know where their core audience lies and how they best make a living.  Each have gone deep on occasion but thrive best in ruthless heroic action.  When they produce a new action film, I smile and applaud their trusted practice.  It’s underrated in Hollywood.  Action heroes.

*Homeland and Dexter each have interesting and tricky seasons unfolding.  A series about war heroes turned rogues turned informants mixing up with the CIA to stop terrorism cuts close to home and gets outstanding acting from Claire Danes, Damian Lewis, and Mandy Patinkin.   Dexter revolves around our titular anti-hero ridding Miami of bad men via a sharp blade and a healthy practice of killing/cleanup/cold blooded initiative.  Michael C. Hall makes the show run on his restrained yet explosive center piece but the show benefits from very fine supporting work from seasonal baddies John Lithgow and Ray Stevenson.  At times familiar and shocking while always being interesting and entertaining, these Showtime series pack a quiet punch.  Right now, Boardwalk Empire is the show to watch with Sons of Anarchy and these two dramas behind it.

*Everything changes in January when Justified comes back, continuing the tale of Raylan Givens, the coolest and most ruthless US Marshall in television and film history.

*Did I mention I run on coffee?  Pounding a 20 ounce Americano from Starbucks right now.  Fuel to my blood stream.

*The Steelers are lost without Ben Roethlisberger the same way the Colts were lost without Peyton last season.  Facts exist here in the clear stat of record with the player and the record without the player.  Backbones are important in the NFL.  College football is run by a system.  NFL offenses run on instinct and clutch play.  Ben and Peyton count.

*What do the political diehards live and die about now that the election is over and the President isn’t leaving office.  I basically keep living my life as I have no matter who sits in the Oval Office but I wonder about those crazy political pundits.

*Now that Thanksgiving is over, Christmas unfolds.   Our tree and lights are up and I can’t wait for snow.  I don’t mind Christmas music and the decorations and higher spirits.  It’s the height of winter, the happy hour for mankind and just a time of the year where people get together and celebrate a very religious but cool and required holiday.   It’s my favorite time of the year.

My ammo magazine on the hands is empty.  Time to back to laundry and house duty.   Find some food.  Find a remote.  Watch Sons of Anarchy conclude another potent season and add in some HBO 24/7 with Pacquiao and Marquez.   Relax, stop thinking and take up some space.  See you all next time on the next Dose of Buffa.

Thanks for reading and goodnight,

Dan L. Buffa

Topics For Discussion

Going with name Topics today.   Newsworthy items and the random bits of opinion.  Here we go.  60 minutes to type.  My house isn’t quiet but I’m going anyway.

Tim Tebow-You may have heard of this guy somewhere or everywhere.   He is beloved by ESPN reporters and people who believe in faith and good old fashioned mamma boys.  I  don’t worship the guy or his faith but I do like him because he has done nothing but win his entire football career, doesn’t let the harsh words of fellow players get to him and keeps doing his job while being imprisoned in New York.   I say imprisoned because after taking a 1-4 Denver team in 2011 to a winning season and a playoff victory over the Steelers, Tebow was traded to The Jets after Peyton Manning decided he wanted to play in Denver.   Tebow supposedly chose New York over Jacksonville but that could be strictly bullshit for all we know.  All I do know is that Tebow needs to be traded or inserted in for the dreadful Mark Sanchez.    Sanchez can look good for a game or two but he will never win in New York and everybody knows it.   He has been there for a long time and has put together a rough season.  Take away the St. Louis game and he is borderline horrible.   52 percent completion percentage and a red zone reputation that includes throwing costly interceptions.   Tebow deserves a game, any game, to show what he can do with a full game.  If not, trade him to someone who will give him the chance he deserves.   People have short term memories and forget what Tebow did last year.  He was aided by a solid Broncos defense but threw the team on his back en route to a solid unbelievable season.   He isn’t a natural quarterback and his completion percentage isn’t better than Sanchez but he can do what Mark can’t and that’s turn it on in the fourth quarter.  Tebow led 4 comebacks in 2011 that ended in game ending or overtime wins, one of which against the Jets.   Tebow is a clutch 4th quarter performer who has seen his talent strangled in New York.  The biggest Tebow hater has to agree he deserves a shot somewhere to see if he can be a starting quarterback.  I can’t tell you if he can because I haven’t seen a team give him a legit shot.  He turned Denver around and they cashed in on the Peyton sweepstakes.  Will Arizona enter the Tebow sweepstakes in 2013?   They have a rough situation there and could use a little extra juice behind Kevin Kolb.   Do the Jets keep him for another year and harness him to punt returns and wildcat schemes?   Did Rex Ryan and Jets management do this to put a lid on the Tebow sensation?  If so, it’s working because they are finding ways to not give him reps.   He suddenly had broken ribs this past week.  While Sanchez didn’t play bad, he didn’t help himself much on Thursday against the Patriots.   How long will this last?   I can agree that the coverage on a backup quarterback is overwhelming and not good for the game but will say this.  Do those people know something that I do?   Give Tebow a shot, see what he is all about in the shaky land of the big apple and if he can lead this team to a season changing victory?   Until the Jets unleash the beast, the coverage will continue.

Lance Berkman-The respected slugger agreed to coach at his alma mater Rice University this winter while he decides if he wants to play another season in the big leagues.  Personally, if his knee is anywhere near sound,  I would think he must come back, sign with the Astros, give a young scared uncultured baseball the required guidance and end his own run on a high note.  Taking a bow in the same place where he dominated for most of his career.   Baseball needs more guys like Lance Berkman.   When he does hang up the cleats, I hope he finds a spot coaching in the majors soon after.   His attitude is infectious.

Rafael Furcal-His elbow is healthy but it is still a ticking time bomb, just like the rest of his body.  He hasn’t played over 120 games in a season in four seasons.   Cards GM John Mozelaik needs to find a middle infield specialist to bridge the gap between the exit of Furcal and the entrance of Kolten Wong at second base.  Start looking for a shortstop.  A long term option.  Now.  Ask the Rangers about Elvis Androus.  Ask what Marco Scutaro’s price is.  See what the Indians really want for Cabrera.  Don’t rest on the medical report of Rafael Furcal.

Alternate Jerseys For Cardinals-The Saturday home throwback jerseys are the perfect blend of class if you ask me.   For the first time since 1932, the words “St. Louis” will appear on a jersey  in Cardinal nation and carry the look of the old school ball club.   While some have called it a push for more money, I see it as a required touch.  Bill DeWitt III developed and executed the new design over the past few years and he doesn’t do things only for profit.   He is full of rich baseball history and loved the chance to sprinkle the old golden days on the modern era of baseball in St. Louis.   Being a friend of his for years, I remember when he designed the team logos for a long time.  He doesn’t rush on products or just put anything on the board.  He loves baseball, this team’s history and incorporated it into his thought process.   I can’t wait for April.

Rams-An improved team for sure at 3-6-1 but also a team that could very easily be 5-5 right now.  The Detroit and San Francisco games were there for us to win and lost by stupidity.  Jeff Fisher is a good coach but his staff got outcoached in too many games.   Rex Ryan and the Jets took The Rams to school by splitting up the attack 50/50 in the run and passing game.  Steven Jackson has been in beast mode for two weeks now and the Rams won’t give him the ball enough.  He gets 81 yards on 13 carries, basically runs over Bart Scott and other defenders for extra yards and he gets shut down in the second half.   The Rams are still a troubled bound for futility franchise, but you expect more out of them when they start 3-2.  What kind of team gets a delay of game penalty that negates a game winning field goal to secure an upset over a division rival?  What team has a player line up wrong and watch an 80 yard passing play in overtime get deleted?  What team stops running the ball when its producing behind a wild horse like SJ39 and only down by 7 points?  Fisher and his coaches have work to do.  The players need to resist retardation and remember they aren’t the doormat of the NFL anymore.  The Rams were picked in Vegas to win the game on Sunday.  That’s how much things have changed.  Facing the Cardinals on Sunday, this team can’t afford to lose.  The Arizona Cardinals are horrendous and only win by accident.  They don’t have a quarterback nor a reliable offensive line.   The Rams last win came in early October against the Cardinals at the Dome where the Rams vicious pass rush knocked Kevin Kolb from the game and off the field since then.  They must get back to their early season form.  Pass rush heavy attack, run the ball hard and often and get your corners and safeties moving.  The Rams are without a turnover since the Cardinals game.  No turnovers means your offense must win the game and that won’t be happening unless you set the big man, Jackson, free.  Speaking of which.

Steven Jackson-He is on fire this month.  For the first time in a couple years, I can tell you the man looks completely healthy, and is running over good football defenders.  He dragged Patrick Willis and Bart Scott down the field two weeks in a row.  After his helmet was ripped off, Jackson came plowing against the 49ers two weeks ago.  When he is good to go, he runs fearless and is hard to stop.  The offensive line is opening up more ground for this ram to run through but Jackson is also getting more yards after contact.  Going into a free agent offseason, Jackson is setting himself up perfectly.  For years, he has kept his mouth shut, played hard, fought through injuries and been the leader of this unbalanced team.  He has survived multiple head coaches, quarterbacks and offensive coordinators and really became the last man standing.  I have nothing but love for Steven and his perseverance with this football team.  If he departs and earns a championship elsewhere, it wouldn’t happen to a more deserving player.  Fans here often take out their frustration on that particular last man standing, and its unfair and not true.  With the constant change before Bradford arrived and the coaching changes after The Bradford Era took off on the bumpy strip, Jackson has done nothing but produced.  With horrible offensive lines and the playcalling centered around him with defenders stacked in the box, the Ram known as SJ39 has produced.  He was the byproduct of shitty team management, horrible drafting and a maligned existence and dwindling fan base.  Jackson’s only competitive season here was in 2004, when he was a backup to Marshall Faulk.  The Rams have to be smart and put the ball in Jackson’s hands at least 25-30 times a game.  Mix in backup Darryl Richardson but keep the focus on the beast.  If there is one thing I know, Sam Bradford isn’t a bust of a #1 draft pick but he isn’t winning many games on his own right now.

Bradford-That isn’t a shot at Sam.  He, like Jackson, has been the victim of constant change, which is self destructive for a young quarterback who happens to be highly touted and expected to move earth and walk on water in North St. Louis.   Bradford wowed us with his rookie season and when he took a huge step back last season, we all shook our heads and slunk into sad oblivion.  Could Sam lead us out of the dogged dreary lands of failure or would he sink under the expectations?   This season, he has sprinkled in moments of optimism and dread.   He can lead the team towards a near upset against San Francisco and then be outplayed by the predictably soft Mark Sanchez last weekend.  Bradford holds onto the ball too long, can’t throw deep, has problems producing touchdowns in the red zone and isn’t taking off just yet.   Everybody in Rams blue will tell you he is the One but watching the games, I can tell you the kid looks strong minded yet gun shy and disgruntled.  Like any athlete, he expects to turn things around here all by himself and lets his emotions show.   This is a quarterbacks league and Bradford must learn to pull victories out from under sure defeats.  Can he do it?  Jeff Fisher supports him and took the job because of Bradford, so this is his team.  This is year three of the Bradford era.   A big turning point in the 2012 season comes tomorrow in the desert.  Bradford can’t afford to be outplayed by John Skelton.  Time for him to take control.

Thanksgiving-This year’s trip to KC was a shortened ride because the wife worked this morning at 8am.   That meant waiting for Vinny to hit the sack last night around 7 p.m. and getting into the car for a near 5 hour drive home to St. Louis.  It is nice to get out of the city and away from normal but the bitter clashes with the sweet when you drive 9.5 hours in less than 48 hours for such a brief time away.  It felt like we showed up Wednesday night around midnight on the eve of Thanksgiving, did a few things and quickly got things together and left without doing much.   What we did was hang out with Rae’s family.   She spends time with the sisters and I go off on gun trips with the men, Ed and Brian.  We went driving around yesterday looking for a gun holster and after 5 stores the lookout was called.   I haven’t spent that much time around metal and lead since the last time I watched a John Woo film.  We drove in around 1230 a.m. this morning and I can tell you I am good for long distance driving for some time.  It’s a change of pace that kicks your ass.

Planners-In other words, self help books for directional value.  For the time ever, I own a planner.  Something to throw some key dates into, hold onto and use as a reference.  A 2013 black covered planner.   You know you are getting old and flexible when you write a week in your planner.   Parenting effect #203.

My New Job-The new gig is Ronnoco coffee in St. Louis city and it’s a basic warehouse gig yet sweetened with the delight of working around and with the great thing we call coffee.   They get it fresh from Columbia and Guatemala and grind and roast it right there in the plant.   I’ve been a utility worker so far, spending time in distribution and production as well as packing.  I can tell you there are worse things to go home smelling like but I will also inform you that coffee gets into the cracks in your skin and makes your skin super dry.  All in all, it pays and doesn’t kill the rest of my life.

Film-Addict-The site is looking more fresh and reliable for movie fans every day it runs.  We fill the daily dose section with free screening alerts and giveaways every other day and write new material nearly as much.  Christopher Walken is on a role in his career, and you can head over to to check out my piece on him.   He’s been in 129 films and won an Oscar and could be nominated again this year.  He is a method actor and a man who loves to take work because he doesn’t do anything else.  Read more on the site.  There is a cinema spotlight on the new luxury suites at West Olive 16 in Creve Coeur.  There are reviews for the independent films as well as the mainstream features.  I am watching Edward Burns tonight in his new film, The Fitzgerald Family Christmas, which he wrote/directed/produced/stars in about a big Irish holiday get together that involves reconciling with his estranged father.   Burns does talky dysfunctional Irish films the best and is a true creator in Hollywood.  Here’s a piece I did on him this summer.

Pacquiao-Marquez IV-Why do both men need this fourth and final fight?  You ever seen a book sitting on the shelf that won’t close.  That’s the battle between these two men.  Juan Manuel Marquez is a seasoned boxer who feels like he has beat Manny Pacquiao at least 2 times and feels slighted and disgraced by the decisions.  Pacquiao is the world wide sensation, the politician and superb power puncher who owns victories in 8 different weight classes.   The first three fights have created a highly contested draw and two paper thin decisions for Manny.  In December, the two men meet again, nearly a year later, to decide the fate of their legacies.  The fights hold cards for each men.   Pacquiao is coming off the ridiculous decision loss to Timothy Bradley, a fight everyone knew he won but the record books will always say otherwise.   He needs to beat Marquez without controversy in order to maintain a pace to meet Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the ring and silence the doubters who think he has lost a step.   Marquez needs this to legitimize his career and stamp in stone that he beat Manny Pacquiao, a fighter who has left a shade of darkness on his otherwise respectable run.   Each man wants to close this ugly chapter in their life.  The thrilling HBO series 24/7 captures their preparations these next couple of weeks before the fight.  I crave the behind the scenes drama of boxing and this show delivers 100 percent.  Give it a look or wait for the blood to spill on December 8th.

Floyd Mayweather Jr.-When is he going to make a comeback and will his aging body agree to it?  He’s wasting time gambling and trying to be 50 Cent, his former business partner and best friend and the recipient of nine gun shot wounds.  Pacquaio and Mayweather Jr. are perplexing sports figures who are becoming doubled sided and a bit jaded.  Pacquiao can’t decide if he wants to be a politician(for good reason, his home country needs a leader) or a fighter.  His last few fights have shown a small dose of disinterest and an even smaller level of killer instinct.  You don’t see me a man hunting another fighter in a square.  You see one trying to keep an image.  Ask him where his heart is and when he needs to stop.  Mayweather Jr. can’t decide if he wants to be a celebrity/criminal or a fighter?  He is brilliant in the ring but horrible out of it for the most part.  He gets into trouble like most people walk into grocery stores.  Common and on a schedule.  Both these men can’t decide what they have in store for their bodies and minds.  I still believe in seeing them clash, but will it be too late when it finally happens?  There’s nothing more depressing than a boxer who has overstayed his welcome in the ring.

Silver Linings Playbook-While my full review sits on film-addict, I will divulge a taste of it here because this eccentric sports obsession related romantic drama is a must see for all movie fans.  If Argo is too political and Lincoln is too historical and slow, give this spicy entry a try.  It’s in limited release at the moment but expands next week.   What you will get is the best performance from Bradley Cooper to date and a powerfully raw and unforced performance from Jennifer Lawrence as two “crazies”, a bipolar former mental patient released early by his mother who meets a damaged yet dirty and free spirited lady in Lawrence.   Cooper digs deeper than before to play a guy haunted by the effect that the illness lays on his life and Lawrence has never been better than stepping into Tiffany’s angry femme fatale here.  Director David O. Russell is an old fashioned romantic but he also knows things don’t come easy in life and people say fuck a lot and do bad things.   Uncontrollable forces are at play here as well because in the background lies a realistic look at sports obsession.  Cooper’s Pat is a Philadelphia Eagles diehard and his father(played by DeNiro and featuring the finest work by the elder thespian in years) carries the tortured day to day work of an OCD patient set loose.   A man desperate to connect with his son, who desperately wants to reconnect with his ex-wife, even though Tiffany sits right in front of him.  Everybody is desperate and dangerous in Silver Linings Playbook and that makes for good drama.  Russell isn’t afraid to show the sad but true anger management eruptions of a bi polar patient diagnosed at 30 after he beats the shit out of a man fucking his wife.  He also shows the painful OCD traits of DeNiro’s dad lining up the remotes a certain way, clutching a napkin for the entire game and lending his life to a game.  The advice he gives to Pat before dropping him off at an Eagles-Giants game is universal for fathers and sons everywhere.  “Don’t drink too much.  Don’t hit anybody.  You’ll be fine.”   While Pat doesn’t follow the rules, neither do we and that’s the point in this wonderfully raucous and quietly powerful film that I will stand behind as a film that needs to be celebrated.  Love hurts, but not as much as a condition that you have to live with the rest of your life.  Better find an ally to help you along the way and hope she looks like Jennifer Lawrence.

Random Bits-

*Ricky Hatton returns to the boxing ring tonight  3 years after a Manny Pacquiao left hook, depression, suicidal attempts, drugs and family discord nearly knocked him out for good.  I’ve always liked the British fighter with a huge planet hopping following and his own two losses come against Pac-Man and Floyd.  Here’s to him scoring a win.

*My son, Vincent is walking, smiling and getting in trouble yet getting away with it because of how damn cute he is.   He is also the strongest 14 month old ever.  Yes, I checked.  It’s amazing how much kids test you daily.   That separates the boys from men in fatherhood and has a huge impact on the kid’s life because these are the times you need to invest important simple ideas of right and wrong in your kids.  I am up to the challenge and always will be.  I am not running from anything.

*Working 40 hours a week kicked my ass after four months spent at home.  Your schedule, sleep, energy levels and availability are thrown into disarray.  That’s called working class blues.  I’ll deal with it.

*Finally, the wind chill and cold temps of winter showed up.   After weeks of teasing, the cold winter is landing on my runway.  I can deal with it.  Cold November-December days are easier to manage than scolding hot August days.

*It’s okay to drink every night.  Just use your math and understand beers and bottles add up and can’t be cancelled out by food intake or wise old age.  Alcoholic training schools aren’t an ambitious project.

*Before you do serious drugs(heroin, cocaine, meth), check google for before and after pictures of previous users.  If that doesn’t stop you, you are already dead.

*People are still trying to walk into schools and movie theaters and kill civilians.   If they are caught, a gunshot won’t due.  Prison time isn’t good either.  Just tie them up, keep them alive on a blood transfusion, and let the family members of each victim walk, pick up a club or corkball bat and slam them in the head at least twice.  Drop the picture and go to work.  That’s payback.  Blood for blood.  What gets into people walking into theaters and trying to kill innocent people?  This is the reason I think guns aren’t the enemy.  The X Factor is always the user.  The carrier.  If the gun fell into the right hands in Aurora, Colorado in July, the gunman may have bit the dust first.  I have shot many guns before in recreation for one reason.  Be ready to fire when called upon.  It could happen any night.  When I put my finger on the trigger I intend to shoot.  Shoot to kill.

*Since the NHL owners and players can’t agree on a deal to end a lockout stretching to 3 months here, NHL commissioner and historically retarded peace talker Gary Bettman wants to propose a two week break from talks.   Two more weeks without hockey, work for thousands of people and a game kept in the dark.  Let’s try this Gary.   Lock both parties into one room, feed them nothing but white castle, peanuts and Stag beer, close all the windows, open only one bathroom and turn off the heat and air conditioning and see how long it takes for a compromise to occur on one side or the other.   I will say it again.  It’s both parties’ fault.   Stand on one side and you miss the picture.  The players took a cut in 2005 when the lockout wiped out an entire season.   This time, the owners want more money but the players refuse to move.  Blame both sides.  Greed over money.  It’s embarrassing and can be fixed with a little give and thought to the millions of hockey fans and arena workers who power the sport.   Since each side depends on the other, look at the party who makes the sport possible.  The fans.  Get it done with the bad food smoke out task.   Or grab the club or bat and get dirty.

*The NBA is on.  I don’t care.

*College Football is also on.  I don’t care.

Life happens every day.  I do care.  We take the punches every day and either keep moving forward or fall flat.  For now, I am moving on from this blog post.  I hope you took something away from it.  If not, my job remains to be completed next time.

Thanks for reading and goodnight,

Dan L. Buffa

A Dose of Buffa

Let’s call it like it is.  A fresh round of material on a beautiful Saturday afternoon in South St. Louis City.

My hits on a few topics while you bask in the sun, hunker down in the cold or stay cool, wherever you are in this world.

*Kyle Lohse rejecting the one year tender offer by the Cardinals is ordinary work.  Lohse wants a long term deal, pitched well enough for it and Scott Boras will get him the big time bucks.  A career closing 4-5 year deal.   This was a tender only made to secure the Cards draft compensation when he does sign elsewhere.  Bye Kyle.  Thanks for playing and change your name.  While figuring out plenty under Dave Duncan and Derek Liloquist, I won’t fear facing Lohse.

*The Cards interest in Asdraubal Cabrera, a shortstop for the Cleveland Indians, is real and rightly so but the urge to look carries warnings.  First, the Cardinals are paying 7 million to a surgery less Rafael Furcal.  How much do you really want to invest in a shortstop?  Cleveland won’t be good in 2013 so they want to rebuild with some young pitching.  Something the Cards have plenty of.  The Indians will call John Mozelaik.  We all know that.  The real question is will he take the call seriously?  Cabrera is 26 years old, has two years left on his deal and can fill the Cards need for a long term shortstop if he lands and plays well.  Furcal can be moved to second base and share starts with Daniel Descalso, Kolten Wong or even Matt Carpenter.  The hazards of this deal are outweighed, by the rewards.  The kid makes 6 million in 2013 and then 10 million in 2014.  A lot of money but you may be paying Furcal 14 million for one combined season between his work in 2012 and 2013.   Don’t pass this up.  Which starter on the Cards do you deal?  That’s the million dollar question.  Who is more expendable?  Trevor Rosenthal is someone I wouldn’t touch.  He has an arm built for the bullpen and the rotation.  Shelby Miller proved he has the grit to start in this league.   Joe Kelly, Lance Lynn, and Memphis hands Carlos Martinez and Michael Waacha will be dangling the lowest.  My big interest.  Lynn or Kelly?  Lance won 18 games, got a lot of offense, broke down multiple times, has a short temper, is only 25 years old and has a big upside.  Kelly got better and better, pitched well in long relief and in the rotation and has better stuff and durability than Lance.  If Kelly had gotten half the run support Lynn did, he is an easy 10 game winner. Who gets dealt first?  With Rosenthal on board, I deal Lance Lynn first.  Lynn, Pete Kozma and a couple low ranking farm hands for Cabrera.  Straight up.   I’d do it.   What does Mo think?

*I do think Matt Carpenter will stay a Cardinal and get a fair shake next season.   He will back up Freese, Craig and Beltran and play some second base.  I do believe Kolten Wong will get a chance to wow the coaches in spring training but I don’t think he plays a big role on this team in 2013.  When Furcal departs and a spot opens up in the infield if the Cards do nothing there this offseason, Wong will get his chance then.  He gets a full year in Memphis before he makes his move.   I hope Mo doesn’t banish Pete Kozma again.  Fans won’t leave him alone for having a rough Giants series.   They forget 85 percent of the team had a shitty NLCS.  Kozma deserves a fair look or could serve an interesting trade chip in talks this winter.  His work in the clutch moments of 2012 can’t be forgotten.  Best case scenario for the Cards will be acquiring a shortstop and letting Furcal split time with Descalso and Carpenter at second base.

*I don’t understand the opposition to surgery for Jaime Garcia.  His shoulder isn’t improving yet the Cards fear the knife.  Let’s let him miss another season and suck up 7 million again.   He is our only lefthanded starter and needs to be healthy for 2013.  Same for Furcal.  If he isn’t right, get him fixed.   His elbow isn’t improving at all.   The Cardinals are sitting on timebombs with these two players.  Risky business.   They should have learned their lesson by now.  They paid Furcal 7 million in 2012 to start 120 games.  They paid Berkman 12 million to start 12 games(kidding but it seemed that few).  They paid Wainwright 9 million in 2011 to sit on a bench.  They paid Chris Carpenter 20 million between 2007-08 to make 2 starts.   They know too much about wasting cash.   Get Garcia and Furcal the help they need.  Take care of your investments.

*The Rams face the 49ers on Sunday in San Francisco in a huge division challenge.  The team is 3-5 and been dealt two big ass kickings in a row by the Patriots and Packers, two teams who have played in a combined four of the last 5 Super Bowls.  The 49ers are the division favorite, mix the run with the pass, carry two Ex-MU defensive stars in the decade in Justin and Aldon Smith, and will give the Rams all they could handle.  The Rams are getting through a middle patch of the schedule that will eventually ease up.  For now, I’m calling a third straight beat down.  Alex Smith, Frank Gore and the SF defense will carve up the Rams and pound them 27-6.  On the road, against a playoff team and not playing that well.   I like the Rams chances against this team in the Ed Dome.  Bradford will need ice, Jackson will be a non factor by halftime and Danny Amendola will collect his usual set of slot receptions.  Don’t bet the house on an upset, but that is what it will take to escape the West Coast with a win.  I would take dignity and a less shameful loss.

*The NHLPA and Owners are talking.  There’s your news.  Until there is a deal, I’m embarrassed.  Gary Bettman files for worst commissioner of all time, sparking two lockouts and tons of games lost.  Donald Fehr helped keep baseball from a World Series in 1994 and is holding firm in front of the players.  Set both sides on fire and see who finds a fire extinguisher first.  This is unfortunate for us to be a part of a waiting game.  I’ll watch it returns, and it will(trust me, money means money), but the stink of another lockout won’t depart more than half the hockey towns for another 5 years.  Trust me on that.  I see a clear 50/50 shot of hockey by New Year’s, but I wouldn’t be surprised if another season was washed away.  Players and owners apparently don’t care enough, or the majority of those groups, about the fans and their worth to the game.   This does zero good for the present state of hockey and banishes it from the top ranks for another decade.  Two extended lockouts in a span of 7 years.

*Love to hear my dog bark like she is tougher than nails.  This is the same dog who is afraid of her own shadow, routinely gets dominated by two cats and wouldn’t stand a chance on the street.   Did I mention my son drives her insane?  I just told her to be weak and assume her identity instead of fighting it.  I can’t wait for this dog to get older, slower and more relaxed.  She acts like a terrorist around here.

*Skyfall is the best Bond film I have seen in a long time.  That includes you Connery loyalists.  Daniel Craig has coolness and charm to spare but digs into the psychology of our heroic British agent more than previous Bonds attempted to.   He wants to let us know what makes the man tick and why he does the things he does.  People call that too dark, gritty or depressing.  I call it real.  Skyfall, directed by Sam Mendes(Road to Perdition, American Beauty) and featuring an old school flamboyant yet sinister bad guy played by Javier Bardem, has the thrilling hand to hand combat scenes and action firepower.  It also has a fair measure of soul and connects the dots from Bond’s dark childhood all the way to his connection with his boss, M(played with grace and stoic beauty by Judi Dench).   It’s good to see a great movie gross a lot of money.  Worth the price of admission and more.

*Lincoln is Oscar gold, but you know that.  Daniel Day Lewis is more than convincing.  He is shockingly good as Abe.  He looks, speaks and walks the part.  His process is unrivaled in Hollywood.  He goes so far into the role that he brought Lincoln home with him after filming completed.  Steven Spielberg’s movie takes a fair dose from Team of Rivals, a book wrote about Lincoln’s political strategy, but this movie plays out here like a political thriller.  It covers the last four months of his life, in 1865 after he was re-elected, where he tackled the double headed monster of the 13th amendment and the end of the Civil War.  Lincoln has always been my favorite President and for an easy reason.  He acted instead of reacting.  I’ve read countless books about his life and will never say I wasted a single minute spent looking at his work.   Day Lewis gives sterling speeches while the House votes on the amendment, which must be passed before the war ends or else the South will wipe out the abolishment of slavery all together.  However, it’s his quiet moments that stuck with me.  The thousand yard stare, the storytelling, the wise know all grin.  The man knew more than anyone around him and could see decades into the future.  He gave his life for change.  Give your change to watch this movie.

*NBA thought.  Lakers head coach Mike Brown wasn’t fired because the Lakers got off to a bad start.  He was fired because the Lakers were a disappointment last year, looked very bad this year and weren’t going to change with him in charge.   Brown was fired for a lot of reasons.   It didn’t help that Kobe Bryant hated his hiring from the get go and the team basically played like crap under his rule.  Brown built his career on superstars carrying his teams.  Lebron carried him in Cleveland.  Kobe wasn’t going to do it in LA.  He’s too damn old.  This wasn’t a gut move by the Lakers management.  They traded for Dwight Howard and signed Steve Nash to bring another title to the Staples Center.  They couldn’t afford to waste another season under a man that wasn’t convincing the millionaires to play better.  It’s not right or wrong.  It’s business.

*Jay Cutler is a real douchebag who isn’t funny like Peyton and doesn’t have a pretty face like Brady.   He looks like a frathouse bitch who just walked onto the football field after a kegger with his hands itching his balls.  He’s the bass pro shop devotee who hasn’t showered or slept in days because he was following around quail and deer.  He is best friends with Troy Glaus.  He throws deep passes into tighter coverage than a sweet 16 party.  He gives interviews like Robert DeNiro.  He doesn’t smile.  He lifts the corner of his mouth a little and burps.  He doesn’t play with three concussions like Warner and doesn’t have the Iron Man knee joints of Favre.  He did sit out last year in the playoffs because of an injury.   He is a slob and looks like one.  BUT…if he wins a Super Bowl in Chicago none of that shit matters.  I won’t put him in the Romo/Sanchez/Flacco never will win a Super Bowl camp, but Cutler isn’t a guaranteed lock.  With a stellar defense and running game and the right schedule, The Bears could pull off the impossible.   Then, everyone will praise Cutler.  The same people who slam him today.  I don’t care.  I never liked him or his way of doing things, but he is having a decent year.  One can’t avoid that reality.  I’m just saying get ready for the kool aid show from the media.   He is the guy Bears fans love because he isn’t as bad as Rex Grossman was in the Super Bowl in 2006.

*I interviewed a director yesterday at the Cheshire for my website and came away with more knowledge about the filmmaking process than I am sure you won’t to know here.  I was invigorated because I love the behind the scenes process of film and got to do this job for the site but also for fun.  You don’t know who Yaron Zilberman is because he has only directed two movies.   Watermarks and a new film called A Late Quartet, which stars Philip Seymour Hoffman, Christopher Walken, Catherine Keener and David Ivanir as the four members of a string quartet who face sudden change on the eve of their 25th anniversary show. The film is a masterful demonstration of human frailty and may secure Walken another Oscar nomination.   His work is restrained, powerful and sneaky tough as a man stricken with Parkinson’s disease who suddenly see his life altered and the future of his group changed forever.  Zilberman was kind, revealing, and an all around good guy.  To read my full story, go to this link.

I’d call the movie a sleeper for a Best Picture nomination, especially since the slot includes 10 entries.

*As I mentioned in my last blog(in an unusually powerful paragraph about my life in the past year), Thanksgiving is coming up fast.  We are less than two weeks away.   2012 is quickly disappearing.  What was your favorite moment of the year and what was your worst?

*I am officially employed.  I start at Ronnoco coffee on Monday, working with my good friend Eric Moore for the fourth time.  We have worked at Galleria 6 Theaters, Busch Stadium and Senoret Chemical.  Now we embark on another mission.  Receive, pack, and distribute coffee.   I won’t call it my dream job but it’s a nice end to a four month journey of staying at home with the kid and looking for work.   After three months of zero activity, I got 5 offers in less than two weeks.  Mark Andy, PLZ Aeroscience, Braurer Supply, Casino Security, and Ronnoco all came calling.  I chose the last job because of the comfort of working with Moore, the close location to my home, the hours, and the pay.   My days of unemployment are over.  I am happy and a little sad that my workplace battles will resume.  You get used to things and your body does as well.  I can’t say the next two months will be kind to my mind or body.   Money has to be made.

*I will promise you one thing.  Film-Addict won’t suffer.  It will bloom.  This week, we acquired our LLC, which basically makes us a legit company and business.  Our mobile site and app works great and can be reached on your cell anywhere.  The site has 5 writers now and will acquire more talent.  Our numbers are up.  This will only increase.  Six months into it(it feels more like 2 years with the work I’ve done) and the site is growing and collecting steam.

*I voted for Barack Obama.  Sue me.  I voted more for the state issues than the federal ones.  I know both Barack and Romney are full of shit jokers.  I chose the lesser evil.  Maybe the Republican party will churn out better fighters than the last two the Democrats have knocked down.  Obama isn’t perfect and delivered as much sour as sweet in his first term, but I gave him another set.  He no longer can blame the debt ceiling or economy for a failure to get things done.  His hope and change campaign is gone.  Blaming Bush is over.  The next four years fall directly on his shoulders….in a way.   My blog opening rant last week isn’t changing too much.  I still say the system is fucked and needs to be changed before a President can mean something again.  However, I chose to vote because…well I am still formulating my answer.  Just made a move.  My wife and I took the kid up to the polls and showed him a desolate basement where regular folk gather and act like they make a difference.   I whispered into his ear to avoid this shit when he was older.  Stay out of politics and its games.  This paragraph was tiring.

*I don’t understand the opposition to gay marriage. It’s called free will. Isn’t that the founding base of our country? Freedom. Why restrict it in order to praise a god that doesn’t exist on this earth? He doesn’t pay my bills, maintain my health or keep me sane. He’s a made up fable and crutch used to disguise weakness. It’s all anti freedom which is exactly what gay marriage calls for. This kind of non issue bullshit drives me insane.

That concludes my blog tonight.  Enjoy yourself.  Have a good weekend.  Check out my site.  Eat good food.  Don’t drink too much.  Call your parents.  Email your friends.  Do something substantial or try.

Thanks for reading and goodnight,

Dan L. Buffa


Why I Am Not Voting…and more

Here is why I am not voting this year or the next time while we are it…

We aren’t voting for people.  We are voting for a robot, put into a system and mixed up in a large group of people.   When did Presidents stop writing their speeches?  When did that bullshit start?  If I was the executive in chief for a country, I would write my own damn words.   That is the beginning of the madness.  The despair that currently fills the walls of Washington.  Stop blaming the men in office and start blaming the system in place.  The system changes every Presidential candidate the minute they step into office.  I read a story in GQ magazine a few years back that solidified my view on politics and how it is absolutely fucking useless at this current moment.  A small town guy in Pennsylvania wanted to run for office in the Senate.  He had ideals, some cash and a few backers.  He was sent a campaign manager who told him what he was going to represent and how he was going to run and speak during his campaign.  At first, the man just went with the plan and started putting his campaign together.  Before long, the man saw a campaign being put together that had little to do with what he wanted and a lot to do with an ideal set in place for him.   This is a true story and no I don’t have names.  Whether you believe it or not will depend on your idea of my honesty.  The problem with Barack Obama is the same problem with the last few Presidents.  We aren’t seeing their ideals and plans.  We are seeing a fraction of their ideals, shoved into a system, conformed for the current value of thought and transformed into a campaign that ends up taking money from our pockets and time from our lives.  They are robots and nothing more.  Same for Mitt Romney, who is a walking contradiction by the way.  For people who think he will change anything, get in the line of utterly retarded characters and vote for him.  Politicians aren’t worthy anymore.  They used to stand for something.  Now they are see through robots who have nothing new to say or give.  If you are currently deciding who to vote for, you are in a big predicament.  The hesitation shouldn’t be active.  One of them will provide this while taking something else away.  I am sure Obama wanted to do good and a lot of it.  Same for Bush in a way and Clinton.  I am sure they wanted to do some good and provide stability.  However, with the current system of greed and hatred in Washington, where the acts of war criminals puncture our heartland daily, the chance for stability is impossible.  Forget about changing anything.  Blow up the system first.  Do that and there could be a future.  So many people take shots at Obama and they are missing the point.   He is the latest robot thrown into office without a real smart map of how to fix a problem.  He did some good in his four years and made a decent amount of bad decisions.  The point is he has to go for some new blood to sink into the office, but the answer isn’t Mitt Romney so what do you do?  Vote for Obama because he is better than Mitt or because he is the real deal.  People say the debt was so bad and the situation was so dire for Obama when he took office and we need to give him a second term to make up for the previous inept decision making.   That’s a lot of hope in one statement.  Are you willing to bet four years on it?  There are a lot of people without jobs right now.  Obama got Bin Laden but that was set in motion by Bush and his administration.  I can’t give full credit to Obama’s party for that kill.  That was set in motion long before he came into office.  He just pushed the green button and good for him.  His health care bill gave comfort to some but left many out in the cold.  He tried to overlook a terrible Oil Spill.   Yes, he was on camera saying there was no oil spill when we had clear footage of tons of wild life dying, water being darkened and rotted to the core and a large body of water filling with waste.   He followed orders there.   Remember, he doesn’t even write his own speeches.  I am sorry but the man isn’t the answer.  He promised a lot of things and hasn’t came through.  Will he in the next four years?  Maybe.   As we welcome a film about Abraham Lincoln into the theaters, I can’t help but wish one of these leaders carried an inch of the resolve and strength of wise old Abe.  Sure, times have changed and economics are different.  Still, you can hope for better and someone to be as strong and diligent about change as Lincoln.   When we get that kind of leader again?  I don’t see one coming.  We are the party stuck in the middle of the ocean stranded and needing water.  We keep looking for a fucking light to give us hope.  There is none.  Politicians are robots.  You aren’t voting for the person.  You are putting your hard earned dollars into a machine.  A problematic system.  A system that kept soldiers in enemy territory getting killed like weak lamb for no reason at all for10 years.   You had a President who profited off of war and the blood that came with it.  He profited off the death of soldiers and framed it around a fake manhunt.   We had another who looks like he is being overwhelmed by duty but keeps handing out promises like its Halloween candy.   I just can’t invest in that.  I won’t be voting because I don’t see a fit candidate worth my vote.  Not that our votes actually count for something.  Electoral votes put bodies in the office and not the voice of the people.  We will continue to yell at our televisions and shake our heads for the next four years.  We will wait and wait for salvation.   I will keep on doing my thing and surviving.  Voting for one of these guys won’t change a thing.  I will keep working, paying my bills and keeping my family warm without the hope of help on the way.  If you respond, please give me data, facts and something that can really reverse what was said here.  If you have none, just read it again and make sure the download is complete.

*How many times do parents say to others, “Well, he’s only __ old?”  He’s only 14 months old.  He’s only 4 years old.  He’s only 16 years old.  We hear it every fucking day.  My kid is a little man these days.  He has shed the baby label.  Trust me.  He knows his way around the house.  He pays attention when his ass is being wiped.  He is taking 5-6 steps at a time.  He is figuring our how far his reach can stretch.  He is testing his boundaries and recognizing the layers of command above him.  When he is doing something  wrong, he looks at Rachel or I and tries to gauge our reaction.   He looks at you as he continues to do something wrong.  That’s right.  I’m breaking the law bitches.  What are you going to do about it?  He throws fits of rage that scare his grandparents but only receive a knowing shake of the head from the parent.  I will do my best to not say those words at the start of this paragraph.   “Well, Vincent is only 14 months old, how am I supposed to tell him NOT to pound the shit out of the kid holding the cool toy in daycare?”  What can I say, boys will be boys, right?

*I firmly believe Lance Berkman will sign a one year deal in Houston.  Former Cards scout now Houston GM Jeff Luhnow has already said he will make a huge push to bring Berkman home for his end.  There’s a lot for Berkman to play for still if you look at his stats.  He would need a huge year of 40 home runs to reach 400.  He needs a little less than 150 hits to reach 2,000.  He has 1200 RBI, a .296 batting average and a .409 on base percentage for his career.   Quietly, the man has put together HOF worthy numbers.  He put together a dominant stretch from 2000-2009, including monster seasons in 2002 and 2006.  He is one of the best Astros to ever play the game, joining Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio and Nolan Ryan.  He is clearly one of the top five switch hitters of all time, right up there with steroid addict Ken Caminiti.  Hopefully, Berkman gets his proper sendoff and slides right into the television booth, where I think he would kill as an analyst.

*Watching the Manning brothers today do their work and it’s impressive to watch?  Peyton is equipped with a horrid Broncos defense but continues to put up amazing numbers and cut down his mistakes.   For anybody wondering if he still has the juice to play QB in the NFL, look at these numbers.  He has thrown 18 touchdowns and 4 interceptions.  He has thrown for 2,113 yards in 8 games and connected for a 69 percent completion percentage.   He has led a comeback after being down 24-0 at the half.  He has surprised even his own fans.   Four neck surgeries and the man gets it done.  He compensates for a poor defense and a limited throwing strength.   He could have rolled over and called it quits.  He didn’t do that.  He wants another Super Bowl ring…or two.   Eli Manning is taking on the Steelers in 30 minutes.  He has only won two Super Bowls and has his Giants set up for another deep run in the NFC this season.   He out dueled the love saturated rookie Robert Griffin III two weeks ago.  He isn’t as polished as his brother(Eli has 12 TD-8 INT) but in the 4th quarter he gets it done.  He has taken down Tom Brady’s Patriots twice in the Super Bowl and twice in the regular season.  Think about what Eli has done to Tom Brady’s legacy.  Sure, Brady has 3 rings, two other appearances and an outstanding career.  However, imagine if he had won those 2 Super Bowls and not lost to Eli.  Eli outplayed Brady in those two Super Bowls, including last year’s contest.  In crunch time, Eli, bolstered by a good defense, picked the Patriots apart.  He has restricted Tom Brady’s dominance.  He has left the Patriots without a Super Bowl since Spygate.  He is heading towards the promised land again.

*The Colts seemed to have made the right choice in taking Andrew Luck.  They are rebuilding and doing things right.  Letting Peyton go wasn’t a bad move after all.  My section above wasn’t a shot at the Colts.  Andrew Luck has thrown for 433 yards today against a decent Miami defense.  He could lead his team to an opening 5-3 record.   He has helped reinvent the career of former Ram Donnie Avery.  He has brought Reggie Wayne’s great talents back to life.  Luck and Griffin III are proving their risk taking teams right…so far.  They are competing and winning.

*Good work for Wreck It Ralph, the new animated feature starring John C. Reilly for scoring the top box office spot with a 49.1 million take.   It’s an intelligent film for kids and adults and is a smart mind trip that takes you down memory lane.  A story about a celebrated video game character seeking a different life.  Take your kids to that one.  Denzel Washington and Robert Zemeckis’ powerful drama, Flight, earned 25 million in the #2 spot, a solid debut for a film dealing with heroism under the fire of addiction.  It will have legs to carry it towards Oscar calls.

*Hurricane Sandy proves that Mother Nature can still wreck a city, even one as powerful and layered as New York and New Jersey.  It is exactly the reason I don’t live on the coast.  Florida and New York are easy targets.  Missouri is a little harder to reach.  Geography plays a part when it comes to residence and weather limits.

For a real account of its destruction, here is actor Theo Rossi(Sons of Anarchy) and his detailed experience of the devastation to his hometown of Staten Island.

That’s really all I got.  Before  I go,  here is something new on Film-Addict that I put up last night.  One of my good friends and film-addict co-creators, Chris McHugh, works with a guy named Patrick Rooney who acted in and produced a film in 2009 called Streetballers.   It was written, directed and produced by his best friend Matt Krentz.  It scored the highest rating in any film at the STL Festival in 17 years, beating out Juno and Slumdog Millionaire.  Patrick gave us the opportunity to ask him questions about the experience of filmmaking, the schedule, the locations shot at(LeGrands, Tower Grove, O’Connells) and the idea of actually producing a movie is and he emailed me a 3 page answer sheet that I posted on my site yesterday.  Please check it out.  It’s a great detailed account of getting a movie made in your hometown.  Krentz and Rooney are making their next film soon.  I have had the pleasure to speak with and stay in communication with Patrick and the man is a first class individual.   Here is the link to my site.

Take care and have a good night.  The work week is upon us and there is a good chance I will have a job by the end of the week.  I am in the late stages with a potential employer and it’s all due to a close friend.  The unemployment life could be left behind soon and while it took a toll on my family, the time I got to spend at home with my son Vincent was invaluable.  Know that.

Thanks for reading,



Mind Crumbs From South STL

Here are a few things on my mind.  Opinions, random thoughts, and perforated ideas.  Let the games begin.

*The Cardinals season ending dunking at the hands of the Giants still won’t leave my head.  I can write all I want about how great the ride was but the sting of the end still leaves a wound in my head.  It hits me at random.  Every time I hear about the Giants story of 2012 I think of our thudding exit.   The 3-1 choke job reminds me of 1996 in horribly vivid detail.  The Cards led the Braves 3-1 in the NLCS.  Then Todd Stottlemeyer perspired profusely and got beat 14-0 at home.   We went to Atlanta and lost two, a close battle where Greg Maddux outdueled Alan Benes and a complete killing by the Braves over Donovan Osborne to finish it off.  So similar to 2012.  Fail to clinch at home and lose two on the road.  Long flight home that involves zero happiness.  I am sure there are thoughts running through the players heads right now that speak of venom and remorse, but fans aren’t too far behind.  It also doesn’t help that St. Louis Blues hockey can’t catch us in our fall right now.  Since the players and owners are feuding over money, the fans smack the pavement after the Cards end choke job.  I already analyzed the Cards end and their future so I will wait for news to hit the fan before I revisit the Redbirds.  However, I will say a few things.

-The Cardinals need to lock up Adam Wainwright long term.  His 2012 was rough but that’s to be expected coming back from Tommy John.   Sure, it would have been nice to see Waino rebound like Carpenter did in 2009 after Tommy John(17-4, 2.24 ERA) but Adam will be a great pitcher for a long time.  Let’s not let him reach the front door.  It will be nice to have Carpenter and Wainwright anchor the rotation again.  With or without Garcia and with respect to Lohse, we look good in that area for 2013.

-Yadi Molina winning gold gloves is like me finding a cup of coffee daily.  It’s a no brainer and bound to happen.  Molina is the best in the league at his position and is feared.  I love the poor distinction sports writers have with the gold glove award.   Far too many times they hand it to a player for his offense.  Thank goodness Molina survived that crime.  He now owns 5.   I can’t believe Johnny Bench won 10 in a row.  Wow.

-Allen Craig and Matt Adams will make a fine platoon at first base.  Matt Carpenter will push for starts around the field.  Oscar Taveras and Kolten Wong will be around soon.   All this spells young talent/easy money.

-Sign Jason Motte to a multi-year deal.  Don’t let it go to arbitration.  The man is a legit closer.  After saving season in 2011, he tied for league lead in saves in 2012.  Hand him a modest 2-3 year deal.  He’s still young, relatively cheap and durable.

-Figure out what is wrong with Matt Holliday’s back.  Bernie Miklasz is right here in his blog today.  Figure out this guy’s back because he makes 17 million a year and is a key piece of our attack.  Holliday produced a solid season yet weakened down the stretch and a bad back does that to a power hitter who generates so much torque from the middle part of his body.  If he needs surgery, now is the time.  This can’t rear its ugly head in April or May.  Get an X-ray or MRI.  Look at the discs and the spinal cord and make sure nothing is about to snap.   Back issues can go away with rest but if this is something else figure it out now.   Also, get an outside opinion on this one.  Let’s not lay all that money in the Cards shaky medical staff.

That’s it on The Cards.  Five points and done.

*The Rams got spanked by the Patriots and Tom Brady in London.  After striking first with a 50 yard pass, Sam Bradford and company got schooled and that’s fine.  They join a long list of teams beaten up by Brady and Belichick.  Here is how it went down.  The Rams have bad safeties.  When the corners get overloaded with coverage responsibilities, the safeties come in and have to help.  Well, the Rams safeties have issues and get burned.   Tom Brady tears teams with these issues to pieces.  Stomps on their throats.  Also, the Rams didn’t get pressure on Brady with their front four.  Long and Quinn were blocked easily all day.  If you watch the two Super Bowls between the Giants and Pats, you will know Brady gets stopped when you put hands and bodies in his face and make him move.  The Giants did that both times.  Other teams have done that as well, which is a big reason New England has 3 losses.  The Rams got zero pressure.  So, when the safeties got burned and the pressure never showed up, Brady went to work on the Rams.  When that happens, the other team’s QB has to respond.  Bradford and company couldn’t respond and were left in the dust.  The running game was lost and Bradford isn’t built to win games with his arm just yet.  This Rams offense is a bit anemic and needs work.  Calling Brian Schottenheimer.  Get to work son.  It is nice to see us 3-5 at the halfway mark but unless we score more touchdowns, the Rams won’t win many more.  Just saying.

*How about those Blues?  Yeah, that’s a shame.  No hockey.  Through November.  NONE.  The players and owners can’t decide on compensation so we get no action.  The people that fuel the sport’s equity and financing get fucked here.  Usually, when the Cards fly south for the winter and the Rams get beaten to death three weeks in a row, we have the Blues to fall back on and enjoy their competitive nature.  These days, this city is quiet.   There is no Cardinals baseball.  The Rams are off.  The Blues are practicing and not playing.  I can blame both sides and anyone can pick a side but once again I will point out how childish this is on the part of both sides.  Get something worked out.  Give in, take less, come to terms and reignite the sport.  On a small front of anger, there will be no winter classic this year so I will be deprived of my 24/7 series on HBO about the great rivalry between Detroit and Toronto.  No Blues home games at the Scottrade.  Darkness.  Tell me all day how that place is fueled by non sporting events and I will tell you it runs A LOT better with Blues games selling out and the house shaking from David Backes freight train hits and Oshie energy.  It’s a shame.  No hockey because rich guys can’t figure out a number.  The fans continue to suffer.

*The NHL must understand that fans will be lost again in this process.  The hardcore ones will stick around through anything but the full houses at Scottrade will decrease if this lockout ends late into the season.   It took 5 years for the Blues to fully pack their halls after the lockout in 2005 and the last thing a team losing money needs is an empty arena for a half or full season.  It’s the domino effect that will take place if the lockout doesn’t cease to exist.  Think of the national state of hockey.   It’s behind the NFL and MLB in revenue and will fall below or bash heads with the NBA if this thing persists.   Do you want to sink that low?  The media will forget about you even more and this sport will sink in notoriety.  Just an idea of what is at stake.

*Boardwalk Empire and Dexter are thriving off the work of guest stars Bobby Cannvale and Ray Stevenson.  Cannavale is the problem child loose cannon Gyp Rossetti on Boardwalk, and he is a revelation to watch because we haven’t seen this side of Bobby in his career.   Gyp is a dangerous, small time, bloody bastard who wants to make a name for himself.  His scene in a church screaming at the place GOD put him in on this earth is great work because it’s Bobby and a camera going to work.  Stevenson, famously known as Pullo on HBO’s Rome, is the thorn in Dexter Morgan’s side this season.   Playing a gangster with a means for revenge, Stevenson is the perfect foil for our anti-hero.  He is a big guy, dangerous, and a human killing machine.  Nice to know Dexter has real problems besides his sister and weak bad guys like Colin Hanks.  TV shows starve off extinction by pulling in great work from their guests.

*Homeland gets praise from me for simply exhilarating its story line this season.   When season one ended at a crossroads between Carrie and Brody, the stakes were set for this season yet as viewers we wondered how long the writers would wait before a reveal was made.  Well, it took 3 episodes and the boiling point on this series is only increasing with every hour.  Taking advantage of a hot hand, Homeland is going full steam ahead.    Season 2 isn’t letting up.

*Halloween was a success for Vin.  He dressed as a cop and rode around in his little police car collecting candy while mom and dad pushed and lifted him to houses.   After being out of the loop with the scary “holiday” for years, it was nice to throw the 13 month old into the fray.  Sure, he had no idea why we were ushering him around town but when he saw the bucket of candy at the end, the man was all smiles.  That’s Halloween for you.  National Dentists Fund Day.

*A message for all the bugs in the area.  JUST DIE ALREADY!  Your duties are done, the temperature is decreasing so get it on already.  I hate when I am seeing my own breath in the air and still see bugs escape into my house.  One of my pet peeves are the flies that endlessly tour your house.   I must have killed 6 of them last week.

*Movie to recommend this weekend.   Flight with Denzel Washington is Oscar gold.  The Man With the Iron Fists is gloriously bad.  Argo still deserves to be watched.  I saw a couple great films this week and one of them included James Bond.

*Sam Bradford is going to be a good quarterback and it would be nice to surround him with better talent and schemes on the offense, but the kid has to make more plays in the red zone.  The ball is in his hands more often than not and so far his 2012 numbers don’t show a clutch arm in the scoring zone.  Bradford has the tools and just needs to make better decisions in the red zone.  His pass completion percentage is very effective until he reaches the red zone.  He then gets very inaccurate and holds onto the ball way too long.  The Rams can get into the red zone but not into the end zone.  Great quarterbacks break through those walls.  It would help if he didn’t taste the turf so much and had receivers who could catch, but Sam holds onto the ball far too long and overthrows receivers as well.   Something needs to give down there.

*Anybody watching Hunted on Cinemax?  I am and two episodes in this series starring Melissa George as a CIA agent with a target on her back is only okay.  I could be shoving off soon because it is failing to pull me in.  The good thing about watching the first two hours is I can slip in down the road and appreciate the end if it is worth watching.

*Do yourself a favor and skip Cloud Atlas.  The latest from the creators of the Matrix is three hours of boring blabber about destiny and far too many characters to connect with on any emotional level.  Big ambitions and bad execution.   See Argo or Flight instead.

*The Amazing Spider Man is out on DVD and worth watching because of the direction of Marc Webb and the deeper portrayal of Peter Parker/Spider Man by Andrew Garfield and the presence of Emma Stone.  I am not a big fan of Spidey but this movie was a solid production.  It helps clean up the mess that was Spider Man 3.

*Breaking news on the Cardinals front.  Hitting coach and former player Mark McGwire is leaving St. Louis for the Dodgers in order to be closer to his family.   Mac said years ago when he took the Cards job that eventually he would depart and go back home.  I praise him for staying for Matheny’s first year and not running after La Russa departed.  Mac came back, cleared his name, cleaned his conscience and do good here and takes home a ring as well.  Good luck in LA, Big Mac.

*No matter how much I try, I can’t get into college sports.  I can watch bowl games and the March Madness but without any real emotion.  I just don’t have it or don’t have room for it in my system.  I watch a lot of Tigers action but only if I am sitting still for a few minutes.  It’s nothing against the intensity and fight in the young players.  I just can’t get into it.  Missing something for me.

*On Friday, I had my first round table interview with real actors.   The latest perk being an official film critic.  After interviewing TV Guide network star Katie Cazorla a month ago, I got to sit down with two actors from the Twilight Series on Friday on Blueberry Hill in an intimate 5 person round table interview.   Daniel Cudmore and Charlie Bewley are just names to you right now, but look them up and keep an eye out for them.  They are two great, appreciative and straight up cool guys.  A lot of pain in the ass actors give the profession a bad name, but hard working hustlers like Cudmore and Bewley are the real deal.  I respect them for their diligence.  Here is the link to the interview, which includes a pic where I look very small.

*For the crowd that loves little French independent films, head over to the Tivoli and watch Step Up To The Plate, a film about a legendary French chef handing his three Michelin star restaurant down to his son.  It really makes you appreciate the skill of a real chef.  Cool time at the movies.  Every time I watch a French film, I think of my sweet late grandmother Meme, aka Henrieta.

*The latest Bond film hits theaters this Friday, but I have already seen it and can tell you it is the best Bond I have seen in quite some time and cements Daniel Craig’s reputation as one of the best actors to ever fill that tuxedo.  Skyfall is the most complete James Bond movie yet.

*Need something to listen to and wouldn’t mind having the tinkle of the blues guitar rub against your soul?  Listen to Gary Clark Jr..  He has the voice of Marvin Gaye, the guitar ability of Jimi Hendrix and the sound of The Black Keys.  Here is a tease.

*Film-Addict General Recommendation Section-

Our website is giving away Blu Ray, DVD and screening passes for certain areas.  Check it out right here.

If you are curious what is coming to theaters in November, here is my preview for this month.

There’s my film-addict heavy blog section.   Hyping my site as much as a I can every single day.  That’s the hustle of creating something and being your own marketing rep.

*My son Vincent is becoming more mobile every day.   He gets up, goes through his routine and then reaches the floor so he can explore.  That includes an attempt at walking, reaching for cords, things he doesn’t need to touch, diving face first into the hardwood floor and generally becoming an attention hog.  He is nearing 14 months old and is gaining an confidence and strength that I didn’t think kids his age were allowed to obtain.

* It’s unbelievable that Thanksgiving is approaching.   Another year is about to go by and vanish into our past.  A year ago my son was between hospital visits and my grandmother was still alive.  My website was only a fickle idea in my head.  I had a job.  My wife was out of work.   Life was different.  Dangerous.   A year later, a lot of things have changed, some for the good and others for worse.   Vinny is healthy.  My grandmother is gone.  I am out of work but my wife Rachel Imperiale Buffa has a job.  I have a website that I helped create.  That’s life.  You’re up and you’re down.   Crashing into walls and in and out of painful waterfalls.  Resistance happens every day and we just keep on pushing against the grinds of life and hold off our demise, mentally and physically.  It’s an everyday battle.  Believe me.  I’ve been at the back of the line and at the forefront of disaster.  I’ve seen bad things and done some good deeds.  I am not perfect but I am alive.  My only fear is being misunderstood.  I just keep going and moving forward.  Taking the punches and waking up to a beautiful wife and kid every single day.  I may not have everything in life but I am happy.  I’ll take that state of mind.  They don’t sell it in stores but you can obtain it if you allow certain things to happen and don’t mind lending a piece of yourself to another soul.  That’s life.  The freedom to do what’s right and try to walk a straight line.  It’s not all fun and games but there is a payoff.

That’s all for now.  Thanks for reading.

Goodnight and good luck,

Dan L. Buffa

“For what it’s worth, I meant every word I said”