Blog started at 11 p.m. on December 31, 2012-
I’ll won’t keep you long here as I am sure you are partying it up like it’s the end of the world and the Mayans were only 10 days off. I am at home, with a kid in the bed and a wife on the couch and the lovely sound of Newsroom reruns flowing behind me on HBO. Aaron Sorkin has a pair of brass balls and uses a political platform better than Quentin Tarantino bends history. Many political animals showed their teeth when Sorkin dug his own into the past few years of huge world events and threw his own spin on things. They thought, “oh fuck no, who is he to do this and say these things?” Well, let me tell you. When you have an hour of premium cable to put your thoughts on a screen with an all star cast, you have your way with it. No holds barred and full steam ahead. Come on, this is why politics are lame and the United States of America is considered weak. We hate it when the mirror gets turned on us and the ugly reflection kicks us in the stomach. Newsroom did that, showing the way the news should have handled critical events such as the oil spill, an assassination attempt on a Senator and the hateful nature of a Presidential candidate turning away one of his staff because he was gay. It also threw back the cover on the talent of its cast members. Jeff Daniels never looked better as Will McAvoy, the anchor with a wolf instinct and a deep down love for his country but disdain for what it’s become. Daniels was amazing and better than Matthew Fox ever was on Lost. Suck it mystery island flock of shit lovers. Sam Waterson, Law and Order vet and a man who once played Lincoln, killed it as old hound news runner Charlie Skinner, who drank, spoke and kicked out wise tales like a journalism Buddha. Emily Mortimer, a long time British talent in film, climbed aboard and reminded the women in news that their voice can be sharp as a flesh eating male. The show sings as I digest it a second time. It is the best new show on television and June of 2013 can’t come soon enough. Please tell me why you don’t like this show and make it sound better than what I just wrote.
While you think about that, enjoy this best of Charlie Skinner(Waterson) clip put together by some dude on Youtube. You will forget this is the same guy who starred on the duller than chalk dust Law and Order show. Nobody says the word, “fuck”, better than Sam Waterson.
Let’s keep going here without a structure. People that need bullets and bold colored statements every time they write a memo or blog need to be walked out to an alley and have their face kicked in. Back to the point.
Hey gun haters, let me tell you a story that you may have unearthed in the news reel the past two weeks under the rock of Sandy Hook and its many manipulators. A couple days after Sandy Hook, December 17th, a man walked into a San Antonio restaurant with the intent of shooting and killing his ex-girlfriend. He walked, shot her, and the people in the restaurant freaked out and ran over to the movie theater next door. The man fired at police cars on his way over. The man followed the fleeing crowd into the theater with the intent to kill more people. Before he could, an off duty deputy put four holes in him and saved many lives. The victims weren’t 6 and 7 years old but this was the work of a hero. This week, that woman is being given a medal for having imaginary steel testicles. Why didn’t we hear about this? The media hounds buried it under the rest of the truth pile because it didn’t fall in line with the politically correct safe people who dictate the mainstream news. This wasn’t reported and there were few interviews. CNN and NBC think its okay to interview a traumatized 7 year old about what it sounded and felt like to hear bullets fired in their ear, stay quiet while their classmates were gunned down or quickly leave the school so their lives were spared. However, it wasn’t a priority to send a news team to Texas to report this amazing story. In case you think I am lying, here is the story.
It’s not flashy or soaked in blood but without a person acting on instinct and using a weapon, more lives could have been lost. It puts cement around my original point. When a bad person with a gun walks into a room, the best defense is a good person with a gun. Moving on.
As I down a shot of devil’s cut Kentucky Bourbon whiskey with 2013 firing up as I write this sentence, let me move into smoother topics. I like to start things with a bang, especially now that I am four hours into my Newsroom revisit. This show is so good because it hooks you with the content and holds onto you with the material used by Sorkin, real events. The second season starts this summer. I suggest you get on this.
The Rams didn’t win on Sunday against the Seahawks but it sure felt like a victory when they succumbed 20-13 after a late touchdown drive by Seattle rookie Russell Wilson. For nearly three quarters, the Rams were outplaying and beating up the Seahawks. They sacked Wilson 6 times, the most allowed against him all season long. Chris Long had 2 sacks and finished with 10 on the season, and Robert Quinn also had 10 sacks as well. The Rams finished with 52 sacks, tying Cincinnati for the most in the NFL. Sam Bradford threw a late game sealing interception but looked solid on the road and wasn’t bothered by the extremely loud conditions. Seattle had been pummeling opponents recently, accumulating 142 points in three games. The Rams were picked by many to be slapped around brutally. Local radio minds like Randy Karraker picked the Rams to lose 31-6 right before kickoff. Like they have done all season, the Rams proved a lot of people wrong and nearly upset the Seahawks. The loss was their first inside their division, the NFC West. They defeated Seattle at the dome earlier in the season and nearly beat the 49ers twice. Two teams in the NFC going to the playoffs and the Rams didn’t just hang with them but outplayed them in all four games. Steven Jackson ran for only 52 yards on 11 carries(4.7 per carry) but reached 1,000 yards for the 8th straight season. This has been done by only 5 other running backs in NFL history. It’s a testament to Jackson’s durability, skill and loud leadership for him to reach this milestone with a lot of average or bad teams. The Rams haven’t had a winning season with Jackson behind the quarterback and lots of feeble minds will place blame on the running back. They think he can call plays, play defense, draft players and work free agency and trades as well as run the ball. They are stupid. Steven Jackson has played his ass off for the Rams and deserves recognition. He doesn’t get the ball enough and may play elsewhere in 2013. I implore him to look around the market because he deserves the right to play for a serious contender. While they will pose a healthy threat in 2013, the Rams may not be able to overtake Green Bay just yet. However, their efforts in 2012 make you reconsider. They finished 7-8-1, a vast improvement over their 2-14 record in 2011. Jeff Fisher is the MVP of this team. Without many free agent moves or high profile draft picks, the Rams won 5 more games than 2011 and looked legit. Two years ago, they nearly made the playoffs and finished 7-9 but didn’t look as sure as this team. The 2012 Rams could have collected two more wins if they had starved off Detroit in Week 1 and avoided a drastic penalty on a field goal attempt in overtime against San Francisco. They would have finished 9-7 and still missed the playoffs but looked better doing so. This isn’t excuse making yet a clear way to evaluate a season. Point out what could have been and move on. The Rams won’t send any player to the joke that is called the Pro Bowl and that’s fine. They will recover dignity and head into the offseason looking for wide receiver, offensive line and help on special teams. They have two first round picks in 2013. The offense needs to run smoother and finish with more touchdowns but that’s obvious. The Rams need a legit returner who can get the team better field position. They desperately need to stop taking stupid penalties, including false starts. The Rams led the league in penalties and a few crucial mistakes cost them games. As is the case with any team, there are areas to fix and address but lots to feel good about. The Rams improved in 2012 and looked poised to make a run in 2013 and 2014. Their team will look different next year but retain the same fighter spirit implanted by Fisher and his coaches. They have one of the best cornerback tandems in Cortland Finnegan and Janoris Jenkins and one of the toughest defensive line tandems in Long and Quinn. Sam Bradford’s stats improved this season while his decision making and gutsy play took steps forward and backward. This team is alive and interesting again.
The Blues are dead in the water. The NHLPA and Owners will meet this week but don’t expect much. The deadline to start a season comes in less than 10 days and I have a feeling the second full season of hockey in the last 7 years will be lost. Greed is a dangerous part of life. 2013-2014 doesn’t look too bright either. Will the hockey fans come back? Sure. Will all the fans come back? NO way. These things will take time to heal and recover trust. Such a sad thing when an enterprise that makes lots of money and produces such a thrilling game is shut down by greed and stupidity.
Here are my favorite movies of the year. The best according to Buffa. It’s hard to call them The Best of 2012 when it is just your opinion being spread here. These movies didn’t leave my mind for awhile and found a place in my heart and soul. In the my first year as a film critic, my gaze was sharpened and my passion was heightened.
In no fixed order, here they are.
1. The Intouchables
2. The Dark Knight Rises
3. Rust and Bone
4. Killer Joe
5. End of Watch
6. Searching for Sugar Man
7. Silver Linings Playbook
-A word of advice from a film-addict. Avoid Django Unchained. It is a disappointment and this comes from a Quentin Tarantino fan. The spaghetti western tribute is a 3 hour meandering uneven enterprise of style over substance. Leo DiCaprio is a great bad guy but the rest are just fine. After I left, I regretted my time spent during it. Here is a duel review between myself and FA staff writer Landon Burris. He loved it while I didn’t enough to like.
-I wrote a piece on Matthew McConaughey, bringing to light his underrated acting ability. I think I did the Texan a solid with this piece.
-One more thing from my site while I have you here. This is my revisiting of The Dark Knight Rises, where I quarrel with the notion of whether it’s Oscar worthy or not. While it made my favorite films list, I don’t think it deserves awards like The Dark Knight did. Read it and get a clue. The Dark Knight Rises isn’t Oscar bound in my opinion, but still really fucking good. An excellent Blu Ray purchase especially if you love special features like this guy. Nolan takes you through his entire thought process and shoot. Nolan’s trilogy is hard to beat for being complete and direct with its ideals. Tom Hardy’s work as Bane is underrated but Christian Bale’s acting in the final chapter was home run material and is harder than it looks. Read more in my piece.
That’s all my website marketing I will do. It’s mandatory at this point when I am basically my own agent and publicist.
More NFL bits as the playoffs begin. The Giants and Steelers are out and that is sad yet true and understandable. The Denver Broncos are dangerous and Peyton Manning is the reason. While Adrian Petersen nearly broke the single season yards record and is great, Manning’s work is amazing. The defense is average, the receivers are young and the team barely made it into the playoffs last year and only did so after a QB change. Manning looks sharper than ever. After being left for dead by the Colts and the better portion of the NFL, Peyton has risen from the ashes and making a claim for Super Bowl win #2. He led the team to 12 straight wins and a 13-3 record. Watch out New England. The only way Tom Brady beats Peyton Manning is by attacking that weak Denver secondary. People gave so much crap to Peyton in the past for his teams losing without thinking about the Colts soft secondary. Sure, Manning made mistakes but the man can only throw the football. When the Patriots went up 28-7 early this season against the Broncos, Peyton nearly led them back, cutting the deficit to 28-21 before Brady iced it with a long field goal drive. One of the best attributes of the Patriots defense is Brady himself. He scores so many points on the other team that the opposing offense abandons the run and goes out slinging the football 35-45 times per game, resulting in New England turnovers. Peyton is a clear MVP candidate, but whether I like it or not, Brady’s effect on a game is hard to ignore. If the Broncos can muster a pass rush, the only kind of kryptonite in Brady’s lair, Manning is a threat to win the Super Bowl. Manning haters are waiting to come out and blast him but forget the team around him and also forget the man is putting the same kind of numbers on grass as he did in a comfortable dome setting. Tony Romo acted like Tony Romo on Sunday. End of story. Good quarterback on average teams but one that can’t get it done in clutch moments. The Packers, Seahawks, 49ers, Falcons and Vikings are all solid if beatable teams. I expect the AFC to capture the Super Bowl this season. The Seahawks would have been my NFC pick if they got home field advantage and didn’t get outplayed by the Rams in their own house. Cris Collinsworth is my trusted source of NFL information. His research and knowledge is second only to Jon Gruden. Speaking of Gruden, I expect Gruden and Bill Cowher to make a return to head coaching in 2013. The firings didn’t take long to commence on Monday. Andy Reid, Pat Shurmur Norv Turner, Lovie Smith, Romeo Crenel, and Ken Whisenhunt were all fired. It’s hard to argue with any of them. Smith put together good records but couldn’t find playoff success. Rex Ryan deserved to be fired but Jets owner Woody Johnson fired the GM instead. Jason Garrett may be out of Dallas but Jerry Jones might replace Romo instead. We will see.
Other things that I won’t forget from 2012-
*My kid walking around the house. It’s a little thing but falls in the big plateau for a young man category. Vin isn’t a baby anymore. He is a boy.
*Manny Pacquiao getting knocked out with one punch by Juan Manuel Marquez, laying a new twist in their legendary battle. They will meet again, but it’s hard to get the image of Pacquiao sucking the mat for 2 minutes out of my head. He was winning the fight but got careless. That one punch may have helped bring back boxing.
*The year Canelo Alvarez was denied a big payday twice. Victor Ortiz got his jaw broken and lost a chance to fight the redhead Mexican sensation. Miguel Cotto lost to Austin Trout and won’t get a chance. Canelo lost big fight money. Something he may find in 2013 when he potentially takes on Floyd Mayweather Jr..
*Seeing The Black Keys live and wanting more. A tease never sounded so good.
*Fully capturing the rock n’ roll grace of the underrated Black Rebel Motorcycle Club’s music.
*Twitter became a new tool for me.
*Film-Addict became a reality, movies became a job and our website officially became a business. Sweet and the bitter.
*No hitters, head coach firings, shootings, bad drivers, unpredictable weather, death, sickness and triumph. Oh, that’s every year.
*20 young souls lost in an instant at Sandy Hook.
*The media turning the idea of a good man or woman holding a gun into a bad idea while disregarding moments of heroism.
*Athletes taking their own life. KC Chiefs coaches watching up close. Ask Crenel what he will remember most. The bad record of the Chiefs or his young linebacker blowing his head off in front of him?
*I still love my wife as much as the day I married her. Good happy marriage is possible if you put in the work.
*Improvements to my house. I like coming home to my little South St. Louis City Buffa shack.
*Friends gained, lost and stuck in the middle.
Something I never lose in life is hope. The hope that people can be better and do good things. It’s a quality that comes at birth and is left up to the person to put to good use. So many people are down every day of their life and it’s fucking pathetic and sad. If you aren’t happy, do all you can do to fix it. Maintain hope that life can be better even when its not. When Vin got sick, Meme died and I lost my job, a lot of people could have wallowed up and hid from the world. I didn’t. I maintained my stance and kept my head up. I remembered Meme, spent time with my son and watched him get bigger and healthier, and helped install confidence in my wife and myself that we would find jobs. I can’t say it enough and I will borrow from Rocky again. Life is all about taking the hits and keeping the body moving forward. You don’t have to score a knockout. You just have to keep your head up and moving forward. Keep up the hope. It’s all we got in the end.
I’m making an anytime mix of music. Tunes that can be enjoyed any time and any place. Good to go for the soul.
Happy New Year. Good luck. Be safe. Now go live another round. Fuck the resolutions. Just be better in 2013 than you were in 2012 and if you are good already, just maintain it. We make our own luck.
Thanks for reading,
Dan L. Buffa
*Players report for spring training in 45 days. The St. Louis Sports scene is dead for that entire period. The sweet and the bitter, folks.