Monday, March 8, 2010

Morning: Weekend Awesomeness Scale, 3/8 Edition

In an optimistic move, I decided not to wear a coat to work this morning. Just a t-shirt and a pullover, and I was out the door and into the sunshine- a dude of hope. It ended up being way colder than I wanted, and the short walk to the subway was chilly, but in my book it was still the right move. The sentiment is the thing / wherein we catch the conscience of the spring. It's early March; a new season is on the way, madness is on the way, baseball is on the way. It's the kind of morning where you don't need a coat, even if you do. Cold is just a current reality; I'm staying in the moment, but this particular moment is all about the future. It's warm even when it ain't, baby!

Let's get up to some business. This ain't no place for the weary kind.

1 - As Awesome as Kevin Smith Winning the Oscar for Best Screenwriting

This didn't happen, but it's the worst possible award/winner combo I can imagine. If you just read these past two sentences and were like "oh, but Clerks was hilarious!" then you should take a hike in the woods and keep going until you run into trouble or learn something about yourself. If you come back, pop in Clerks, and don't have a sudden epiphany where you're like "damn, this is a bad movie made by a person I don't like," then you haven't gone far enough. (Man, though, if you want to feel bad for Kevin Smith, read this article.)

This goes to Ben Roethlisberger being accused of sexual assault. What the hell is the deal here? The first woman in Lake Tahoe seemed like a clear nutjob, and it was easy to be satisfied that she went off the deep end and came up with a bunch of false accusations. Now there's this woman in Georgia, and it's starting to look like a pattern. There are a few possibilities here:

1) The first woman was crazy, but the second woman realized that the existence of that story would lend credence if she falsely accused Ben, so she did so for money or whatever. This would be pretty sinister and seems kinda hard to believe.

2) Big Ben is up to no good with the ladies.

Unless you're from a rival city, I think most of us like Roethlisberger. He's tough on the field, resilient, etc., and off the field he seems nice and kinda goofy. But does he have a weird problem for assaulting ladies off the field? That would be pretty friggin' disheartening. I'm sure there's more to come on this one.

2 - As Awesome as How Macaulay Culkin Looked Last Night

Yikes. Home Alone was the iconic movie of my childhood. I used to watch it over and over and imagine I was Kevin, laying all kinds of traps for Pesci and Stern. Good times. But man, MK looks like hell. It's like he aged two years since then, grew eight inches, didn't eat, and stared at a really bright screen for 20 hours a day.

We'll give this to Kentucky going undefeated at home. You ever spend a lot of time claiming some team is overrated, but they keep winning even though you're pretty sure you're right? It gets kind of annoying. To be fair, I called it with Texas this year when they were #1, and that panned out in a big way, culminating in their 15-point loss to Baylor on Saturday, which ensures they'll finish the year unranked. But Kentucky is doing me no favors. I still expect Tennessee to win the SEC tournament, and UK to go out in the second round or the Sweet 16. But they're making me look bad, and I hate looking bad. Plus, they tried to steal the thunder from a more significant perfection proclamation.

3 - As Awesome as Sandra Bullock for Best Actress

Really, for The Blindside? Down year for actresses, apparently. I pretty much called most awards during the show, but this is the one example where I would have probably picked her last. I'm not saying she was bad, or the movie was bad, but in the end it was a mushy sports film, right? Hold on while I don my tweed vest and spill a snifter of brandy as I become outraged...THIS IS NOT SERIOUS ART, PEOPLE!

Um, we'll send this one to Louisville over Syracuse. I hate Rick Pitino, I have no love for the state of Kentucky, and I really enjoy Boeheim and Syracuse. In the end, this loss isn't too important; Syracuse will still be a #1 seed, and will still be the favorite (in my mind) for the national title. But it would've been nice to stick it to Slick Rick, especially after they beat The Cuse at home.

4 - As Awesome as the Hosting Job by Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin

Pretty unremarkable, huh? Not terrible, I guess, but I think I only had one gut laugh (Martin's joke about Meryl Streep collecting Hitler memorabilia), and the rest made me wonder how much time they (whoever) actually spent writing the jokes. The punch lines were almost as predictable as Martin's pretentious glasses. Plus, I think Alec Baldwin is wearing his welcome in the popular consciousness. Underwhelming show, guys, which is pretty much how I feel about the whole night.

Maryland earns this one with their 6-point win at UVA. It means they finish the season tied with Duke, and will share the ACC regular season crown. I didn't expect the Cavaliers to win, but it's still aggravating. I can't forget the road loss from last week. It's still fresh. I can't explain how badly I want to see these guys in the ACC final. It's almost the most important thing right now. If you told me we could win a national title, but the price would be another loss to Maryland in the ACC tourney, I'd have to give that some serious thought.

Okay, done thinking: I'll take the title. Screw Maryland and Greivis Vasquez, though.

5 - As Awesome as Star Trek Winning Best Makeup, and Hurt Locker Winning the Sound Awards

Obvious stuff, unmoving. Star Trek was the only nominee in that category with "weird" makeup, and Hurt Locker dealt with bombs. Hardly seems fair to the other nominees; you might be the best makeup person in the world, and just kick ass making people look like Brits from the 1700s, but you can't beat the guy who does the crazy alien faces. And you might edit sound like the Mozart of the mix board, but you won't beat the people who have like 18 explosions in their film.

KU's win over Missouri. Just too much going on for the Jayhawks at this point. Even the border war won't faze them. They'll probably be #1 in today's final poll, and come bracket time, they'll even get the majority of picks for national champion, both from experts and laymen. Personally, I don't know what to think of them. I'm sure I won't have the guts to have them go out before the Final 4, but part of me sees them as a bit unreliable. Stay tuned.

6 - As Awesome as the Dancers for the Soundtrack Presentation Thing, Minus their Clothes

Pretty impressive stuff. I wish I could jump and roll and look awesome like that. Terrible wardrobe, though. As the girlfriend pointed out, they looked like they were in a large-scale Gap ad. The fact that they overcame this demonstrates their dancing acumen. It is very difficult to win the hearts and minds of America when you dress like the arrogant dude who knows the names of 74 ski resorts in the west and can't open his mouth without sneering. Kudos!

Cromartie to the Jets takes this one. Man, it won't be fun to pass against Big Green next year. No sir. And they even threw him a half-mil to pay some pesky lingering child support payments. Character!

7 - As Awesome as Wes Anderson Winning Best Animated Feature

Didn't happen. Would've been cool, but Up took the cake as I predicted, and as anyone with half a brain could have predicted. C'est la vie, world.

Antrel Rolle to the G-Men. Yes! We broke the bank for him, but after last season's debacle, it had to be done. At least we know we have a kick-ass safety. I'm still waiting for the cornerback situation to get a fix, but in the meantime this will hold me over. I especially love this quote from that Post article:

“When I am on the field I hold no pity for the next man."

Welcome, A-Rolle.

8 - As Awesome as the New Roman Polanski Flick

Change of pace here...I know the guy's a first class perv, but Ghost Writer is a top notch thriller. Polanski is a total throwback, and one of the few guys left who makes the real visceral, dark kind of suspenseful film that's less about wild chases and effects and convoluted plot and more about insinuation and atmosphere; the stuff that really gets in your head.

Life's about the simple things, so this goes to just walking the sidewalks of Brooklyn on a warm Sunday afternoon and hearing a baseball game being broadcast through the open door of a bar. It's an old school vibe, and you can't complain.

9 - As Awesome as Avatar Being Shut Out of the Big Awards

It's not terribly classy to cheer against something, but in this case I give myself a pass. You'd be a fool not to be impressed by what-all went into making Avatar, and the effects and the 3-D and all the other bells and whistles, but it's good to know that story still counts. Plain and simple, it did not deserve Best Picture. For all his hard work, Cameron did half the job. It was good enough for highest-grossing film ever, but you can't go all the way on a re-hashed plot and trite acting.

By the same token, it was nice to see Kansas State lose at home to a mediocre opponent. It gives Duke the inside track on a #1 seed, which is actually pretty important. It's nice to avoid those 2/3 seeds until the Elite 8. And it showcases some weakness in the Wildcat game, notably shooting; they were 3-23 from behind the arc. On it's worst day, Duke has never been that bad. The nation can groan and moan about our athleticism all it wants, but we're now a deserving 1-seed. Win the ACC Tourney, and it's a given.

10 - As Awesome as Jeff Bridges Winning Best Actor

I saw Crazy Heart on Saturday, and let me tell ya, he earned it. His win was the best moment of the night, and the only thing that came close to saving the show from its overall drudgery. Bridges is a class act, and he deserved it.

Just like the Dukies deserved their blow-out win over Carolina. It was the perfect way for a classy, tough individual like Jon Scheyer to go out, and it served as a coronation for the best Duke team since 2004. Dominating win over a rival? Check. Perfection Proclamation complete with an unblemished home record? Check. Earth, Wind, and Scheyer all scoring at least 20? Check. The rest of the seniors, like Zoubek, going out in style? Check.

Just an incredible performance from an incredible group of guys. The weak Blue Devil teams are now officially a thing of the past, and, title or no title, this group won't bow to anyone. It's March, and they're ready for war.

Good thing, too. Spring ain't no place for the weary kind.


  1. What? Only two paragraphs about the biggest beatdown we've handed to Carolina since Woodrow Wilson was calling the shots? Is UNC like Autism, so bad you can't even make fun of it?

  2. More coming later!