The Buffa Dispatch

Let’s throw another clip into the Buffa gun and just start firing.  The latest news and insight begins in an unfortunately familiar arena.  The home of tragedy and despair.   Before anything gets discussed here, I must address the Russia plane crash that claimed the life of 43 hockey players and coaches and goes down as the worst aviation sports casualty of all time.

“Live for today because tomorrow is not guaranteed.”-Chris McHugh

A sad and tragic offseason for hockey continued Wednesday morning when a charter plane carrying KHL Russian hockey league team Lokomotiv crashed shortly after takeoff into a riverbank and tower.  43 men on board perished in the crash, including former NHL players.   The most notable name in the list is Pavol Demitra, a former Blue, Slovakian captain and personal fan favorite here in St. Louis for many seasons.    Demitra was 37 years old and had a wife and kids.   Other NHL players included Ruslan Selei and Alexander Karpestev.   A haunting tragedy that lingered for the entire afternoon yesterday.   That’s the horrible ingredient of sudden death in life.   You instantly find out how important breathing is and how every day is a gift and not a privilege.  This horrible tragedy was the latest blow for a sport that has taken a beating in recent months.   Three NHL players died of sudden causes, including Derek Boogard, Rick Rypien, and Wade Belak.   I can’t stop thinking about the toll this crash is taking on the families.   Demitra’s family as well as other members of the team.  A team official released this statement on the website, “At first we didn’t want to believe it.  Now all hope is lost.  Our team is gone.”   Imagine one of the players leaving their home yesterday morning, meeting at the airport miles outside of Moscow and thinking it was going to be another routine flight.  How many flights had the players been on in their lives?  Hundreds of takeoffs and landings.  Death is a cruel reminder of the ticking clock that exists right next to our heads every waking minute.   This horrible loss is the worst single blow to a sport since The Marshall college football team crashed shortly after a win 30 years ago.   The saddest day in hockey history for sure.  Whether or not it affected every fan, this bruise spreads throughout the entire league because of the different countries affected.   The plane carried players from Russia, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Canada and Switzerland as well as the United States.   A brutal offseason.   A drug overdose, two apparent suicides and a deadly plane crash have affected the world of hockey in 2011.  Hopefully, this is the last punch this sport takes.

Rescue Me Series Finale-Rescue Me ended its 7 year run in brutal reliable fashion. A fitting tribute to firefighters and a well blended cocktail of irish whiskey dark humor and blunt drama worked into a symphony of chaos.  Denis Leary’s epicly devilish ode to the lives of firefighters went out with a quiet bang last night, and ended the series on its own terms.  *SPOILER ALERT*As in, the last episode wasn’t washed in sappy melodramatic sentiment and overreaching emotion.   It was cold, hard and to the point the show has drilled into our heads for 7 years.  After the huge fire that put the whole crew in jeopardy at the end of last week’s episode, the finale kicks off with a dream sequence involving a church, bag pipes and a tearful speech.  Tommy wakes up afterwards to remember he is alive and another is no longer breathing, a painful realization that hits the head immediately after you decipher the dream.   What follows are storylines patched up and new beginnings being crafted.  Leary and Peter Tolan don’t let us go without their moments of dark humor(a wake with ash spreading mixed with cake mix) and tough silent moments(Tommy discovering a body, reading a letter to his crew).  They don’t pound us with stories but instead slowly bring several different bits to the finish line and wrap the series up right where it began.  Will Tommy retire or stay on?  What happens to the rest of the crew?  Right when the creators tip toe around a familiar area, they retreat and set off an explosion before they tear open a new wound.   Tommy standing in front of the 343 names shaped like an American Flag honoring the souls who perished in 9/11 and giving a speech to the new recruits.  Instead of soaking the moment with a fake touch, Tommy speaks rather bluntly.  ““This ain’t a job. It ain’t an occupation. It’s a calling, a need, a desire that you feel in your bones and your brains and your nutsack.”   If Rescue Me failed at anything, it failed to conform to other television series norms.  Leary and Tolan had zero interest in making something familiar and flat.  Every effort was made to ensure we didn’t just honor the fallen heroes at 9/11 but the men and women who run into burning buildings on a daily basis.  The finale had a piece of every great quality.  The biting darkly ironic humor.  The poignant restrained drama.  Great acting from it’s all star cast including Leary, John Scurti, Daniel Sunjata, Steve Pasquale, Mike Lombardi, Larenz Tate, Robert Burke, Lenny Clarke and its two lovely ladies, Callie Thorne and Andrea Roth.  While Tommy was the center of attention, every actor had a chance to shine here and take their swings.  Rescue Me was real, hard hitting, powerful consistent entertainment that left a dent in your stomach if you cared to stay awhile in it’s wild unsteady world of anti heroes.

Where does Rescue Me rank all time on my list?  It is my favorite TV series of all time.  Those are big words from a man who has watched many series over the years, but I have reasons and will lay them out as the words roll on.   While this will simply function as an opening of the RM series recap, cement will be laid on opinion here.   Rescue Me is the best to me because unlike The Sopranos, it was consistently brutal and unpredictable in it’s storylines and characters.   Also, RM carried a more fitting poignant ending than Sopranos, the other contender for my favorite series.   A certain amount of space was left open here, but the 62 Truck Firehouse got closure and started a new chapter with its final 80 minutes.  The great thing about Rescue Me is it’s willingless to push its characters to the limit.  They do and say the most horrible things, commit errors and show flaws but the acting carries out the mission every time.  Denis Leary’s Tommy Gavin is the raging bruised moral center, and he hit every obstacle a hero with survivor’s guilt could hit.  RM doesn’t play it safe and never gets sentimental.  It constantly delivers direct doses of dark humor inflicted drama.  This series was limitless.  Men and women acting on realistic intentions yet fueled by dark histories.  Since football is in the air, allow me to use a couple analogies.  Rescue Me is the quarterback that scrambles around in the pocket looking for the riskiest throw.  Instead of kicking field goals for a couple seasons, RM pounds the running game down your throat with a confidence that doesn’t break.  Leary gave himself the darkest, trickiest role of a lifetime and gave an Emmy worthy performance.  His bigger achievement was resisting the urge to conform to regular TV rules.  How is all of this better than HBO and Showtime’s stellar lineups?  Look at the all together success of Rescue Me in establishing a story line, taking the characters to the limit, staying unpredictable and resisting sentimental urges while banging out scenes full of tears of joy and laughter.  It was more powerful and consistent than Sopranos, as edgy and daring as Dexter, and didn’t skip a beat while ending on it’s own terms.  This won’t be the last you hear from me about this series, but for now it will due.

Cardinals School of Economics

After failing over the weekend to gain ground, the Cardinals win their last series with the Brewers at Busch and stand 8.5 games out of first place while only 6.5 games out of the wildcard opening up today.  For the reachers, I’ll confirm some things here  Are we mathematically alive?  Yes.  Is it realistic to catch the Braves?  I’ll tell you on Monday.   Are the Brewers untouchable?  Baring a monumental collapse with 19 games left, yes the division is wrapped up.   The Cardinals are a tragic team for letting fans down this season, failing to sustain winning streak and enduring painful defeats.  It isn’t a strong move to reserve emotional stock in their comeback, so it’s best to stand off to the side and watch baseball and see what happens.   An example.  After coming home from a sweep last week, the Cardinals started the homestand off by losing 4 of 5 and falling back to 10.5 games out of first place.   Right when the interest level spiked, they let us down AGAIN.  In a matter of 5 games, the Cards show their true colors.  Now, they enter a series with the Braves(who play 2 games today before coming to St. Louis) only 6.5 games back.   The interest level is up again, only because this team refuses to die at 76-67.  The Cardinals honestly must go at least 16-3 the rest of the way to hold a single ounce of hope when the season ends.   After playing 3 with the Braves, the Phillies host us for 4 games next weekend.  Things won’t get easier for this team.   Remember, the team did this to themselves, using their own shovels and inconsistent play.  Let’s run down some notes on the club to better point out problems and bright spots.  First, what happened against Milwaukee the past 2 days to bring us a win?

Tuesday Recap-Kyle Lohse pitches 6 solid innings, Berkman gets two key base hits, Jon Jay and Matt Holliday crank homers late to get the Cards a 4-2 win.  Lohse outduels Yovani Gallardo, who gets battered by the Cards again to put his record against us at 1-7.  Gallardo gave up two home runs in an inning for the third time in three weeks to the Cardinals.  The most important part of the game came in the 9th inning, when Jason Motte gave up 3 hits and hung on for the save.  Tony La Russa’s reluctance to pull Motte was his best move in weeks.   With the hopes barely clinging to life and the Brewers threatening, Motte was in trouble but fulfilled a role he has perfected this season.   Escape danger.  Motte earned his 3rd save.  Cards win.

*Kyle Lohse is 13-8 with a 3.39 ERA this season, quietly holding the best numbers in the rotation.  After a great start and tough two months, Lohse is pitching better and winning again.  Lohse is a frustrating pitcher who prolongs starts, gives up baserunners and gives up big innings.   However, his success is a rebound season from his last two years and sets him up for a walk year explosion in 2012.  While I’d like to see him traded, his performance on par with the rest of the rotation can’t be lost.  I still hate guys named Kyle.


*Jason Motte finally allowed an earned run Tuesday night yet stuck in for the save. Facing the top of the Brewers order, Motte gave up 3 singles yet induceda key double play and escaped. While inherited runners allowed is the key statfor a reliever, one can’t totally dismiss ERA. Motte didn’t allow an earned run from June 23rd to September 6th, covering close to 30 innings. Keep in mind he
pitched in many tough tight spots and had to find his way out of trouble. When compared to other relievers, Motte’s feat is solid. Look at Kyle McClellan. He comes into two games over the weekend and gives up a big home run. A reliever’s job is to put out a fire or maintain the current score. Motte did that
perfectly for 2.5 months while the rest of the bullpen was a trainwreck. TLR was right to stick with him and Motte got the job done. He also fooled two hitters on his 88 mph slider, which is improving. I like this kid.

Wednesday Recap-Chris Carpenter put on an economics class and shut the Brewers down.  A night to put the resolve of Chris Carpenter on display.  After struggling against Milwaukee all season, Carpenter put on a clinic.  99 pitches, 5 strikeouts, 2 walks, and zero runs.  In a mixed bag of a season for the Ace, Carpenter righted the ship after two letdown starts.   Working with two runs of support, Carpenter cut up the toughest lineup in the National League.

*Nyjer Morgan is a pest and a trouble maker.  Plain and simple.  Any attempt to defend this fuckstick will be dealt with appropriately on this front.  Let me explain his latest stunt.   After striking out in the 9th inning, Morgan cursed at Carpenter and tossed his tobacco towards the mound, causing Albert Pujols to come at him and empty the benches.  Don’t tell me Morgan is a guy who is enjoying the game.  Brandon Phillips enjoys himself and likes to get the tempers flaring but he doesn’t act like Morgan on a baseball field.  Morgan’s antics sour the performance of a team with a commanding 8.5 game lead.  Play the clip of Morgan causing trouble to little league players and tell them this isn’t how a major league baseball player acts.  Carpenter didn’t say a thing towards Morgan, struck him out and blew a gasket.  It was all a big effort to get into Carp’s head and it was too late.  Getting caught up in the emotions of a game and making plays has nothing to do with looking like a fool.  Don’t forget that Morgan ran his mouth towards Carp in spring training, causing a bench clearing dispute.  Last season, he ran across the plate and threw an elbow into Cards backup catcher Matt Anderson.  Morgan isn’t having fun.   He is crossing the line and needs to be thrown back into his original sport(played college hockey with Barrett Jackman) and get his ass kicked.   The unfortunate aspect of baseball is there isn’t justice on a baseball field.  Just a crowd of men pushing and shouting.  In hockey, the gloves are dropped and the proper action is taken.  Here’s to Morgan pissing off a UFC fighter soon.

*Whether the Cards are mathematically eliminated or not, I will continue to watch.  As long as it’s warm outside, baseball is the sport to watch.   It’s an uncontrollable desire to stay connected to a sport that hasn’t been broken since childhood when it originated.  Until the fire trucks arrive, I stay on the burning ship.  A metaphor many hardcore fans know well.

The Albert Pujols/Cardinals Contract Talks heat up again soon.  USA Today and Sports Illustrated weighed in this week.  Pujols played the usual card and said he hopes to stay here(good), has no control(wrong) and will see what happens.   USA TODAY reports Pujols’ camp wanted 10 years at 23 million per year and the Cards offered 9 years at 22 million.   To me, this is low for both sides.  After getting a bite from a Rant List Member Mark Stangl today, here are my thoughts.

*I would give AP 6-7 years at 25 million per Mark.  If anyone deserves a golden ride Wilmer, its Albert.  He deserves market value and a solid deal.  If the Cards didn’t want to pay Pujols 25 million a year, they waited too long to work this out.   Once Ryan Howard signed for 25 per, the Cards had to pay more because the market went up.  I don’t want to give any player 9 or 10 years.  That’s too long.  However, Pujols deserves a great deal. He has played for 13 million(3 million deferred) for 6 seasons.  His performance(even this season) has reached or heavily eclipsed that salary.
*The one thing I don’t agree with is Albert saying he has no control.  He has complete control.   Questions?  Does he want to change his life and leave his kingdom?  Does he want to move mid-career?  I don’t think so but u never know. Pujols has full control.  He makes the call.  He is the commodity and the result.
*The Cardinals missed a chance to lock up Albert when they signed Matt Holliday.  They gave Holliday(younger) 8 yrs at 17 million per season.  With Pujols’ production, they have to at least give Albert 6-7 years at Howards rate.  If they locked up AP at that time, before Howards game changing deal, the price would be lower.  I liked the Holliday deal but I’d like to see Pujols locked up at the same time to set in stone this match made in pitcher killing heaven.  The Cards waited awhile to talk money with AP and may pay in price.

That’s the situation.  Pujols having control but the Cards needing to open up the vault here.  What happens?  A 7 year deal that starts around 27-28 per year for 2-3 seasons and the annual value dropping around year 4 or 5.   Both sides benefit there.   Remember this.  If the Cards gave Holliday a long ride, they must lock up Albert.   Its going to be 23-27 million per season.   Market value.  Like I said, the dispute between a difference of one year and 2 million is ridiculous on both sides.   However, Albert Pujols is a piece of gold Mark so u don’t want to let it go.   The Cards knew this day was coming so hopefully money is ready.   The Cards sport a 110 million dollar payroll but generate close to 300 million every season in overall merchandise, TV and Radio income and attendance.  My answer-Pujols listens and Cards pay up.  Get it done quick.

That’s my take.

The Official Return of Football starts tonight with the Green Bay Packers opening up their title defense against the New Orleans Saints at Lambeau Field.   Aaron Rodgers against Drew Brees in a classic example of how the NFL is a quarterback powered league.   This is going to be an explosive game that features tons of yards, touchdowns, and huge plays.  Rodgers and Brees are 3 step drop bombers and carry a fleet of weapons.  In an ironic way, this game will come down to a battle of secondaries.  My pick is the Packers.  They are deep, solid on both sides of the ball, carry the best QB in football and are completely healthy.  When they won the Super Bowl in February, they weren’t healthy.  They had 7 Week 1 starters miss significant time in 2010.   They missed two key defensive pieces and didn’t have a legit running back in Ryan Grant behind the line.  The Saints are loaded and furious coming off the playoff upset to the Seahawks.  As long as Drew Brees is playing quarterback and Gregg Williams is working his blitz packages at defensive coordinator, the Saints are going to be tough.   The Packers, though, have the tougher all around defense, the sharper QB in Rodgers and the home field advantage.  Tonight, outside in cold Wisconsin, the Packers will win 31-27.

Rams-Eagles Preview-3 Keys to the Game

1.Sam Bradford against the Eagles secondary.   If Sam can’t find holes in this all star secondary powered by Nmandi Asmongna, the Rams offense is doomed.  The secondary puts pressure on Bradford, which hurts the run.  It’s a trickle down offense that is running up against a Pro Bowl defense.  Antonio Cromartie and Nnamdi will create complexities and disruption for Bradford.  A huge test for the rookie will come in his ability to audible, check down and limit his mistakes.

2. The Rams defense against Michael Vick and his fleet of receivers.   The whole attack centers around putting pressure on Vick and forcing him to make mistakes and leave the game with an injury.  Vick is quick and talented, but he is brittle.  If Chris Long and James Hall throw a body into Vick and mess up his timing, good things happen.  If not, Vick runs wild, throws deep bombs to Jeremy Maclin, DeSean Jackson and Kevin Curtis all day long and this game turns into a route.  While I won’t claim the Eagles as Super Bowl bound, they are deep in scoring attacks and will challenge a defense to make plays.   Vick isn’t a guaranteed repeat for MVP performance, but he will take advantage of an average secondary if he has the chance.  The Rams secondary has to make plays, get contact up front with Jackson and Maclin, and hinge on the defensive line moving Vick into their zones of trap.

3. The Rams running backs attacking a weak Eagles linebacking and defensive line crew.   Steven Jackson, Cadillac Williams and Jerius Norwood have to push the Eagles back, gain the tough yards, wear down the front 7 and open up space for the receivers.  The Eagles will stack 8 in the box at first and force Bradford to beat them deep.   A strategy that works well unless the trio of backs starts to break up the linebackers and force help to come down in the safety.   Hit the Eagles where they are weak and ram the ball down their throat.  Get Jackson 10 carries in the first quarter and start to mix in Williams and Norwood.  There is depth at this position so take advantage.

The Rams have a tough first 6 games.   Playing the Giants, Ravens, Cowboys, Packers and Redskins after the Eagles lines the Rams up for a make or break run.  However, this team wins 2-3 games in this bunch and we are doing just fine.  After the first 6 games, the Rams play within the division 6 out of the next 8 weeks and have a chance to make up ground.  Unless the Cardinals and Seahawks play above their potential, the division will be wide open in mid season.   A tough first part is good because we get to see what the Rams are made of and how real they are after a solid preseason.   The middle part of the schedule is the breathing room in 2011 and if the Rams make it there 3-3, their chances for playoff activity are very good.   The ride begins this Sunday.

NFL Topics-

Peyton Manning is done folks.   Today, Peyton Manning underwent his third surgery in the past year on his neck, as a cervical neck fusion was performed this morning.   An invasive procedure that requires 2-3 months of rehab places Manning’s season in serious jeopardy.  We are talking about football players here.  Football requires a player to go through an entire rehab because of the severe contact in the sport.  To me, this kills the Colts chances for a quality season.   The creeping suspicion since May that Peyton was in worse shape than most wanted to think has come full circle.   This Sunday, a different QB will stand behind center for the Colts for the first time since 1997.   Manning’s 227 straight starts are the most since Brett Favre’s unbreakable streak.   That ended yesterday when he was officially put down for a week.  After several meetings with doctors around the country, Peyton is going to miss serious time for the first time in his career.   How long will his body take to recover?  Take Peyton off the team and you have a broke ship.   Imagine taking Joe Montana off the 49ers and think about how many trophies Bill Walsh’s San Fran destructive squad has?  Peyton Manning is indespensible to this team.  He makes also ran receivers like Pierre Garcon and Austin Collie Pro Bowl potential catchers.   He is everything.  Think about it.  What does Manning do before every snap?  He walks up the huddle, examines the defense and calls an audible.  While some calls are pure bluffs, Manning is running the field like a computer system.  Ask teammates and coaches and he has full rein over the plays that get called.  He is the captain of the ship.  He is the most valuable player in the league to his team.  He is indespensible to the Colts.  That doesn’t make him the best QB in the league. He is the most valuable to his team.   When Tom Brady missed a full season two years ago, Matt Cassel came in and took the Patriots to a 11-5 record.   Kerry Collins, 39 years old and retired last month, can’t walk into Peyton’s cathedral(and yes its a church of football knowledge) and turn in 11 wins.  It won’t happen.  The Colts will be lucky to win 8 games if Peyton misses more than 6 games.  Under Manning, The Colts were going to get 10 wins.   Under Collins, they won’t win more than 8 games.   Reggie Wayne, Dallas Clark and Joseph Addai all shined under Manning.  How good are they on their own?  We will see.  Same goes for the Colts.  Good luck.  This is a huge blow.  It’s everything the Colts fanbase worried about all summer.  What’s wrong with Peyton?  Take Albert off the Cardinals for 4 months and see how well they do.

-Ndamukong Suh and James Harrison are the fiercest most feared and destructive defensive players in football.  These are two guys quarterbacks, receivers and running backs do not want to run into.   Suh may be fined 100,000 dollars by Christmas but he isn’t a dirty football player.  He is a real old school hitter.   Same goes for Harrison, who isn’t a dirty player.  Harrison and Suh hit every player the same.   They are bone crunching football players and the most feared.   My picks for defensive player of the year candidates.

-Will Tony Romo ever leave Chokeville and take hold of the Dallas Cowboys and make them his team and lead them to the promise land?  Ever since he fumbled the snap in the playoffs, Romo hasn’t performed well, crashing and burning in the playoffs, and getting hurt last year.   Romo is full of talent and carries even more potential.   He is a stat king when he is on, but his attitude needs to be strengthened.  Coming off a serious injury, Romo has to adjust his attitude and lead the criminally clown class in Dallas back to the win column or forever be known as a talented QB who couldn’t cut it in Jones dome.

-Super Bowl Pick Before Any Football Action.   A rematch of last year’s Super Bowl.  Green Bay against Pittsburgh.   That’s all.  Respond and I will give more.

Blues Hockey Clips

As the season nears and the roster forms and this team comes together here are some quick takes on familiar topics.   This may sound repeatable from my side but until moves are made, they can be brought up and discussed.  Lets get to it.

-The acquisitions of Jamie Langenbrunner and Jason Arnott are the biggest moves of the offseason and a head turner.   Scott Nichol and Kent Huskins can impress me all they want but bringing in Stanley Cup Champions who still have years left and can instantly beef up the 3rd-4th line is huge for a team that entered last year with an average age of 28 years old.   Langenbrunner and Arnott are old hands but they can both score points and are moving into supporting roles in this system loaded with young talent like David Backes, Chris Stewart, Tj Oshie, Patrik Berglund, Alex Pietrangelo and Andy McDonald.   These two are hardnosed offensive players who can also play fine defense.  They bring years of experience and a fearless attitude.  Experience is the gain here.

-Jaroslav Halak is the X-Factor here.   Last season, when Halak went down, the Blues went into free fall and their two backups, Ty Conklin and Ben Bishop, performed horribly.   The loss of Halak was the last injury cut this team could handle and it broke their season.   Halak returned and played well but needs to produce over an entire season because this team isn’t stacked enough to shoulder average goaltending. Halak was brought in as the young savior.  His first year was a mixed bag.  What happens in Year #2?  It doesn’t take a passionate Blues fan like myself(followed them from age 8) to tell you the playoff chances  hinge on Halak.

-Give David Backes the captain patch.   Do it now.  Let’s not slice it up into 3 alternate captains.  How many teams with 3 ALTERNATE captains win the Stanley Cup?  Not many folks.   Backes embodies everything a team needs in a captain.  On ice presence, a brutal edge to his play, an ability to make a game changing score, hit or pass.   Backes waited for this responsibility.  Give it to him.   Tell me all day about Barrett Jackman’s leadership and I will tell you he is the other teams best scorer at times.   Pietro is too young to take the captain job.  He deserves an “A”.   Oshie is a favorite among fans, but also with the local pubs who serve him lots of alcohol.   “Furnace Face” is a good player but needs to mature.  Backes is the man in my opinion.  Annoit him.  Hey, just for kicks, he takes care of dogs.

-Ryan Reaves needs to share time with Bj Crombeen because every team needs an enforcer out there.   Someone who can be called on to get off the bench, hit the ice, and serve justice.   Reaves is a solid 4th line player.  He can handle the puck and make a play but he is a young talented fighter who made a claim to the throne last season and made it easy to release Cam Janssen.  Crombeen can kill penalties and score goals but so can the first 3 lines.  The 4th line is an aggressive pressing line that needs to employ a tough guy.   Reaves needs to play.

-Tj Oshie is at a crossroads.  A contract delay led to one thing for a Oshie. A wakeup call from the team. asking him to step up and show what he can do.   Oshie wanted a 3 year deal but the Blues offered 1 and told him to put up the numbers to claim the longer contract.  A challenge from talented GM Doug Armstrong, who showed a Mozelaik like flare to bring in the right talent for the right price.  Oshie is a versatile threat but can he stay healthy and give the 100 percent effort all year long?  This is a big year for Oshie.

Ready or not, The Blues season is right around the corner and there’s more hope this year with the growing maturity of the younger players, the additions of the vets and the second year of Halak.   Is this the year?  That’s a question for later but I will say the Blues will be an entertaining team to watch and will challenge for one of the 8 spots in the Western Conference.

The Music Pick of The Day

Alison Mosshart-What a Wonderful World

Mosshart is the voice of the Kills and The Dead Weather.  A gothic Queen with the pipes, look and skill level to take a classic from Louis Armstrong and put her own spin on it.  A slow moving burner used in Sons of Anarchy’s Season 4 Premiere on Wednesday, Mosshart makes the song her own here.

Movies Blitz

Warrior-Film to See This Weekend

I know when there is a film for me to see when I heavily anticipate the reviews on it from my select group of critics.  Warrior is a film I have waited for since Tom Hardy announced he was taking the role of a MMA fighter named Tommy who trains for a tournament only to find out his brother awaits him in the ring for the championship.   Joel Edgerton co-stars with Hardy in this heartfelt film from Gavin O’Connor, who directs from the chest every time he steps behind a camera.   A film about two brothers getting involved in a brutal sport to balance out the chaos in their lives.   Count me in for the first time in 40 days.

Also, Contagion, released this weekend-A Steven Soderbergh dream cast about a airborne virus contracted through germs that turns the world into a sea of victims and every moment into a fear induced coma.   Matt Damon, Jude Law, Laurence Fishburne, Kate Winslet, Gweyth Paltrow flood the cast but the only drawback here is the plot involving a virus and a good idea of how it ends.   Familiar plot, great cast and director collide with a fine idea but make this the second choice.

Television Opening Act-

The Return of Sons of Anarchy.   The 4th season finds the brotherhood just released from jail after a 14 month stint for gun running.   Jax(Charles Hunman) comes out wanting to find a way out of the club.   Clay(the steely presence, Ron Perlman) is wearing down and his hands are getting worse with severe arthritis.   The rest of the gang is intact and the gun running continues with the Irish and the Russians.  A new drug cartel is coming into Charming and things get hotter with a new sheriff in town wanting to lock the sons up and a district attorney mounting a case against them.   The season premiere ends with a classic music induced montage.  Any time you see a montage in television, something big is going to happen and a plot will unfold.   This is going to be another explosive season of biker wars or as I call it Sopranos on Bikes.  Another great FX show, the new great network.

FX’s LIneup of Quality Shows-Just in case you or I lost track

Rescue Me(retired, 7 seasons)


Sons of Anarchy

The League(if you love sports and fantasy football, watch this show)


Lights Out(retired, one season)

Parting Shots

  • The Cardinals need to stop complaining about the shadows affecting them during 3pm games.   If the Brewers have no problems scoring 4 runs and winning the game, why can’t Pujols and Holliday hit well enough to help their team win?  It’s only a problem if affects both sides.
  • Barack Obama is introducing a new economic package to help our country out.   One day, Washington DC will get it right the first time.   How many strikes does a President get?
  • The Rams can beat the Giants, Cowboys and Redskins.   The Eagles, Ravens and Packers will be harder than ever.  3-3 is good enough.
  • Sam Bradford’s expectation will continue to rise and the seat will get warmer.   The better the Rams get, the more pressure sits on Bradford’s shoulders.  It’s a good thing he handles it very well and doesn’t crack.   Super Bowl Winning Quarterbacks are supreme condition performers.
  • Up All Night, a new NBC comedy with Will Arnett and Christina Applegate as new parents, is something I must watch because it’s like adult entertainment for new fathers and mothers.
  • Watch the new promo for Madden2012, with Ben Affleck narrating about the rivalry between two brothers.   “The hatred you have for him is biblical”. Affleck’s words come from experience.
  • New Albums to look forward to this fall.   Coldplay, Florence and the Machine and hopefully, the Dead Weather.
  • Status Update on Vincent Buffa development.   After a visit with the Doctor on Tuesday, the little Buffa is looking like he is coming closer to the original birth date, September 18th.   At this point, I’m ready to be a dad.  Too much drama for a pregnancy.   Bring on the midget fury.  The waiting room for fatherhood is getting old for a few reasons.  You can only read so much about being a dad before actually doing it.   How long does a nursery stay empty?  The wife drives you nuts by telling you how much she wants it out.   The time has come.  The car is packed, my blog is full, and we are ready.   We got 9 years to build a home for a child and set things up.   The previews are over.  The movie starts soon.  Let’s hope.

One more thing…

Appreciate every single day folks.  If the 10 year anniversary of 9/11, the KHL plane crash and the many sudden deaths around the country have taught us anything, it’s to be prepared to go at any moment.   The only way you can do that is to suck in every moment life gives you.  A sentimental if true word of advice.  Don’t waste a pitch my friends.   Make them all count.  When those 44 hockey players boarded the plane, they thought it was a regular day.  Same for the 2,983 souls who perished on September 11th, 2001.    Regular days could turn into the last ones quick.   We don’t think about this because we don’t want to believe tragedy can find us.   It’s like playing a hide and seek game with the Reaper.   You’ll lose the game.   Here’s the idea.

This is a life changing event for anyone who sinks their teeth into it.   Here’s the deal.   Some of us choose to not pay attention to the news, details and stories because the fear of our mortality having a few bullet holes ripped through it is too much to bear.   Think about it.   Get up, wash, brush teeth, work, home, dinner, internet activity and a little time for…….I MAY FUCKING DIE TOMORROW.  That’s always been my way of sight here.  Go one day at a time while you pencil in the future.   Next year may not happen and while on paper we are here until a projected age, anyday may be our last.   To most, its a tough realization that is avoided in order to enjoy the party.  To me and the few who read here, including the great Irish one McHugh, life is a gift and a moving one. Spread the story around.

Movie or not, the impact is blunt here.  A horrible tragedy that affects the entire world because hockey is a sport but life is vital to everyone.  It’s like I am standing in a field and I just saw 44 men fall around me but I am still standing because I don’t play hockey in a Russian league and didn’t jump on that plane that day.  Moral of the story.   Death sucks and gives no escape unless you care elsewhere.

That’s all for now folks.  Thanks for reading and have a good night.   The time has come to pull the curtain down on this latest Buffa Blast.   At this moment, my mind is at ease.

Take care and keep your head up,

Dan L. Buffa

P.S.-Here’s a link to a story on the WordPress site from a writer who carried a rather special perspective of the KHL Plane Crash Tragedy.  Read the entire story because its best I don’t give details.









The Round of Material

As the clock strikes midnight, my hands get to work on the latest round of material.    News, ideas and general thoughts on a variety of subjects.   Without further delay, we are off.

  • Victor Ortiz and Floyd Mayweather Jr. crash in another round of HBO’s brilliant sports series, 24/7, where the network follows two boxers leading up to a fight.   Without examining the odds and careers of each man, I can tell you Floyd is the hands down favorite to win this fight.  A 34 year old tactician artist who is adapt at speed and planning his attack over a 12 round period.   The man is a greedy rich prick who runs his mouth and attitude too far and long, but he is a great fighter and deserves the hype.  An old saying goes in boxing that if you want to talk, make sure your hands are right behind your mouth.   Ortiz is a pure underdog, a fighter who crashed and burned early in his boxing life but has made a steady comeback and is hungry to take down the champ and shock the world.   Ortiz handed Andre Berto his first defeat in convincing fashion, by outpunching a hard punching fighter in Berto.   Ortiz is fighting off “parental issues” until the day he dies, being left with his brother at the age of 4 by his mother and father to feud for himself.   The kid carries a boulder on his shoulders of rage and redemption.   24/7 gives you what they usually hand out.   Deep profiles of each fighter and an insight into their camp.   Ortiz’s trainer, Danny Martinez, faces his own drama with the separation from his brother and father, after he took over training Victor from his brother Robert.   Hearing Danny talk about that, “loving his brother but not knowing if he is loved back” is deep material.   Baggage follows Floyd around in the form of his father, Floyd Mayweather Sr., an older version of Junior who carries the same size ego and half the hand speed.   At the end of round 1 in the series, the Floyd’s go through a 5 minute long cursing and ego blast that ends with dad leaving and son in a fit of rage.  The things that intrigue me about this fight are this.   Ortiz is the youngest fighter Floyd has faced in a long time.  Ortiz is a southpaw and Floyd doesn’t fare as well with lefties as he does with righties.  Ortiz is hungrier than Floyd’s previous opponents.  Oscar Dela Hoya, Shane Mosley, and Juan Marquez were Floyd’s last few fights.   Old beaten up heads with little to prove yet only there to claim a sliver of light and a paycheck.  In Ortiz, aka mini gangster monster, Floyd is facing a young shark who just wants to beat him.   I like that about this fight.  Floyd will win but this will be a fight and Ortiz won’t wear down.   Berto gave him the fight of a lifetime, and Ortiz outlasted him.   Floyd is so strong at getting tougher as a fight continues and he benefits off an old tiring fighter.  What if Ortiz doesn’t falter and gets stronger as well?  Intriguing fight.
  • The Cardinals are officially done.   When they lost Friday against Cincinnati, the idea of a comeback died.  A pulse was lost Sunday after the Reds won the series.   After Milwaukee and Randy Wolf walked in on Labor Day and easily beat them 4-1, a final bullet was fired into this team’s head.   Game over, folks.  The sweep in Milwaukee means nothing now.  Coming home for a huge homestand only to lose 3 of 4 to open it up, the Cards are simply not good enough.   They can’t put it all together at the same time.  The hitting isn’t there when the pitching is and vice versa.  They have hit into 150 double plays and blown 24 saves.   Their starting rotation was never good enough.   A lineup that includes 4 hitters that carry a decent chance of hitting .300 doesn’t garner most of the blame.  A team that’s only 2 games over .500 at home doesn’t make the playoffs.  A team that can’t play consistent baseball doesn’t survive a battle and win the war.   The 2011 Cardinals are done. That’s it.  Let’s talk future needs.  Follow the proceeding bullets.
  • While the Cardinals have a figure to offer Albert Pujols, they have to get other parts of the roster figured out.   Start talking to Chris Carpenter and Lance Berkman’s people, and contact Rafael Furcal’s posse as well.  These are the easier deals because they are older declining players who caught a good ride here and want to stay and will work something out.
  • Chris Carpenter is a war horse and won’t start the season 1-7 again.   He is a solid top of the rotation arm who eats innings, dominates for a long period of time and is a warrior out there.   His 15 million dollar option can be reworked into a 2 year deal worth less per season or you just pick up his option.  Looking at his injury history and average season and you try to restructure.
  • Lance Berkman avoided a trade to Texas and wants to stay.  Offer him a 4 million dollar raise and offer him an extra year.   2 years at 24 million is a solid raise and good way to end his career.  If he demands more than that and 3 years, you say goodbye and put Allen Craig in right field and spend hard elsewhere.   Berkman is a huge piece of the puzzle, hit his way back into commission but isn’t worth the boat.
  • Rafael Furcal is worth the return because of what he gives the Cardinals.   Things they haven’t had in years.  A steady leadoff bat and a very strong shortstop.   Furcal has instantly improved this infield defense in his time here and makes the great plays.   With a groundball pitching staff, a quality shortstop is required.   Please don’t let this team employ Tyler Greene or overpay for Jose Reyes.  Just bring back Furcal.   Throw out his 12 million dollar option and offer him less with incentives attached.  While his career is in decline and his bat doesn’t pop as much as it used to, Furcal’s great defense and leadoff bat get him back here and make him a priority.
  • Remember folks that if Albert comes back, he is getting a 10 million dollar raise.   Factor that into the areas and all can’t be kept.   If Pujols leaves, Berkman moves to first base, Allen Craig goes to right, and you spend more money on a notable shortstop, second basemen or closer.   Since the preseason talks didn’t fade so well, the possibility of Albert leaving is there and real.   Going to Chicago?  No way.  Pujols isn’t that stupid.   However, while I don’t want to truly believe it, the chances of a departure are there and this team can still be competitive without Pujols.   If he departs, 20-25 million dollars opens up per season and that’s huge.  If you are a legit Cards fan, you keep that in mind.   Here’s why he is staying.
  • The man built a life here and wants to stay.   Call it trite or sentimental, but the man is a king here 11 years into his career.  I honestly don’t think he would change it now.   If I am Albert, I tell my agent to start talking to the Cards and get a deal worked out.   The Cards have two different payrolls set up for 2012.   A Pujols abled roster and a Pujols-less roster.   The team has to know what they think he is worth.   John Mozelaik and company know what they see in AP.  A player approaching 500 home runs, 600 home runs, multiple record breakers, memorabilia, dollars, merchandise.  Add that to his onfield play and it’s easy to determine the guy’s worth.  His name almost reaches his play.  It comes down to the man in the end.  He decides if he comes or goes.  It’s not simple but on an overall level, clarity wins.
  • How long will Loranzo drag the talks out?  The Cards can’t afford to let Albert Pujols deaden their 2012 chances.   Get a real figure in mind for AP, and attack the other free agents before they go elsewhere.  A rough future for the Cards is a Pujols less lineup.   An even bleaker outlook is one that doesn’t include Berkman, Carp and Furcal.  Matt Holliday will not carry this team to the playoffs on his own credit.  No way.  Albert Pujols is still putting together a great season on any player’s account and a ton of his hits are game changing hits.   However, you don’t want to lose him and 2-3 other important players.   Save your ship and let the strongest hand make his own way back.
  • I’ll say this about Pujols.   He deserves a great deal.  A grand deal.   Many wanted to see him finish with horrible numbers and come down from his perch.  I’m glad he found his way and is finishing well.   Pujols played for below market value for his production for 5 years.   He deserves a golden ride, but he does control his fate.  When he says he doesn’t control it, he is 100 percent wrong.   To unfortunately quote Bon Jovi, it’s your life, Albert.  Get it done.
  • I’m going to the game tonight for the pure love of the game.  That’s it in a nutshell.   Kyle Lohse is pitching against the Brewers and we will probably lose.  However, a true fan goes for the love of the game and all its details.   The chance to see big moments and big plays.  Individual achievement.  A good contest.  Get with it or stay home.   You will see hardcore fans or floaters looking for a bench clearing brawl or a place to enjoy a game for 5 innings.  Tonight, its me in my final game as a guy without a kid.   The final chance to sit down for a night with my team with my boys.  Take it as you will.
  • Rams are back in less than a week folks.  It’s time to get excited because the practice games are over and the real deal starts.  Sam Bradford takes the field for his second year in battle and carries more expectations.   Final cuts are in and here are my thoughts.
  • Marty Gilyard carries a ton of talent as a wide receiver, but he got his time here to learn a playbook and failed.  He can return kicks but there are other players on this team who can do that and are younger and more hungry   He is gone and that is a good move.
  • Donnie Avery is a big talent with a lot of speed.   His achilles heel is his brittle body and his ability to miss a ton of time every season.   His cut is a team telling him they have ran out of patience not with his talent but with his body’s ability to take a beating.   I think the move is a risk because he has the most speed on this roster, but I understand the move.   Avery was a guaranteed tough cut.
  • Cutting a player is tough business and a team annoits one man to take out the duty.   Watching Hard Knocks on HBO and see these guys walk into players hotel rooms in camps and directly end their chances with that team.  Brian Billick compares it to a classic scene in Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven.    “You take away everything a man ever had and everything he ever will have”.  In a nutshell, that’s what the process is.   The killing of a dream.
  • The Rams can beat the Eagles on Sunday.   If our defensive line gets to Michael Vick and causes problems, there’s a shot.   Bradford has a capable core of receivers and a trio of running backs behind him.   The tables aren’t set against Bradford and the Rams, but it’s a tough way to open a season.   Here’s a few factors.  When on, Vick is the most dangerous player in the NFL.   Bradford is throwing against two of the best corners in the league.   The Rams will have a chance to run on the Eagles weak run defense and lack of a pass rush.    Chris Long, James Hall and company will get their hands on Vick.   The game takes place in The Ed Dome, which instantly gives the Rams a shot.  They didn’t fare too well on the road last season.
  • This is the Rams division to lose.   They have to survive the early parts of the tough schedule and then they must take care of the division.
  • Cliff Lee has 6 shutouts this season.   Let me sprinkle some perspective on it.  The Cards don’t have 6 shutouts combined from their entire rotation. The Phillies rotation and lineup will be tough to deal with.
  • Peyton Manning’s 227 game streak of starts will be snapped this weekend.   The man’s neck and back aren’t right and you can’t step on an NFL playing field and try to escape 6-8 guys every snap with a bad injury.  The Active Iron Man in the NFL will see the record stop due to a second neck surgery.  Will he miss half the season?  No.   Will his absence hurt the Colts?  Yes and no.  Kerry Collins is a good fill in quarterback but he isn’t Peyton.   Their season is in jeopardy without Manning.
  • Danny Amendola is a threat in a Josh McDaniels offense.   A returning threat, a slot receiver and a playmaker on all fronts.   A genuine weapon who is a good story because he worked long and hard to earn this spot as the Rams go to receiver.
  • Herm Edwards is a hard driving blunt football voice and his words are always fun to hear.   Telling his Chiefs team in 2007 before a preseason game, “You get to play football tonight, so put a smile on your face.”  After a bad preseason(it was very bad), Edwards blames himself.  “I put together a bad football team.  It’s my fault.”   Edwards is akin to Jon Gruden.   Brutally honest and blunt.
  • Here is a completely un-bias take on the Albert Pujols situation from ESPN’s Bill Simmons led Grantland website.  A great piece by Jonah Keri.  I can take you 6 directions but a piece of my opinion on Pujols will carry a hometown bias because I’ve watched the kid play since he got his first at bat in the major leagues.   Jonah doesn’t carry an ounce of bias.   Read this.

  • Bill Simmons on the MVP race in the American League.   Jose Bautista or Justin Verlander.   The great thing about Simmons and this is a disputed notion is that he can give you a blunt opinion that detaches from his Boston love.   He compares Bautista to Tom Hanks in Turner and Hooch.  Great player on a bad team that makes it work.   However, he compares Verlander’s season to Pedro Martinez in 1999, when Pedro destroyed opposing lineups, won 23 games, pitched 200 plus innings and struck out the first six guys in the All Star game.   He was deadly and Verlander is the same.   If Justin Verlander doesn’t pitch, the Tigers starting pitcher gets ripped for 5 or 6 runs.   To quote Simmons, watching Pedro pitch was like watching a Broadway play with Daniel Day Lewis on Wednesdays and watching one of Alec Baldwin’s brothers on the rest of the days.   Verlander deserves the MVP because you take him away and the Tigers aren’t leading the Central and nowhere near the top.   20 wins before September 1st and unbeatable numbers.   Most Valuable Player.  It’s a given he wins the Cy Young.  Verlander will win the MVP.
  • Switching to TV.   Rescue Me’s series finale comes on Wednesday and there is so much to look forward to if you watch this show.   It’s deeper than seeing who lives and who dies.   Storylines being resolved and characters getting a fitting last look are side issues.  The main appeal is seeing where this show leaves us with the final scene and figuring out if that’s enough for a devoted fan.   Denis Leary and company filmed this last year and have said it was a perfect way to leave the audience.  Well, little Denny, that is up to the viewer to decide.   Every final moment gets studied.  Sopranos’ mysterious ending is still a love/hate relationship.   Where does Rescue Me leave us?  Expect a fine dose of comedy and drama blended into a gritty cocktail of honesty.
  • Jim Jeffries is a good comedian because he is really honest on stage and has a truly developed dirty sense of humor.   He never enters the stage without a beer and is a self proclaimed alcoholic.   His latest standup act on Showtime is called Alcoholocaust.   Jeffries jokes range from drunk quotes, political parodies, sex, religion, gay defending and hating people who bad mouth drinkers.   Simple comedy infested with a real drinker.  An Australian rambling drunk.  Jeffries once told people who didn’t drink to fuck off and try harder.  Here’s a sampling of the latest from Jeffries.  This isn’t for the weak or sensitive minded.

Jeffries on arguments-“So many times when you get done with a long argument you tell yourself that it could of been dealt with a lot quicker with a punch.”

Jeffries on the gay community-“Gay means happy.  If a man wants to be happy and jam his cock into another man, so be it.”

Jeffries on doing shows in front of the troops-“Im sitting in the chopper with the guy and I look down and we are being fired upon by a little Arab fellow. I tell the guy with the big gun in the chopper what’s the holdup.  He tells me his bullets can’t reach us.  Well, I bet our bullets can reach him.”

Jeffries on a blind man wiping his ass-“It’s a very visual activity.   We wipe and check.   This is where the dog comes in.   The blind man wipes and holds it out in front of the dog and the dog barks a certain number of times.   I’m sure he gives the dog a good treat.”

Jeffries on hearing WWII stories from his grandfather and telling them to people-“Im sure there was racism in there.  I just can’t point out where it was.”

To some he is a Aussie drunk who rambles but the man talks about relevant topics and injects a blunt honesty into the routine.  I appreciate a comedian who uses blunt force honesty in his act.  Here’s a bet most of Jeffries’ act isn’t an act at all.

  • Correction-The Entourage Finale is this coming Sunday(not this past Sunday) and I can say the last 26 minute episode set it up better but I am still looking for a lot with a little time frame.   The movie will come out in a couple years but I’d rather see a strong initial finish.  One more Ari Gold rant.  A fitting end to the Vincent Chase project.  A good Drama moment.  Scenes that don’t feel recycled yet come off relatable.  Sum up the series in a satisfying fashion.   For Doug Ellin, it’s going to be a challenge.
  • Baby news.  Tomorrow, Rachel goes in to find out when is the right time for this kid to arrive.   Whether she will have to be induced or we will wait longer.   A good bet is laid down here that this baby is coming out by the weekend.   The timeline for arrival is in 7 days or less.   September 18th is out the window.  This could be my final non-daddy blog.   Weird is the feeling.
  • Music selection of the moment.   Frank Sinatra crooning about being on top of the world in “I got the world on a string”.   A classic tune that’s best heard when under a good moment.   Listen to it when you feel good or did something right.  A mood booster.   Sinatra’s gift was his ability to control his breathing in his songs and his velvet fine delivery is on display here.  A 2 minute classic that sums up happiness in this life.

  • Film to see.   Warrior.   A passionate film from a hardcore director.   Gavin O’ Connor, director of heartfelt family tales like Miracle and Pride and Glory, directs this tale of two brothers set to clash in an MMA tournament.  Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton star as the brothers, Tommy and Brandon Conlon.   This film is worth seeing for any MMA fan but also anybody who understands what providing for your family no matter what means.   Tommy is back from Iraq and needing to filter his rage into MMA action.   Brandon is the older brother with a daughter with a heart defect and a mortgage that needs to be paid.   He enters the ring to provide for his family because its one of the things he can do well.   Tommy’s departure from the military carries questions but one thing we do know is the two men were once close but something drove them apart.   Their dad,Paddy(played by Nick Nolte), was a raging drunk who tore the family in half with his addiction.  Paddy trains Tommy for the fights.  This film is an action packed shot from the heart from O’Connor, whose family sacrificed plenty working for the NYPD.  Chaotic family bonds, brotherly torture and love, daddy issues, and MMA brutality.  The brutality of the sport mirrors the hardship in this family dynamic.  If you like strong family tales that include physicality, see this film.  It’s raw, brutal and direct.   Hardy and Edgerton are great young actors, and Nolte is an old pro.   O’Connor’s direction always veers towards punch drunk pathos and dedication to a dying breed of family loyalty.  This is the first film in awhile that I’m looking forward to.  MMA is the coat of paint being used to tell a story of family bonds broken and being put back together.

That’s all for now.   More to come later, but consider this the potential final blog before I become a dad.   That’s real news.  A ticking clock.  A belly set to explode.   Time will tell what fatherhood does to me.   Here’s to the words existing in the moment.  I’ve spent too much time on this blog and it’s time it hits the streets of reception. This wasn’t my greatest or my worst, but for now it will due to get my message across.   All over the place but packing a punch.  Thanks for reading.

Goodnight and good luck my friends,



A Resurgence of Thought

Let another round of word producing activity begin.  A stream of conciousness on a hot Friday afternoon begins now.

*I can’t get enough of 9/11 coverage this week.   It’s something you truly have to let form a pool around your head and completely swallow you up in order to register the full power of it’s impact.  I am not talking about the conspiracy theories, timeline of events or causes and effects of the day.   I covered that in Monday’s blog.  Now, I am diving in deep into the Rising of Ground Zero on the Discovery Channel, a 4 hour miniseries on the rebuilding projects that have been going on for nearly 10 years now.   That’s right, the hour after the towers went down, workers and various souls scoured the area for life and found a lot of death.   Rebuilding project supervisor Ron Vega spent 9 months climbing into the rubble.   Today, he looks at a finished memorial, with each tower land print preserved with the biggest man made waterfall flowing into the towers foundation walls, with imprints of the 2,983 names that were lost on 9/11.   It’s a truly breathtaking picture to uphold and to stare into.   The final plate of names(covered in bronze) were filled in two months ago and set up for the 9/11 memorial ceremony.  Family members and friends can go there and see their lost souls imprinted forever.   Dads will sit next to their son’s names, like former firefighter Lee Lelpi, who lost his firefighter son on that day.   Plumber Jimmie Walsh lost his mother, Barbara, when the first plane slammed into her floor on the North Tower.   Jean Roger, a flight attendant who was on United 11 that crashed into the North Tower, can have her name seen by her parents.   For family members like Walsh and Roger, it’s imminently special because they weren’t able to recover any part of their lost ones.  Over 1,100 people were never recovered that day, including chief transportation project contracter Pete Lyons’ brother, Michael.   Lyons went down to search for his brother and stopped after 2 months, and quit his job and got involved in the rebuilding.  Over 1,000 workers fill the 16 acres of land that stands in place of the lost towers.   The reason I love watching these documentaries is hearing the stories from people who lost close ones that day.   I am a sucker for a story and hearing these people pour out their soul in front of a camera about a son, daughter or brother who died that day is overwhelmingly powerful.   A couple who both worked on the North Tower separated by one floor both died that day.  One daughter called their parents and told them, “something is happening,” after which the line goes dead.   The designer of Tower 4 is also making it possible for the sun to strike The North Tower fountain right at 846am on every September 11th morning.   That’s the kind of detail being worked in there.  A truly special project that deserves a lot more words than I can provide here.   If you get a chance, on September 11th in 9 days, the entire series is being played again from 5pm-11pm.   Watch some of it.   Try and sit there with a human heart beating in your chest that when the promo starts and you see builders, the fountains and the new buildings coming into shape that you don’t feel something unique awakening inside you and I will confirm you dead.   While I was miles and states away that morning going to school at Mizzou, it took a piece out of me too.  That day carved a piece into my soul as far as memory is concerned.  Every time I see a relic of 9/11 in my vision, I feel something personal and real kick inside me, like a second heart built for mourning nearly 3,000 souls, mostly innocent people running through another day in their lives before having their lives halted.  The chance to have my son born on 9/11/11 is very special, whether it happens or not.   Aside from being the day you came into this earth, it is also the landmark date for a 24 hour set this country will never forget.  Something I can’t wait to do is take Vincent to New York and show him Ground Zero and explain what happened and how the city and country got up off their feet and built something meaningful in it’s place.  The first tower, Tower 1, opens in September of 2013.   That sounds like a date that I won’t break.

*The Cardinals must take care of business this weekend against the Reds.   If they lose tonight, every win in Milwaukee this week is wasted.  It’s that simple.  At this point, you do or you die.   Chris Carpenter takes the mound in a huge contest against “Kicking Impossible” Johnny Cueto of the Reds.   It’s fitting that standing between a high stakes showdown with the Brewers next week are the pesky spoiler Reds.   In some frame of mind, I see John Mozelaik and Walt Jocketty standing face to face in a desert somewhere staring each other and their decisions down for a matter of minutes.   On the opposite side of the field from Tony La Russa is his old nemesis Dusty Baker.  Dusty brings out the best and maddening set of skills in La Russa.   These two will be playing poker for three days.   If you care to buy into this “too little, too late” campaign by La Russa’s hard nine crew, one must hold the rugged mindset of a win at all costs in their persona.  Seeing the Cardinals play well again, hurt teams, score runs,win games has slightly lifted the fog off a rather disappointing season.

*What’s gone missing in the August reel is the outstanding play of the defense.   Since Rafael Furcal joined the team in late July, The Cardinals defense has improved.   Ground balls get sucked up by an infield and plays are made.  The outfield, minus the reckless lost body of Colby Rasmus, can make plays as well.   Furcal is a true gold glover at shortstop and he makes the rest of the infield better.   If Matt Holliday can’t track down a hanging bloop, Rafy comes flying out and grabs it.   He can get left or right, fire a strike from his cannon slingshot arm from anywhere on the field and nail fast runners.   With him, Ryan Theriot looks average at second and Skip Schumacher is better.  David Freese plays with less pressure at third base, and Daniel Descalso jack of all trades style can be mixed all around.

*The bullpen rose up in Milwaukee and won that series along with the offense.  While Jake Westbrook and Brandon Dickson combined to pitch 8.1 innings, throw 111 pitches and allow 6 runs, the bullpen shined bright.  Kyle McClellan worked two scoreless innings on Wednesday.   Octavio Dotel, in his best work in years, worked 2.2 scoreless frames with 5 strikeouts yesterday in his rescue of lost cause Dickson.   Without a reliable bullpen, the Cards lose that series.   Jason Motte pitched two more scoreless innings to extend his flawless record.   Marc Rzepcynski struggled on Tuesday but pitched a scoreless frame on Wednesday.   Fernando Salas closed out Tuesday’s game and pitched 2 innings on Thursday.  In a time of need and a rotation baring road wounds, the pen is stepping up.

*Alberto Pujols showed up in Milwaukee during the last couple games.   After cranking a solo homer on Wednesday, AP put on a show on Thursday.   He smashed a 462 foot homer in the first inning, and followed it up with a grand slam in the third inning that gave his team all the runs they needed.   He finished 4-4 with his average sitting at .292, the highest it’s been all season.  Slowly, frustratingly, Albert is kicking the average up.  What else is he doing?   He has hit 34 home runs, drove in 84 and scored 90 and it’s September 2nd folks.   The man is having a terrible season,right????   The answer is no, folks.   Albert is reclaiming the crown for the best in the game by tearing up the second half.  Since May 6th, he is hitting .312 and slugging .600.   The culprit for Pujols’ season is a very bad month of April.  He had less than 6 home runs and less than 15 RBI on May 1st and his average was right around .215.   Since then, he has come back and picked up his crown.  My message to the Cards.  Pay the man his money.  Get it done quick.   Games like Thursday are the reason Albert is a special player.  He now has 442 home runs in less than 11 seasons.   He has accumulated 5 RBI 12 different times in his career.  That’s a Cardinal record.   He now owns 12 grand slams.  When his career is over, I’d wager serious cash that Pujols will have broke a ton of records and did nearly everything a player could do.  That’s a guy you want to keep around.  That’s a guy you don’t want to see raise a World Series trophy in another uniform.   He’s our guy, folks.

*Once again, La Russa.   Give Jason Motte the ball in the 9th inning.   His 9th inning performances against the Pirates and Brewers tell me this kid has changed since his early downfall in 2009.  The absence of Lance Lynn and Edurado Sanchez is hurting Motte’s chances of taking over the 9th inning.   The only problem I can see with moving Motte to the 9th is taking away his fire extinguishing duties in the 7th and 8th innings.  That’s where Sanchez and Lynn come into play.

*Michael Vick’s 6 year, 100 million dollar contract carries a mixed blend of crazy, ambitious, confidence and madness as any huge deal does with a brittle slowly aging player.   First, look at it in amazement and the triumph of talent.   Personally, Vick can die a thousand different ways.  He is an evil soul whose acts will never be taken away.   That’s a fact from this mind.  However, he served his time and came back to reclaim his spot as one of the top QB’s in the game.  2 years ago, he was getting out of jail and trying to find his spot.   Now he is a top dollar arm and set of legs.  A huge portion of his contract is going to debt collectors and attorneys and the IRA along with the Falcons.  He sold most of his assets before entering jail but now that he is making real athlete money, there are bills to pay.   He owes his former agent millions.  He owes debt collectors millions.   The Falcons want a signing bonus back.   His life will still be chaotic and the pressure to be great only rises.   His first test comes against the St. Louis Rams on 9/11/11.   How do the Rams beat him?   Put 7 in the pocket, and send the blitz repeatedly.   The Eages offensive line is weak and is letting Vick get pummeled during the preseason.   Beat him with the blitz.

*Speaking of the Rams, they finished their fake schedule round at 4-0 with a 24-17 victory over the Jaguars last night.   Tough to get too excited over preseason activity but a win is a win.  The biggest story of the preseason is the play of Thaddeus Lewis, the 3rd string quarterback.   Lewis led a game winning drive in the 2nd preseason game, and put up solid numbers last night.  Sure, Lewis plays against 2nd and 3rd string defenders, but he is an intriguing talent.   The Rams have A.J. Feeley behind Bradford, so Lewis will most likely hit the practice squad and be picked up by another team looking for a fresh pulse.  If I were San Francisco or Seattle, I would take a look.   Imagine Lewis lining up against the Rams in a meaningful game.

*The Blues set up camp in 2 weeks and play their first preseason game on September 20th against Steven Stamkos and the Lightning.  This is the great time of the year where all three sports are in session at the same time.  Rams football, Blues preseason and the Cards season finish.   With the Cards and Rams recent play, all the Blues can do is add to the party.

*Another NHL enforcer, Wade Belak, died this week.   Belak, according to investigators, hung himself on Wednesday.  He was 35 years old and recently retired from the NHL to become a color analyst for the Toronto Maple Leafs.   A sad offseason for the sport continues.   Like previous victim, Rick Rypien, Belak suffered from depression and took his own life at a young age.   The enforcer count is up to 3 bodies in the past 3 months.   Rangers forward Derek Boogard overdosed on a cocktail of dangerous drugs.  Rypien took his own life 2 weeks ago.  This week, Belak goes down.   Boogard’s brain was donated to scientists tracking a connection between tough guys, their style of play and brain disease.  This started after Bob Probert’s death at the age of 45 last year, and he was the father of all fighters.  The idea of brain degeneration isn’t a surprising development in hockey.  It’s a tough grind of a sport and once a player leaves the locker room, the effects can settle in and have various effects.   Stu Grimson, a former fighter and attorney at law these days, says there is an immense pressure to be an NHL enforcer.   Fighting is good for the stress level, but thinking about what goes through the mind of a puncher in this sport from fight to fight is intriguing.   There are answers there.  For now, all one can do is mourn.

*HBO’s thrilling series, Hard Knocks airs a best of segment this weekend as the series is taking a year off due to the lockout shortened offseason.   Expect plenty of Rex Ryan F-bombs.   Thinking of Hark Knocks and the NHL version of 24/7 makes me wonder how Rex Ryan and Washington Capitals head coach Bruce Boudreau would get along.   My bet is fittingly with lots of profanity and honesty.   Watch Hard Knocks if you are in the mood to get fired up about upcoming NFL action.   A very good series that puts you in the face of NFL training camp and into their inner circles.  Be there when players are released, in coaches meetings and after the games when the FOX and ESPN crews leave because they can’t air any of the profanity and brutal nature of the coaches and players.  This is bare bone insight here my friends.

*Tennis is returning to the center stage this week with the US Open in New York.   Two rounds haven’t been finished and Maria Sharapova is gone.   Andy Roddick will be next.   One hopes for a showdown again between Nadal and Federer but my guess is Novak Djokovic will have something to say about it.

*Mizzou football fires up tomorrow against Miami.   This is a new team on the field this year after Blaine Gabbert departed for the NFL.   Expectations are stuck in the medium level of anxiety and hope.

*Once again, the daddy countdown is ticking live as we write and read.   Anytime now, I may become a dad.   Once my wife is dilated and the contractions are less than 9 minutes apart, it’s showtime.   Until then, stand by.  A fair mix of fear and hope exists in my head at this point.

That’s all for now.  Thanks for stopping by and have a good night.  Be sure to come back because I will be back soon to deliver the news.

So long for just awhile,




The Post

It’s not rocket science to express your opinions.   You find a trigger, get to a keyboard, and pour out your thoughts for others to digest, analyze and craft a response immediately in their heads whether they reply or not.   I know my words leave a dent, but I keep coming back to refill the rage tank.   Let’s get moving here because it’s nearly 90 degrees at 10am and this warehouse is hotter than a chinese sweatshop. 

Rescue Me Recap

With an hour left to sum up it’s tale, Rescue Me crafted a classic storyline last night to set up the finale next week.   Starting things off with a Gavin wedding set the stage for humor and thrills.   Think of a bunch of alcoholics thrown into a shiny ceremony with a proper and well mannered family and there will be fireworks.   A priest with drinking problems, a widow still mourning the loss of her husband to 9/11, three guys who have been in and out of AA meetings like a shooter returning to a gunshop to return ammo.   A festival of dark humor and outlandish behavior ensues.  When Rescue Me is at it’s best, comedy and drama are interwined and the show easily transitions from a cruel laugh to a dramatic situation.   After Tommy and Janet renew their vows and he is forced to quit his day job in order to stop his daughter from, “becoming a hooker and doing drugs”, Tommy and the crew are called to a 5 alarm fire downtown.  What starts as a routine search and rescue turns into a dangerous situation as the captain reminds them, “big fires have big problems”.   A 4 story warehouse with the fire raising up to the top of the building with explosives stuck inside has the guys looking for 2 men and putting their lives at risk.   The end left the entire crew in peril and the preview for next week’s episode wasn’t forthcoming.   Creators Peter Tolan and Denis Leary fought over the end of this series.    Who dies?  Who lives?  Why?  At the foundation of this series is a dedication not only to the firefighters who died on 9/11 but to firefighters everywhere.   The personal trauma their job creates in their life and the risks they carry every time they run into a burning building.  In a way, this was a perfect way to end the series.   A wild crazy wedding that pronounces a happy ending that doesn’t hold because these guys fight fires for a living and will eventually go down doing it.   Tommy Gavin told a fleet of young firefighters in the pilot that this isn’t a job, it’s a calling.   They aren’t heroes.   Once they were in the warehouse, putting out the fire became secondary to finding a sign of life and making an attempt to save those people even if it meant putting their own lives at risk.   Being a firefighter is like reliving “Saving Private Ryan” over and over again.  A group of guys trying to save 2 or 3 people in a dangerous situation where all of them aren’t coming home alive.  That’s the crown jewel of Rescue Me’s appeal.   Unpredictable developments.   Right when you think dark wild laughter is in store, the rug is pulled out and things get heavy quick.  Laughing one moment and crying the next.   That’s good television.   Next week’s finale is going to pack a punch no matter what happens and who dies, because Tolan and Leary have a message to get across and it’s this.  Fighting fires isn’t only dangerous to your life yet affects so many around you.  The people in the building you are trying to save and the people at home hoping you come home in one piece.  It’s about the sacrifices made on the job.  Sacrificing your sanity, safety and in some cases, your life.   Stay tuned folks.  Rescue Me is going out with a bang. 

The Cardinals-Last Stand?

After the Cardinals win their 3rd game in a row, 5th of their last 6 games and second in a row against the renegade Brewers, one must make certain observations.    While I still think there is little chance of a recovery in the division race for this team, it’s good to see them play well and win a few games.   Make things interesting is the goal here.   Go down with a fight.   Sweeping the Brewers today would cause all kinds of confusion for fans and distress for Milwaukee.   Let’s take a look.

*Tony La Russa must start Chris Carpenter today against The Brewers in a must win game.  Why sit him and send a rookie in Brandon Dickson to the mound on an important day?  A confounding move by the skipper that has plenty of people puzzled in St. Louis.   While it’s still foolish to think of the Cards as playoff contenders, a manager must send out his best group to the field against the team you are chasing and against any other team when I think about it.   Send out the guns.  Think of the Cards as a gambler at a poker table and right now you have to put all the chips in the middle on nearly every hand, especially against your top competitor.  The Cards can’t control what happens when Milwaukee plays Houston this weekend, but they can make a difference today.  La Russa is hurting his team.  Dickson hasn’t made a major league start and doesn’t deserve the opportunity to unseat Carpenter.   Ask Carpenter how he feels right now about being the ace of a staff and being pulled back a day.  That’s the worst part of the story.  Today is Carpenter’s day to pitch.   Brandon Dickson should go to the bullpen, where he helped out in May with a couple key appearances.  Whether he succeeds or fails today, this is a bad move on Tony’s part.  Sending the wrong message to your team and to your best pitcher.  When the chips are done, insert the rookie into a dangerous ballpark.   This is reminscent of La Russa putting in Rick Ankiel to start Game 1 of the 2000 NLCS against Atlanta instead of the late Darryl Kile.  I simply don’t understand it.  This is where I would love to be in the post game media chat with La Russa and ask him this question.  He would get sensitive and explain his genius, but I’d keep asking the same question.  Why pull this stunt at this time?  The two wins against Milwaukee this week changed the entire focus of this series.  You have to go all in. 

*Jaime Garcia needs to start.  Resting him or skipping a start and throwing him in the bullpen is another soft move by La Russa.   Garcia has struggled in the second half and since he signed his 4 year contract, but that doesn’t mean pull him back.   Garcia is a talented young pitcher and needs innings and wounds to grow.  Next year, he starts making 7 million a season, so he has to pitch every 5th day and throw more than 89 pitches per start.  Last year made sense to hold him back and restrict his pitch count  This season, 2 years removed from Tommy John, it makes zero sense.  Garcia needs to pitch and if it means sending young Dickson to the pen for September, so be it.  Unless the season completely falls apart(which was in danger of happening last week against the Dodgers), the A team must hit the field.  There’s no reason Garcia doesn’t start right now.  Rest him and get his mind right.  That’s foolish and sounds like an excuse.  Send this kid out in front of the firing line.   Facing the Brewers, Phillies and Braves will teach him lessons a bench in the pen just can’t.  Garcia isn’t a good candidate for the bullpen anyway.  He is cracking under pressure and if he arrives with 2 men on and a high stakes game going on, bad things will happen.  Garcia is a starter and needs to pitch.

*Edwin Jackson atoned for his rough start in Milwaukee last month and pitched 7 strong innings Tuesday.   Jackson added an RBI single and fooled the Brewers on all ends after allowing 10 runs on 14 hits in 7 innings of work a few weeks ago in a crucial series.   6 out of the 7 starts in his Cards debut, Jackson has pitched capably, finishing 6 or more innings and allowing 3 or less runs.  Jackson is giving the Cards what they asked for.  Stability in the back end of the rotation.  He is an intriguing pitcher who has an overpowering fastball and a nasty slider.  Being only 28 years old, Jackson is an option for next season. 

*Speaking of the July 27th trade, The Blue Jays released Brian Tallet and Trevor Miller this week and Colby Rasmus is on the DL.   The trade is looking pretty good for the Cards even though they are out of playoff reach at this point.   Colby Rasmus is looking like a kid who will get a center field job with the Blue Jays in 2012, but may have to earn it.    He hasn’t hit since he arrived in Canada and the AL doesn’t let up especially when it’s the AL East.   After saying he needed a fresh start, I doubt Raz will ever become the player scouts and team execs thought he would be in 2005.   He will be a cheap centerfielder and gets reps in Toronto but he lacks the fundamental growth and urge to become a great player.  His bat is slowing down and his defense is eroding.  Good luck Toronto.  Enjoy your gift. 

*It’s important that Cards fans remain reluctant to invest serious hope in this team at this point.   If we sweep the Brewers, the urge to remain calm and don’t dive into the boat is required.   The 2011 Cardinals are bound to disappoint at some point, and I have spent too many July and August days hoping for a 5 or 10 game winning streak to propel them to the top of the division.   It’s not worth the time and energy.  Watch the game, carry a silent hope and just go game by game.   Don’t look at the schedule because it’s rough.   Don’t expect them to win 4 or 5 more in a row because it probably won’t happen.   This weekend, the pesky Reds come into town to break shit and after that the Brewers arrive for the knockout punch.   All a fan can do at this point is watch and learn.   You never know what can happen but you know what to expect from this team based on 5 months of data so hold back.   Pass the kool aide on and stay grounded.   Every night, I watch them play and wait for the collapse.   It comes in smaller doses these past few games.  Double plays occur, defense lapses come and go, and the starting pitcher makes every inning a marathon.  This team isn’t built to make the playoffs, so don’t give them the satisfaction of the early push.  Just watch.  Go along for the ride but feel free to ask to be let out at the next corner.  When it comes to the 2011 Cards, safety is first.   I’ve seen miracles happen and dead men rise up from the ground, but I won’t count my wishes here. 

*It would be nice to see Albert Pujols stabilize his batting average at a point near .300 by the end of the season.   His power stats are there, but his average can’t creep near .295 right now.   Also, AP’s general krptonite this season is the Brewers pitching.   With his 1-5 performance on Wednesday, Pujols is still hitting a .189 against them all season.   Tough to swallow. 

*It’s September 1st, which means there are 24 games left to play and time for the Cards to make things a little interesting.  They have to keep winning.   Losing isn’t an option.   It’s happened before, but time and luck isn’t on the Cards side.   It’s amazing that they played so bad and got so far out at the end of August and with 24 games left, they are still 8.5 games out of first place.  Once again, the Brewers play can’t be forgotten.  Unlike in previous seasons where the deficit was only 3 or 5 games.  The Brewers stretch of play in August, going 21-4, broke the Cards backs.   The question now is….can the Cards put it all together and come back after being knocked out cold?  Since I am staying partial to reality, my answer will remain quiet.   However, you never know.  That’s the great thing about sports.  The Cards can’t hurt themselves by winning.   You improve your record, cut the margin down little by little and stay in the hunt waiting for another team to slip up. 

Other Topics that Require Spinning

*Someone finally told Chris Johnson to get into the Titans camp and fulfill your contract while your agent negotiates a new contract and extension.  How can Johnson walk into Bud Adams office in Tennessee and tell him 10 million dollars per year isn’t enough to play football.?  To quote Denis Leary, what do these guys eat for dinner?  One Mercedes Benz apiece.   I understand wanting market value for your position, but withholding yourself from the team and asking to be the highest paid player in the game is out of the question.   It comes down to the man and his personal greed.  The Titans want to pay Johnson well, but he had to get into uniform and fulfil the two years on his contract.  The same situation happened with Steven Jackson in 2008.  It’s ugly.   Today, the team and Johnson finally agreed on a 4 year, 53 million dollar contract.  Why was it so hard?  I blame both sides but push a little more in Johnson’s direction.

*Oscar Dela Hoya tells us a story about his real life.   Talk about revelation central for the Golden Boy of Boxing.   If the truth sets you free, please hand Oscar a get out of jail free card.  In an interview Tuesday, DeLa Hoya told the world that he has been drinking heavily, doing some cocaine, contemplated suicide(pussied out), and cheated on his wife.   All in one year.   That was a joke.   Oscar faded from boxing once Floyd Mayweather Jr. outboxed him and Manny Pacquiao pounded the shit out of him.   Now his personal identity is under attack.   The man quit boxing and went to Tiger Woods’ house.

*Jerry Jones has a big mouth and it got him in trouble this week.  Look it up yourself.  Jones has the cash, reputation and history to talk the game but to me, he talks too much.  Decide if you want to be an owner, agent or coach.  You can’t be all three at once.  Regarding a player contract, Jones talked trash about a player wanting more money and now he will pay up.  That’s comedy for any guy who doesn’t like the Cowboys at all.  Choke central in Texas.

*There still aren’t many movies for me to dive into this weekend.  The Debt looks interesting and carries a good cast, but Im not in the door yet.   Others carry some delight, but August turned out to be a shit can for movies and I didn’t find myself in the theater except for the hilariously go for broke The Changeup.   I am finding most of my satisfaction on DVD with Blitz, The Beaver and possibly this weekend with Win Win.  Yes, I did mention “beaver” and “satisfaction” in the same sentence.  I need to be impressed to reach the cinemas and right now I am not. 

*The Rams signing Mark Clayton is smart for the team and good for Sam Bradford.  Picked up from the Ravens trash dump before last season, Clayton thrived here and connected with Bradford on the field.   He went down with a knee injury but he is back and healthy.  I like our B cast of receivers, but Clayton is a possible Type A threat on this team and will stretch the field.   If the lineup holds up, the Rams offense is deadly. 

*One more thing.  I’ll be a dad any day now.  The fear and joy is settling in now.   Daddy clock is getting shorter and shorter.  Soon enough, I will be responsible for someone on this earth.  Warning has been given.  All I can do is wait. 

That’s it folks.  Thanks for reading and goodnight.

I will be back. 


5 Denis Leary Rants(otherwise known as dessert)

As I send out a new blog, here are some recent excerpts audio rants from his book, which I own, called Why We Suck.   Click and listen if you want an original point of view and want to make an attempt to laugh.  He is an irish heritage no bullshit storyteller. 
Call this the dessert session from my blog this evening.

Leary is a ranting maniac, going at it on all topics at any time.  If you would like to know what he thinks, listen on.  If not, scratch this email. 
“The one thing you can’t buy in America is a sense of humor.”-Leary

A Britney Spears rant(who doesn’t start a tribute out without a Spears roast)

“It’s not only the Muslims who look at this stuff and start building bombs”(referring to Britney madness)

While these aren’t stand up comedy acts, they are Denis Leary written rants.  

Here are more excerpts and rants from the book.  Random topics.
(why other countries hate us)

“Latrell Sprewell once told his agent that 9.5 million dollars wasn’t enough to feed his family.   Like…I don’t know what to say to a guy like that.  What are you eating?  Fucking Mercedes!”

Here’s why Denis Leary wrote the book and his general point of view on things.–DxLx51h8

The thing about Leary is he is honest about topics.  You ask him and he gives you a non partial take on the matter.   If he is bias, he tells you up front.   This is why I admire him. 

Listen or not, I am done and so is Denis….for now. 



Peace of Mind


Today I am going to deliver the news and thoughts from my head in a quick, brutal unfiltered fashion.   Or, as they say, the usual route required to properly clear out the head of any debris.

First, I am going to talk to you about 9/11 and some findings I have come upon this week.   Believe me, this isn’t a redundant section.   Watching Inside 9/11 on The National Geographic Channel, a viewer was given the chance to see the entire timeline of events that led up to the attacks.   From 1997 when Osama publicly made the promise to September 11th’s tragedies.  9/11 comes full circle here and allows you to see the game as a whole.   Follow me as I fire off notes.  I won’t reveal where the planes hit or exact locations.   Just information I picked up from the 3 hours of documentary footage.

*Disturbing revelations leading up to the event don’t leave the mind for awhile.  They stick with you.   The main idea being that the attacks could of been prevented if intel had been accepted and not denied.  Conspiracy nuts revel over these details, but I’m strictly going with the notion that our government was TOO NAIVE to think we could be attacked.  They thought there was no way and got burned.  The USA government is classically guilty of thinking they are untouchable.  Osama Bin Laden changed that in one day.

*After an American journalist interviewed Osama Bin Laden in 1997 and Osama told the world he was going to attack the US, there were three times the US had a chance to kill or capture him.  At this time, he was already a known terrorist and capable of an attack.  The first chance came when US intel had tracked Osama to a reservation in Pakistan and had a chance to kill him but Bill Clinton said no because there were women and children around.  That’s right, let’s not harm a few innocent relatives of a terrorist.  That’s wrong.  That came in 1998.   In 1999, there was another shot when Osama met with a Prince in Afghanistan.  US forces backed off again because they feared killing an Arab prince would sour relations.  Wrong. The Prince knew who Osama was and knew of his plans so he took a risk by meeting with him.   Second chance under Bill Clinton failed.   This happened right around the Monica Lewinsky controversy.  Bill was busy.  The third time came in 2000, right after Bush took office.  Immediately, he was notified that Bin Laden was a threat and needed to be captured.  Bush and company resisted the urge.   In 2001, months before the attack, the CIA once again notified Bush of an imminent attack on US soil.  Bush, once again, said no.  That’s right.  We had 4 times to capture or kill Osama and failed to act. The leaders of our country failed to act.  Please withhold any statements suggesting this happens all the time with the Jihad.  Wrong.  Osama was a real threat and bombed the US Embassy in Saudi Arabia right after his threat on TV.   This particular threat was serious and we did nothing.  The next time someone tells you the US didn’t know where Osama was, please correct them.   We had his location, but did nothing about it.  2 Presidents bypassed the chance to take him out and not until Obama finally gave the word this past Summer did Osama finally go down.  There were many chances to stop a huge attack.  That’s the sickening feeling.  The idea that the worst attack in US history could of been prevented.  Its a truly terrible idea.  For the 5 yr olds reading this, imagine telling dad there was a monster in the closet repeatedly and he didn’t even check it once.   The USA let the

*National Geographic isn’t lying here. 10 yrs later, the facts are in and the jury is out.   Certain conspirators will claim these facts are fabricated in order to fit their unbreakable point of view. I am different.  When it comes to politics, nothing is out of bounds.  Every bit of into qualifies.

*Why take Osama seriously in 1997?  Why not?  Its foolish to doubt a man who either isn’t afraid to die or has people in his command who aren’t afraid to die.   Failing to take Osama Bin Laden seriously ended up costing our country nearly 3,000 lives.

*For the people thinking bombs went off at base of towers, that’s inaccurate. The 20,000 gallons of jet fuel that crashed into towers on 93rd floor exploded down elevator shaft and into the lobby.  Once the jet fuel gets into the interior part of the building and down the elevator shafts, it’s like melting butter on a hot pan.  Only a matter of time before collapse. When the planes hit the towers, they blasted through the protective layer in between the floors that made the metal exposed to the 2,000 degree flames. The impact of the aircraft and jet fuel created collapse.

*When people attempt to involve conspiracy theories, it comes from a lifelong discomfort with the US Government.  That is warranted, but the conspiracy nuts of 9/11 are trying to create a facade that breaks down the intelligience of the hijackers.   It doesn’t work when examined.   The hijackers(including pilots and muscle) prepared for these attacks for 4 years.  They lived in various homes throughout the United States while attending flight schools in Phoenix and Houston.   Terrorists aren’t stupid people and they perform their missions with intense detail.  This is what people forget.  They chose Trans-Atlantic planes because they carried the most fuel, the most people and were capable of the most damage.  In 1993, Jihad terrorists set off a bomb at the base of the Towers that killed some yet didn’t do the job.  The second time, they used the jetliners like missiles and attacked the top of the buildings, where the stability is more vulnerable.   They were tacticians.  That is the hardest part for civilians to understand.

*United 93 slammed 590 mph into a cornfield in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.   Yes, it happened and there was a crash site.   After hearing tape from the cockpit and from phone calls from loved ones, a few of the victims got together and made an attempt to take back the plane from the terrorists.  This is a common conspiracy theroist’s dream because they feel there never was a United 93 and if they took control why didn’t it hit a location.   Well, since some people did fight back, the plane slammed into an empty cornfield and not a key location in Washington DC, where air traffic controllers had the plane heading before it derailed straight down.  Unless Osama hated farmers, this plane didn’t hit its target and 44 people died with a portion of them putting up a fight.

*Just for kicks, I will tell you I would of done something I heard about the other planes crashing into the towers and I knew our plane was headed for a similiar fate.  Buffa wouldn’t of went quietly.  That’s easier said than done, but if you have something to live for and have some balls, it works.

*For the people who jumped from the towers, it was a do or die slower decision.   They had two choices.  Burn alive or jump and make it quick.  The first responders hauled 100 pounds of equipment up the stairs, and they weren’t going to make it to floors 85 or above, where the impact zones were located.   A truly chilling sight to see people jump was the only option for those people trapped by fire and smoke.  Wonder what helpless is?  Swallowing tons of smoke and trying to breathe.  I bet the people who jumped had zero idea when they woke up that morning that they would fall to their deaths less than 4 hours later.  That’s the horrifying part.

*Watching the towers collapse is like watching a movie.   Buildings falling into heaps of metal and smoke chasing people through the streets.  The island of New York was literally covered in black smoke, and watching the video of people running for their lives is unsettling.

*The documentary includes interviews with 60 CIA operatives, journalists, victims widows and survivors.   There is sound from the cockpit of each plane, coming from the terrorists themselves or the flight attendants.  This documentary pulls zero punches in it’s recounting of a tragedy.

*The meat and potatoes of this series is seeing how the USA was caught off guard and basically beaten by an evil opponent here.  It’s simple.  Our country was beaten in a chess match of life or death.   What I will take away from this day isn’t the conspiracy theories.   I will spend my time thinking of the chances we had to take out Osama Bin Laden.  The chance we had to stop this attack with all the intel that was received and put off or frankly avoided.  That is what I will remember here.   Obama got Bin Laden, but to me his death came too late.  He hasn’t done much since 9/11, and why should he have to.  Bush’s engagement in two wars threw him into hiding.  His death was welcome but came way too late.  As Denis Leary and a million other people will tell you, I’d rather have the 2896 people who died back instead.

Now that I’ve worked Ground Zero and its vast history like a renegade rescuing the truth, I’m moving onto more well known sections.

The Cards Terminally Ill Ward

A Reason To Watch Cards Battle Milwaukee this week-Spoiler alert. Plain and simple.  Throw this team off course.  While highly unlikely, Cards can’t go down without a fight and it starts tomorrow in Milwaukee.  The Cards can’t catch the Brewers unless a miracle happens.  The Brewers would have to finish the season on a 13-14 run while the Cards finished 24-4 in order to force a one game playoff, according to writer Bj Rains pointed out this morning.   That isn’t happening folks, but tune in to see if the Cards can salvage a little dignity.

Jason Motte finally returns to the closer role and impresses. It’s been a long time since Jason Motte fumbled the closer role in April of 2009.   On Sunday, Motte went 1-2-3 to nail down his first save in 2.5 years.  He belongs there for the rest of the season.  Once again, the Cards have nothing to lose by installing Motte there.  Everyone else has gotten a halfway fair chance to close games after the implosion of Ryan Franklin, so let Motte take his reps.  Motte is on an historic run for a reliever.  (Tapping wood as I write), Motte hasn’t allowed an earned run to score since June 23rd.  Repeat that to yourself.  Motte hasn’t pulled a Mitchell Boggs, come into a game and widened a deficit or closed a gap before securing 1-3 outs.  Since the same date, Motte has only allowed 1 unearned run to cross and only 1 inherited runner.  That’s freakishly good and while its only a stat, Motte deserves the benefit of the doubt and be given the ball in the 9th inning.  If it works out, next season’s bullpen starts to take shape.   If not, add him to the list of 9th inning casualties and start searching.  If Motte takes over in the 9th, Fernando Salas returns to his “jack of all trades” job, Lance Lynn comes back as your fire fighter in tight spots and Eduardo Sanchez sets up.   Everything starts with Motte getting a fair shot.

The Lance Berkman situation.   The next week will determine if Berkman stays a Cardinal or gets traded to another team contending for a playoff spot.  The Texas Rangers may come calling this week and while there are reasons to keep Berk around, trading him may bring the team a huge gift.   This is a tricky situation.  The Cards can trade Berk and receive a pretty good prospect in return from a team like the Rangers.   Or they could hold onto him, try to work out a deal, get no picks and may be headed to arbitration if a deal can’t be reached.   The third option is Berkman walks after the season.   Berkman has said he truly wants to be a Cardinal next season.  The Cards could use a decent prospect with their farm system getting depleted throughout this season.   When the Cards traded for Mark DeRosa in 2009, the Indians ended up getting current closer Chris Perez.  With the Rangers desperate to return to the World Series and needing to replace the injured Nelson Cruz, Nolan Ryan and company may reach deep for Berkman’s rejuevenated services.  If the Cards feel they can let Berkman go and pull him back in free agency, make the deal.   Cards GM John Mozelaik can pull Berk aside and tell him this is a win/win situation.  The Cards win by getting a decent draft pick, and Berkman gets a shot to win a World Series.   If Berkman really wants to come back, he can weigh that decision after the season.   However, Berkman may want to resist a trade and stay.   It’s in the Cardinals hands to decide.   Knowing the draft savvy smart minds of Mozelaik and scouting expert Jeff Luhnow, they will examine the potential prospect to come over to St. Louis.   They will know if it’s worth the deal or not.   This isn’t about this season.  The deal here is wondering about the next 1-2 seasons.   The Cards gave Berk a chance to restart his career, and he did.   Now that the Cards are hanging out of the race, the decision is to trade or keep.  If Berkman wants to return next season, consider the prospect and think about making the trade.  Imagine if the prospect is a shortstop, second basemen, or closer close to major league ready action?  There is a lot of consider here, but the Cards must examine these steps closely.

5 Reasons to Watch Rescue Me on WednesdayThis gritty drama is coming to a blazing end and only has two hours left to finish it’s round of firefighter torture, but tomorrow’s episode is going to be packed with explosive dialogue, storylines and a collision of attitudes.   Here’s reasons to watch if are curious.

1.)A Gavin Wedding is happening.  Tommy’s daughter, Colleen, is getting hitched to  Shawn and the ingredients here are that Shawn’s black and proud family will be mixed with the raging alcoholic pack of animals known as the Gavins.   Aggressive dancing, racial slurs, drinking, fire and drama will fill the room but this just makes for great dialogue from female stars Andrea Roth and Callie Thorne.  They are the two headed monster in Tommy Gavin’s side.

2.)The crew engages with a 5 alarm fire downtown.   This will put every guy on the crew to the test and cause certain uneasy relationships, such as between Tommy and his best friend/lieutanant Lou, to come full circle.   Denis Leary and John Scurti are great together because they are brutally honest in their interactions.  Lou thinks Tommy is a hero but also a doomed dead soul who never left 9/11 mentally intact.  Tommy wants Lou to be a godfather to his new kid but knows he is out of shape and needs to diet.  These two are like equally matched animals in a cage.  The fact that neither own an Emmy for their work here is wrong and shows a decent prejudice against the real hardcore dramas on FX.   Trust me folks, Justfied and Rescue Me have ten times more story than any drama on network television homes like NBC, FOX or CBS.

3.)Two hours left on this series and things will only get hotter.  Unlike HBO’s Entourage, Rescue Me will go out with a bang and be as unpredictable as television can get.   Peter Tolan and Leary are expert storytellers and are running this train for all it’s worth instead of slowing down for tissue tears and melodramatic moments.   Rescue Me is great because it takes a tough and touchy subject matter(9/11 survivors guilt) and never creeps into sentimental ground or becomes manipulative in its stories.  Everything is simply dealt with and built up realistically.

4.)Spoiler Alert.   Major character will be biting the big one Wednesday night.  A great way to get someone to watch is to tell them a major character is dying.  It sparks the curiousity.   RM has a ingenius way of killing off characters when we least expect it so I am waiting to see how it’s worked in without being overly sentimental.  A loop that’s always easily leaped through on this show.

5.)The Chance for a Denis Leary/Tommy Gavin rant.   If you don’t like his comedy or his everyday bits on Twitter, watch this show for the Gavin rants.  They are original and carry plenty of juice.  Where Tommy spins knowledge and wisdom on a fortunate receipient.  The episode where he drank a pint of Irish Whiskey and told people in a bar who loved American Idol to name at least 5 people who died in 9/11.(They couldn’t, neither can I).   An episode where he tells a grief counselor about the reason he is pissed off about 9/11.   Another scene where he cures his daughter of alcoholism by pouring 6 bottles of liqueor into a baptism well at a church and dunking her in it.   He takes a fellow firefighter up on a roof who wants to commit suicide and tells them a story of his cousin’s mother, who was as tough as nails until her son died on 9/11.   Denis Leary writes half of the scripts and I guarantee he writes his monologues.   Straight from the Leary gut of frustration. That’s Leary’s biggest tool.  He is frustrated and wants to cleanse himself by spreading the dreary news.  I compare his rants to Ari Gold’s legendary rants on Entourage.   Here are two to get a taste of in case you are thinking about diving into this first rate series.

Soft punching Final Season of Entourage-The short season lacks sizzle of previous campaigns and will attempt to pack a lot of resolutions into 26 minutes of TV time in Sunday’s series finale.   The writing, stories, and acting are all dull and recycled this season.   Jeremy Piven hasn’t had a golden moment in 7 episodes so far even though his Ari Gold faces a possible divorce, is sleeping with someone else, and is running into walls at work.  Johnny Drama is worried about a cartoon.   Adrian Grenier is still worrying about his image.  Turtle still wants to be on his own making his own money.   Eric is chasing his ex-wife around town.   All the characters are going through the motions and showing us nothing new.  Last season’s need to carry a bang, like the final hours of Rescue Me are.   Show us some fire.  Spirit.  A reason to feel bad you are leaving.  So far, Entourage is only showing us it’s age and the reason it’s taking a leave of absence before a full screen feature arrives in 1-3 years.  Doug Ellin has crafted a bromance to die for and follow along with for 7 seasons.   The reason I kept coming back was to see what the crew was up to and how many times Gold would pop.   This season, in its final hour, Entourage is coming up limp.

A Request for The Blues-From my co-worker Chris Carrara(a hybrid of Gordon Gekko, Al Maclinnis and Clint Eastwood) to the Blues front office and team.   Win before I die!  Carrera is 55 years old and a diehard Blues fan only wanting to see some real playoff action for the first time in….a long time.   It’s been a long time since the Blues won a playoff game and were serious Cup contenders, and it’d be a thrill to see them return as the Cards crash and burn and the Rams attempt to claim their own crown.   How long will we wait before the Blues raise Lord Stanley’s Cup?  Will it come before Chris dies or after I turn 55 years old?  This is only a question.   The Cards fan base is upset over a disappointing season.  My best guess is the Blues crowd would love the thought of a playoff series right now.

Blitz Review-A Statham fanbase film.  Clear cut and dry.  If you like Jason Statham’s british action hero bad guy asskicking ways, this direct to DVD thriller is for you.   If not, keep looking.   The latest Statham action film centers around reckless detective Tom Brant(Statham), an alcoholic loose cannon looking for a cop killer in London.   He gets a new partner Porter(Paddy Considine) and helps a young cop stay sober, but in one line of dialogue Brant makes his presence known.  In the opening scene, after breaking up some thugs attempt to steal a car, Brant kicks their ass and reminds them, “If you are going to pick the wrong fight, at least bring the right weapon.”   This is classic Jason Statham territory.  Action heroes parading the streets looking for evil and finding a sizeable measure in himself and taking care of the lethal variety.   It’s a solid film if you know what you’re getting into.   This film won’t break records or win awards.  It also isn’t a paycheck film for Statham.   I say that because I really believe he likes making these movies, has never raised his asking price for work and does all of his own stunts every time.  After his last adventure, The Mechanic, did well in theaters, Statham signed up for this movie adapted from a crime novel.   Aiden Gillen makes a solid bad guy, playing a psycho with revenge on his mind and Luke Evans has a small part as a sympathetic cop.  However, Statham is the show here.   While not groundbreaking or fresh, Blitz gets the job done for a moviegoer seeking an action fix.

Attention readers.   A small side bit here about what I do with this forum and how it needs to be digested.  Call this the reminder.  From time to time, readers and random souls will tell me some of my words are too rough for them or my opinions rub them wrong.  Well, guess what.  I’m not changing.  There’s nothing I can do about the way a certain subject matter hits me.  I call it like I see it.  If I don’t believe in god and he happens to enrage me, that is the way I feel and it isn’t intended to hit you personally.  If I say 9/11 was caused by a retarded government and lazy president work, that is my opinion based off facts and video I have seen.  It’s my take.  My opinions on religion, politics, sports, film, and life are as good and honest because I don’t filter them for the sensitive crowd.   What I say here shouldn’t be taken personally by anyone.   Please, read it if you can but if it makes you get very hot and think personally about its connection to you, I will tell you its not my intention to make you mad.  My intention is to make you think a different way for a few seconds.   My intention is to get into your head a little and spin it but not inject personal smacks at anyone.   Ladies and gents, if every writer who wrote a brutally honest piece was taken seriously, there would be a ton of dead writers and very dead readers.   My intention here is to enlighten you.  Tell you what I think and see it how it lands.  If I tone myself down or hide a thought, I am not being a good writer.   I am only as good as my material.  Let’s get on with this and start to call the wrapup crew in.

Music to Track Down-

22-20-“Devil In Me”

A fast moving rock tune that accompanies the trailer for Johnny Depp’s thriller, The Rum Diary.   22-20 carries a sound that merges The Doors with The Stooges.   Dirty bluesy rock fun.  Listen and enjoy.  Just a song.  The opening of this song is about as strong of a “get in your seat and strap in” feel as any song I have listened in recent memory.   This song doesn’t waste one of it’s 4 minutes and 19 seconds.  A fitting tune to go with Depp’s Rum Diary, a song about a writer slowly losing his mind in Puerto Rico.  This is something you hear from atop a building after midnight.   Wait for the dirty guitar solo at the halfway mark.

Vincent Buffa News-After seeing the ultrasound specialist this afternoon, the resolution is that my boy will be a small baby.  That’s all.  The scare of fetal growth syndrome is small at best and the signs are looking good.   The heat and abdomen are measuring good but the legs and arms are coming in shorter than expected.   In a nutshell, I won’t be the father of a 7 foot giant.   Vinny may be shorter than some but I guarantee you the kid will be as tough as nails and love to tell you how he feels.   If it’s the Buffa’s, nothing comes easy.   For now, I am at ease and a little more relaxed than I was yesterday.

That is all for now.   Time to unwind and relax a little.   Take the edge off a long hard fought day of answers, some small and others big.   I can tell you I have more answers and a bigger peace of mind than I did around midnight.   With the days passing comes clarity in certain corners and new ideas in others.   People ask me what’s wrong on certain mornings and I tell them quickly and with blunt power….life is happening and I am still adjusting.

Until next time,

Thanks for reading and goodnight.


P.S.-Remember, this isn’t personal.  Just an opinion.  Take it as advised.



On my mark ladies and gents,

I am going back into the abyss and seeking some truth.   In all actuality, I am here to spin the news again.   I told you I would be back and I am a man of my word.  Follow if you can.

The Cards plain suck.   After coming from behind twice in a row to register a couple wins against the Pirates at home and inject some spice into the final days of this club, they get shut out today with their best arm, Chris Carpenter on the mound.  Any time a team loses 7-0 at home with their best out there, it’s bad news.   This team continues to frustrate and the worst thing is there is still 28 games to go before they stop.  For a Cards fan who continues to bleed with them, it’s the opposite of paradise.  It’s absolutely horrific to watch this team crash and burn.   The full on quick Cards rant begins now.

Good teams don’t lose to broken down shit teams like the Pirates 7-0 with a pitching matchup of Chris Carpenter and Blake Carroll(that’s not even his real name).

Good teams don’t hit into 142 double plays. 

Good teams don’t get shut out three times in two weeks.

Good teams don’t feature 3-4-5 hitters that collect 2 hits in 12 at bats.

Good teams don’t feature a bullpen with 23 blown saves.

Good teams don’t have a losing record at home in the second half of a season during a division race.

Good teams don’t lose 3 games started by their best starters(Carp, Garcia) inside a week.

Good teams don’t make so many errors on easy routine plays.

Good teams don’t play their best baseball in May.

The St. Louis Cardinals aren’t good enough for the playoffs.  The real question is…are they good at all?  My answer is no.  They aren’t good this year.  Blame it on injuries and you have a fair case in front of you.  However, watching this team all year, I can tell you their problems go deeper than injuries.  It’s lack of consistent performance.

What else?

The Beaver is a solid film to watch on DVD for a few reasons.   A film about a man suffering through severe mid life depression who heals himself by putting a stuffed animal on his right hand and talking with it using an Australian accent isn’t going to sell tickets in a cinema.  This family drama is meant for the couches at home.   Mel Gibson turns in his best performance in years as Walter, the CEO of a toy company who has hit a brick wall of depression and finds solace in a stuffed beaver who attempts to pull him out of his doldrums.  His wife Meredith, played by director Jodie Foster, is a woman who has signed too many checks Walter can’t cash emotionally.   His son Porter lists 49 reasons on a wall in his room why he is painfully similiar to his dad.  He wants nothing to do with Walter.  His younger son Henry adores him no matter what happens.   Porter has a crush on Norah(Jennifer Lawrence), an ace student who needs help writing her valadictorian speech but only wants to get to know Porter.  She is one of those A students who is tragically empty inside.  This is a bizarre film, but it succeeds because it’s about real people and centers itself around a real disease, depression.   There are no easy gimmicks or humor copouts here.  Foster throws the camera at Gibson and reveals a broken soul and a wonderfully gifted actor sitting behind it.   Throughout his legal and personal troubles, Gibson’s true talent has been forgotten.  This is a mistake.  The man can act and has plenty of ammo left.  He brings you into Walter’s dilemma, which starts out as an omen yet turns into a curse that forces him to make a horrible decision.   It’s a film about family and the slow healing of a broken home.  A powerful tale if you get past the talking beaver sitting on a man’s hand throughout the movie.  See it as a metaphor and all is well.  The Beaver is worth getting lost in it’s wild structure because at the heart is a real life story. 

Justin Verlander has 20 wins before September 1st and is a strong candidate for MVP of the American League.   Aside from owning 1 no hitter and 2 near no hitters(8th inning breakups), Verlander is 20-5 with a 2.61 ERA, striking out 218 against 48 walks in 215 innings.   Folks, it is August 28th and this man has stats good enough for a Cy Young award winning season.   He has 5 more starts to go.  In his last 10 starts, Verlander is 9-1 with a 2.67 ERA.   His pitching is ridiculous and this comes with his Detroit Tigers in the middle of a playoff hunt.  Impressive doesn’t begin to describe this man’s naughty pitching.   Serious MVP caliber work.

While earthquakes and hurricanes are bad for any city, remember folks the entire town of Joplin, Missouri was taken out by a tornado in less than 20 minutes.   A reminder to people crying horror over the devastation on the East Coast.   Tragic but nothing compared to Joplin.   A weak hurricane and earthquake don’t measure up to a powerful tornado.  

George W. Bush wants to talk about 9/11.  Get real George.   There was a translator involved to properly allow Bush’s mangled english to come through with clarity but it doesn’t matter.  Look, I don’t like the guy because he was an unfortunate soul who never should of graduated college, didn’t deserve to Governor or President and rode the coattails of his daddy to everything he received and broke important things.  After seeing 4,000 people die in 9/11, he sent into various wars that saw 4,000 more US soldiers die.   That came before Obama got into office ladies and gents.  George W. Bush did little for this country but drown it in debt that our current President has only added to.   If you think Obama is a joke, Bush ranks much lower.  Sum up his presidency and all you have to do is see the look on his face when the secret service agent leaned down to tell him his country was under attack. Please save your praise for him opening Guantamamo Bay.  It’s good our crooked President opened a place for the terrorists he shared secret relations with.  The Bush Family’s connection with the Bin Laden’s never dies folks if you read between the lines.  Bush supporters don’t get one step in my book.  I didn’t mention his 9/11 special was originally supposed to air on Comedy Central.

One of my hopes.  Jason Statham running into the Situation of Jersey Shore on an airplane and creating a situation on board by kicking the shit out of him and mangling his face.   I’d read that story.

Matt Damon’s main goal in charity work is to get countries without water a clean supply of it.   What’s wrong with that?  Many people attack celebrities for using their massive wealth for the right reasons.  Why?  Damon flies around the country delivering water and creating pipelines for water into countries with his free time between making good movies.  He’s a renegade.  Like them or not, celebs get things done faster than regular politicians.

-In the future, the most expensive natural resource will be clean water. 

Johnny Depp’s second trip into the mind of mad hatter Hunter S. Thompson, The Rum Diary, hits screens this October and promises to be another gonzo crazy experience.  Depp plays a journalist encountering booze, drugs and nasty people in Puerto Rico, trying to deliver a story about a corrupt politician before he loses his head and mind.  Depp is a gifted actor because he tackles ANY role head on and immerses himself in the life of his character without changing his look.  He is one of the few actors who can play a character looking as clean cut as in real life and still deliver a performance.  Hunter S. Thompson, the famous writer and Depp were friends in real life and Depp played him in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, an acquired taste of a film that featured some of Depp’s wildest work.   Here, he dives into Hunter’s mind again.   Bizarre doesn’t begin to explain the events in this film but the trailer promises raw fun all based off the sole power of Depp’s infinite ability to get into character so easily.  Depp has called the film “a special little film” and wanted to go around to different colleges talking about Thompson’s writing.  It’s a testament to his reach as an actor.  Here is the trailer.  This film looks like a good time and a fine way to spend 2 hours.

Watch The Town on HBO if you have the chance.   Ben Affleck’s ode to bank robbers in Charlestown, Ma goes deep into the rich history of cop/robbers classics.   If you compare Ben to a baseball player, he is 2-2 in the director’s chair.   His followup to the wonderful mystery Gone, Baby, Gone centers on Doug MacRay and his gang of bank robbers being chased by FBI agents in Boston that’s triggered when the group takes a female hostage in a heist.  MacRay follows and starts to fall for the woman and it unravels a course of events that thrills and creates tense drama at the same time.   Affleck thrives in the lead role and Jeremy Renner excels as the hot headed partner in crime.   The real treat of the film is seeing Mad Man Jon Hamm go against type as a raging FBI crime fighter who will do anything to nail this group of lawbreakers.   An epic heartfelt action drama.   The greatness of the film is the way Affleck refused to stamp characters with good or bad guy labels.   Everybody did what they had to for a reason.   MacRay was born into robbing banks and wanted out.   Renner’s character was a loose cannon but his loyalty to Affleck and saving his life made him a regular guy doing the only thing he knew how to do.   Hamm was a crime fighter, but a conflicted rule bending badass who wasn’t the good shiny hero in the end.    There are no good and bad guys in life.  Just people making choices.  I loved that about the film.  Watch it on cable or rent it.  This is Heat(The Younger Years).

People can’t walk properly.  The best way to deal with it is to adopt the path of a running back and quickly move through this packs of jackoffs.   They will never speed up and if it comes to it, engage them in a fight or war of words on walking properly.   I bet money that these people walk the same way they drive. 

-A friend recently said this year for the Cards was the most he has been down on this team in a while.  I disagree.   Last year was a bigtime downer, because we swept Cincy in August and seemed poised to run awaywith the division and all of a sudden collapsed.   Following a season where we didn’t notch aplayoff win against the same Dodgers team, that was painful.  The fateful road trip through Pittsburgh,Washington and Chicago that sealed our fate. After beating the Cubs at home after the huge Reds sweep(a Westbrook guided 6-3 win), we were 16 games over .500 and ready to take off.  Instead, we crashed and didn’t wake up until after the magic numbers was 0 for Walt’s Reds. That was painful.   This season was hard but a struggle from the outset.
This team was picked to finish 4th and may finish 2nd.   They were who we thought they were and we let them off the hook until they broke our hearts.  However, after the brutal loss of Waino, the
chances of winning the division were reduced drastically.  This year was tough but doesn’t rank as the lowest I have been on this team.

Another point made recently that can stand up in logic court yet I disagree with.  The idea that if Tony La Russa goes after the season, Albert Pujols follows.  Look, it all comes down to Albert wanting to stay or not.   He wanted to be a Card for life and wanted to end his career here.  He wants a competitive team around him.   If the Cards make him a great offer and he
turns it down, he can walk too.  The one thing Albert says about the contract situation being out of his hands is pure bullshit.  He has COMPLETE control over it.  Dan Loranzo is there to figure out
the numbers and years.  He is the suit.  Albert makes the choice where he plays baseball.   See an offer and take it.  Do you have to make the most fuckingmoney in the league?  Really!!!!  Fuck it.
Be a man and get what you need and set your life up here.
  End of Pujols/Cards rant.

While the Cards find themselves out of the race, I find myself rooting for the San Francisco Giants.  This could be for a number of reasons.   Their lack of hitting makes them close game nail biters.   A roster of self less role players like Cody Ross, Aubrey Huff, Aaron Rowand and Andre Torres.  The charismatic closer Brian Wilson and his stories.  Bruce Bochy’s steady management.   Their pitching powered success.  When they won it last year, it came out of nowhere and reminded me of the Cards winning it in 2006 when NO ONE thought they could beat the Mets.   The Giants upset the Phillies and ran over the Rangers.   The Giants are full of good stories.  I’m rooting for them to win it all again.

Good thing the Colts signed Kerry Collins to a 2 year deal.  If Peyton Manning can’t play in Week 1 and/or 2, I need someone reliable throwing passes to three guys on my fantasy team.  Reggie Wayne, Pierre Garcon and Dallas Clark.   Yahoo Fantasy Football is one league I do participate in annually.  Collins isn’t as efficient as Manning, but he gets the job done and moves the football.  In 10 games last year filling in for Vince Young in Tennessee, Collins threw for 1823 yards, 14 touchdowns with only 8 interceptions.   Good enough to get me points until Peyton returns firing bullets.

NFL Football starts its season on September 11th, 2011.   A perfect day for America’s sport to kickoff a season.  On America’s tragic yet heroic day, our passion begins.  Lazy football Sunday’s are almost back.

A sad little fact found on The Discovery Channel’s documentary series, Rise Of Tower One.   A retired firefighter who lost his son in the attacks, talking about what happened that day.  He opened a small memorial across the street for people who died on 9/11.   A story he heard about that day was when the firefighters were going up the stairwell looking for rescue, the civilians going down were crying as they watched the firefighters pass them, and some even urged them to stop and turn around.   The firefighters, including the man’s son, resisted the advice and kept going up looking for human life.  That’s firefighters in a nutshell for you.  When urged to turn back, they keep going.  A lot of men and women knew they were going to die that day.   That can’t be forgotten.  NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg needs to remember that for the 10 year memorial service at Ground Zero.

That’s all I have tonight folks.   The morning has begun and I am ready to lay down and call it a day.  From 9am to 2am the following morning, I got things done.   Breakfast with the family, errands, coffee, house cleaning, relaxing, a night with friends, shaving the head and writing two blogs.  Honest fact.  After I send out a blog and shave my head, I’m in a much better mood.  It’s an act where I literally clear my head, mentally and physically. 

Thanks for reading and goodnight,

DLB son may be born at any moment from now on.   Be ready for that blog post.  This process will be documented.  That’s all for now.  I’ll be back.