Thursday, November 22, 2007

At least she never became friends wth Bigfoot

Despite much "pre-season" hype, a promising cast and respected producing team, NBC's Bionic Woman show has never quite gelled. I still keep watching, mostly out of habit, hoping that something will spark. But with the exception of BSG's Katee Sackhoff as crazy first bionic woman Sarah Corvus, the show as been painfully dull and surprisingly -- terribly written and acted (pouty lips can take you only so far). Ratings have dwindled each week, and now it appears that the best thing about the show, the aforementioned Sackhoff character, will not be coming back even after the writers' strike is settled. Check out this posting (and subsequent responses down the page), which is mostly about BSG, but also contains info on Katee's less than flattering comments about her time with Bionic Woman. Sadly, it looks like we'll be deprived of the new series plodding and dour take on such "classic" BW adversaries as Fembots and Bigfoot.

Of course, if the producers had chosen THIS avenue, perhaps the ratings would have been much better.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Bulldog players agree with 9 out of 10 tailgaters

Remember the Heisman debate from last weekend's tailgate? Well, it seems that the UGA team agrees with everyone but the Freebird (who is probably placing his Tebow action figure on a custom made Downtown Athletic Club diorama). UGA QB Matt Stafford earns respect for not only membership in the ABT Club, but also for pointing out one of the underpinnings of Heisman voting for decades: "He's been doing it a long time."

Also from the world of sports: if the NY Jets played in Columbus, Georgia, I'm sure the fans at Gate D would get a lot luckier.

Monday, November 19, 2007

And I missed the naughty catholic schoolgirl phase, too

Wow. The parallels here are just too numerous to list. Except that I didn't have to deal with the black sheep brother, never had to watch "Crossroads," and never got the "red latex on Mars" experience. However, I did get the repair bills, the class and dignity, the education, the parenting skills, the brilliance and the Cheetos stains!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Dawgs vs. Wildcats: The Game Day Experience Vol V

Well, it was a short weekend, folks. Early game on the old Jefferson Pilot schedule (now Lincoln Financial), with kickoff set for 12:30. The trip down to the old stomping grounds was uneventful. No encounters with bag checking dads of former NFL stars. No torture at the hands of TSA authorities because I left my deadly 1 inch blade on my keychain (though I think at that length, I may have passed muster with Dennis Felton -- as long as I didn't have any primo Hippy Lettuce hidden in my briefcase). No pedestrians endangered. No Freaknik throw down. I'm happy to report that I didn't get lost solo after the game, and wander around the campus and the greater Athens area unable to recognize any landmarks that I'd seen some 2,639 times during my time there. (One of the street signs I almost slept under last week was for a road directly behind my frat house. Good Lord, I have no innate sense of direction). So, nope -- no controversey or major drama.

Unless of course, you count Freebird's sloppy, fawning man-love for Gators QB Tim Tebow*. In response to my blog post Thursday night, and subsequent discussions on the viability of other potential Heisman candidates, Freebird declared that you cannot argue with 42 TDs and Tebow's "rippling biceps" and "dreamy good looks,"* and the award should be bestowed upon a sophomore for the first time in history. Though Freebird said it would be "awkward" to reconcile his UGA degree and fandom with his daydreams of a romantic picnic in a sunny meadow with Tebow feeding him slivers of passion fruit*, he still boldly stood by his declarations to the scorn and contempt of the tailgate gathering.

The only real "action" at the tailgate occurred when some dipshit parked his Solara in one of our designated parking spots, and the tow truck was summoned. "Be here in a few minutes" turned into well over an hour. However, since the Scrats and Huffs were running behind schedule (news flash!), it wasn't that much of a detriment to the logistics. We were treated to the painful machinations of the tow truck driver trying to back up to the illegally parked Toyota. To call him a "driver" would be stretching the definition of the word. Seriously, this took over an hour while we all stood around eating chicken biscuits (Thanks, Hank!) and quaffing frosty beers. Freebird used this time to pen a quick sonnet to Tebow, only bringing his head up from his rapturous ode to ask us if we knew a word that rhymed with "bulging."* Even worse was the sound the tow truck made when it was put in reverse. It was a loud, high pitched, beeping whine that could only be more annoying if it was played from a tiny speaker on the end of a knitting needle that was jammed repeatedly into the recesses of the cochlea.

Well, there was the action of the "competitive scrapbooking" going on. Miz Freebird and Ricky Bobby poured over the pages, but we're not sure who was declared a winner. Mr. Freebird, however, is working on a scrapbook of his own. It will include a foreward by Urban Meyer, and lovingly tell the Tebow story in pictures from his christian missionary work in the Philipines, through his home-schooling all the way to the podium at the Downtown Athletic Club. The scrapbook will be gingerly wrapped in denim, cut from the jorts Freebird wears during his nightly masturbatory fantasies about the strapping man-beast of a QB running the "spread" in The Swamp, with Freebird cheering him on from the Gator sidelines sipping a white wine spritzer.*

Attention Scrat: Your pants are still missing. So much for that "dropping off at the tailgate" idea.

As for the game itself, it was a win. We didn't look great, but we didn't shit the bed like we did against UT. It could have easily turned into a listless performance that put the final outcome in question. Sean Bailey, after all his heroics and brilliance the past few weeks, looked particularly out of it, not fighting for the balls that were errantly thrown his way. But 24 and 20 ran like champs and we were left sitting at the tailgate, basking in a win, listening to the Commodores try not to act like, well, The Commodores.

A hearty Applebees dinner followed, washed down with several Brewtuses (is that the plural of Brewtus? I can't be sure about these things) and a drop off at a c-store somewhere between Athens and Lawrenceville to exchange "the package." After Freebird went in to grab a few supplies that resembled dinner at the Britney Spears household, we were off. I'm sure Miz Freebird had an entertaining ride home. And had to thwart the attempts of her husband to cajole her into wearing a blue jersey adorned with #15 for a little sexytime later on that evening.*

Maybe it's a good thing in hindsight that the large flask hit empty sometime in the 3rd Quarter, as I kept wondering why it was so damned hot in the E's car on the way back to their house. I kept cranking up the large knob in the center of the dash wanting more volume, not realizing the sound level didn't increase yet the temperature kept rising. I think I may have actually experienced being in a convection oven before my benefactors took pity on me and pointed out the difference between climate control button and the radio.

So endeth the home schedule for 2007. To all who participated at the tailgate and in the stands (and vicariously on this page), I raise my glass to you and toast you with a hearty Go Dawgs!

*May be exaggerated slightly. Or perhaps even untrue.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Wrightsville, Georgia sighs at result in the desert

Last night, the Other Stoops Brother and his Arizona Wildcats engineered a huge upset over the always retina-scarringly dressed #2 Oregon Ducks. While this continues the season long trend of teams working their way into the top 5 only to suffer stupefying lesses, there is a more insidious storyline at play.

Going into the game, almost every sportswriter and pundit had the Heisman trophy race being led by Oregon's Dennis Dixon and (gulp) Gators sophomore Tim Tebow. Dixon had the advantage of being a senior, putting up flashy numbers in Mike Belotti's spread offense and playing for a team with a shot at the BCS title game. One twisted knee later, Ryan Leaf's brother came in for a relief appearance and the title game shot appears to have gone down the tubes along with Dixon's Heisman hopes.

Yoiks. That leaves media darling Tebow atop the public consciousness in the Heisman race, and unless Darren McFadden runs for 475 yards per game until the season is over (and who has faith in Houston Nutt's coaching?), Tebow might become the first soph to ever take home the hardware. That would be especially galling for Dawgs fans, results of the Cocktail Party ass-whipping not withstanding. If a sophomore was EVER going to win the trophy, it could have happened in 1981, when Herschel Walker had a fantastic season, but finished second (at the time, the highest sophomore finish since Army's Glenn Davis in 1944) to an admittedly outstanding Marcus Allen.

Now the only thing apparently keeping Tebow from placing the Heisman on top of a set of gravity defying cantaloupes would be a late and mind-blowing run of yardage compiled by McFadden or "We lost to App State" Mike Hart.


Sunday, November 11, 2007

Dawgs vs. Tigers/Plainsmen/WarDamnEagles: The Game Day Experience Vol IV

Well now, THAT was satisfying wasn't it?

Before I get to the tailgate and game itself, one note about the trip down. I could have hijacked a plane. Fortunately, I'm just a mild mannered traveler, not interested in downing a jet over a centuries old land war, or to prove that my mythical deity can kick the ass of your mythical deity on the schoolyard. Or because I'm offended by the crass and disgusting popular culture that America foists on the rest of the world. (Wait -- I hate reality TV. And I don't think I could stop it by downing a jet. But even if I could -- I don't think I'd crash a plane just to save the planet from another edition of The Real World or Flavor Flav's latest attempt to get laid). Anyway, I have a tiny pocketknife that I use as my keychain. Actually, a "penknife." I tiny swiss army knife keychain that I got at The Masters. It contains a small blade, barely an inch long, that I don't think could cut open a bag of M&Ms. It has a pair of tweezers, a nail file and a toothpick. There are 3 keys on it, unlike Freebird's, whose keychain resembles something The Keymaker from the only slightly disappointing first Matrix sequel would have. Normally, I go through the ritual of taking this Weapon of Mass Destruction off my car keys and leave it in the vehicle before I make my way into the airport terminal. But Friday was a frazzled day from beginning to end, and I was running late for the flight with a thousand things on my mind. I just stuck the keys, with penknife, into the designated key compartment in my briefcase and made my way to the terminal. Checked my big bag (with Antonio Freeman's dad again) and got in the security line. Went through the usual drill, took off the shoes, the belt, unpacked the laptop -- all the usual hassles. However, at the end, the dude in the blue gloves brought my bag over and asked to search it. (Blue gloves? Shades of Firefly, I'm telling you! I thought they were going to melt my brain!) Instantly, it dawned on me. I was about to fly with the penknife. I could taken the crew hostage and threatened to pluck their eyebrows or give them a manicure! I could have poked a hole in a styrofoam coffee cup! So what to do? Fess up about the keychain, have them take it, and lose a valued piece of memorabilia that can only be purchased one place and one place only on the face of the earth? And it's not like I'm making that annual pilgrimage to Augusta, GA for a little golf every year now. Or, I could just continue to play innocent and hope they don't find it. Or if they do, feign surprise and hope they chalk it up as a forgetful accident and don't call Jack Bauer to interrogate me with a table lamp. I kept my mouth shut, the bag went back through the X-Ray machine and hands of blue searched it thoroughly. Well, not so thoroughly, since he didn't find my penknife keychain. Off to the plane, armed with a toothpick!

In hindsight, I'm not sure this makes me feel safer. But I'm happy to have my Masters keychain.

Okay, enough of that silliness. Friday night was a sedate, relaxing cool down. We all actually turned in early. No drama on the drive down, either. No pedestrians were almost mauled under the wheels of a crossover vehicle. No marriages tested by backseat driving. (until, of course, we tried to park in the spot at the tailgate. For some reason, it took two drivers and a guide outside to get us properly aligned within the yellow stripes).

We were the first ones there, and got the PC and AV all set up and all was well. Noted Professional Sports Commentator and Expert Buddha showed up, and offered this insightful analysis of Darren McFadden vs. the Vols D: "He should run through them like soup." Not sure if he, McFadden, was the soup in that analogy. Of if Chavis' boys were the soup. Or even what it's like to run through soup. Is it a big, streaming waterfall of soup? Is it more difficult to run through if it's something like Chunky Soup or Chili? Or easier if it's water, like egg drop soup? We pondered that for a while and had a few more beers.

The tailgaters beside us insisted (again) on recreating Freaknik out of their car stereo. Which was odd, coming from a tall white dude in a big red pick up truck, but annoying nonetheless. Hopefully, their car batter will die soon.

Gordo arrived late, but with a rolling cooler full of steamed hot dogs delicately wrapped in foil. Yes, they were tasty.

Tailgate raconteur DHuff was apparently high on life. I don't know if it was the fact with all the black around him, absorbing the light, he didn't have to slather on SPF-70 with a paint roller and put on his demented beekeeper get up, or if he was sniffing glue behind the dumpster, but the boy was certainly excited without the benefit of draining a huge flask. I need to score me a bag of this "life" stuff.

Here's where things start getting sketchy for me. I don't know if it's because of only having two hot dogs as a "base" for an afternoon of imbibing, or that I had way too many tallboys wandering around chatting with everyone, but my note taking became intermittent and sloppy. I recall accusing Ricky Bobby of wearing blue socks with "Blackout" ensemble, but after careful inspection, it appeared that they were indeed black, and even more importantly, perfectly matched. Later, it turns out that it was Miz Huff who participated in the "Blueout" with regard to hosiery. That's why I have two separate drawers for blue socks and black socks. Always difficult to make that distinction in the haze of the morning.

I recall the Good Doctor calling to tell us that they saw a chick with a big sign that read "Knowshon is on my To Do list." I recall some worry about the local fuzz trying to bust people for open containers again. So A. we took the "back way" to the stadium, and B. I eschewed the normal red 12 oz. Solo cup for a less conspicuous huge, Chic-Fil-A "big gulp" foam cup. It was used, laying on the group beside the car, and I just dumped half a bottle of Crown in it and Voila! A Ball Game Drink. I recall walking to the stadium, and after negotiating with some roadies for Public Enemy on ticket prices, I arrived at the top of the stadium stair in our section just in time to see the team run on to the field, resplendent in the rumored and now confirmed black jerseys to the strains of this all time classic:


Sitting there, looking around, I don't think I've ever seen anything quite like that. Usually, most of the stadium is a sea of red, with a little black and white mixed in. Saturday, Sanford looked like a cavernous, living black hole, rippling with electricity. Truly a sight to behold.

I won't go into detail about the nuances of the game, since I don't recall a lot of them. But a few observations:

Now that Richt has given up the responsibilities of calling all the plays, he's had more time to focus on recruiting (we're either the number 1 or 2 school in many early 2008 forecasts) and skillfully working the head coach duties of motivation and management. Between the Cocktail Party celebration and this week's Blackout, I'd say he's doing okay. And even though it was Richt who called the 45 yard Stafford to Bailey TD pass, I'd say Bobo (after a shaky start) is doing okay, too. We haven't put up 40+ in three straight games since 1942. And this wasn't against a coterie of directional schools, either. Yes, Troy was in there, but they were bookended by the Gators and the (previously) stout Tigers/Plainsmen/WarDamnEagle Ds.

You couldn't ask for more in a game. There was the scintillating atmosphere from the Blackout. A first quarter lead. A second quarter fade. An Auburn lead that made it a close contest and typical SEC slugfest in the third quarter. And then a take you out behind the woodshed for a total ass whooping to close the game out. From David Ching's excellent UGA blog, there's this:
After Wes Byrum hit a 33-yard field goal to put Auburn up 20-17 with 6:47 left in the third quarter:
  • Georgia's offense totaled 308 yards of offense in the next quarter and a half and scored touchdowns on each of its next four possessions.
  • Auburn totaled 39 yards on 19 plays, with three drives ending on interceptions, one with a punt and one with a turnover on downs.
As for the Blackout, there was lots of speculation about who knew what and when. You can check out the AJC for some detail: Inside story of the Blackout

Only the seniors knew, and they kept it quiet. Center Fernando Velasco: "I didn't tell my girlfriend, I didn't tell my mama, I didn't tell nobody. That was the only way it could work."

Just awesome.

Even more unbelievable? Positive press from the normally UGA unfriendly Stewart Mandel over on

I haven't watched the recording of the game, but I do remember being outraged on more than one occasion about the quality of the officiating. Perhaps I may have let fly with some vehement questioning of the officiating crew's ancestral heritage, or suggestions that they engage in animal husbandry with relatives of a maternal nature.

The win was so sweet and so savory, I didn't mind my own personal re-enactment of Thursday's episode of The Office, where Michael was dropped in the middle of the woods alone to play "Survivorman." I left the game solo, and made the mistake of walking out the back entrance (note to self: DON'T EVER DO THIS AGAIN. YOU ALWAYS GET LOST). Moments later, I had no fucking clue where I was on a campus I haunted for 5 years and have been back to on and off for the past two decades. I recall being by the Coliseum for a while (paying homage to Dennis Felton's boys?), before finally receiving a call from Miz Freebird wondering where the hell I was. (Humorously and ironically, they got lost as well, but still beat Magellan back to the tailgate). Fortunately, before I could collapse in a puddle of whiskey and hopeless despair, Freebird and Scrat played Dwight Schrute to my Michael and led me back to civilization. I felt like I was also in an episode of Alias or 24, when Miz Scrat was asking over the cell phones "do you have the package?" All's well that ends well, with a post game journey to Applebees for the Fifth Quarter show and celebration of one of the Best Days of Georgia Bulldog Football Ever.

Once again, many thanks to my hosts, chauffeurs, bartenders and rescuers. One more trip back to the Motherland next week, and that's it for 2007.

Go Dawgs!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Friday Morning Entertainment News Roundup

Posting has been light lately, because I've been traveling like a mad man (shades of Don Draper, though sadly without the hot wife, hot mistresses and lunchtime whiskey, but with the marketing strategy and Marlboros).

Now I'm packing for another epic clash Between The Hedges in the Deep South's Oldest Football Rivalry. Should be a good one. As I mentioned in some pregame communications with The Freebird, I'm not sure what Coach Richt will have planned as a motivational tactic this week. The players have called for a "blackout" (which is fine with me, given the abundance of my favorite color in UGA togs) and there's the rumor of the Dawgs breaking out black jerseys. Short of a goal line player celebration after the first score, perhaps CMR will suggest that all the fans in black run out to the 50 yard line after our first score and do a synchronized version of the "Soulja Boy." Would that be more than 30 yards in penalties?

That said, here are a few entertainment nuggets I came across during the last week on the road:

The JJ Abrams Star Trek movie has offered some inspired casting thus far (Sylar as Spock? Shaun of the Dead as Scotty? Magnificent! Eomer as Bones McCoy? Not so sure). But two recent additions get a total A+ in my book. First, it was announced that under the radar total hottie and TNRLM Top 5-er Rachel Nichols had been cast. Rachel was on Tim Minear's quickly killed by FOX crime drama The Inside, and also appeared on the disjointed final season of Alias. Her role is uncertain, but anything is fine with me and almost makes me long for the 60s wardrobe of miniskirts and gogo boots on Starfleet vessels. Then today I read that longtime TNRLM Number One Winona Ryder has also signed on to play Spock's mom. There have been numerous hotties to grace the small screen on various incarnations of Trek, but with the exceptions of a pre-batshit Kirstie Alley as Saavik and Dina Meyer as a Romulan commander, not so much on the big screen. Nice to see this changing.

Nice interview with Jane Espenson, a fantastic writer who has worked on some of my favorite shows, including Firefly, Buffy, Angel, Star Trek: DS9, BSG and the late, lamented Andy Barker PI.

Those BSG "webisodes" (part of the reason for the much deserved writer's strike) have been awesome. How great was the old school toaster? Coming Monday? Lost webisodes.

Finally! A decent Heroes. I'm not sure that Monday's fantastic episode is enough to save the first part of this season from mediocrity, but it certainly held promise. At least the showrunner realizes that things thus far have sucked.

Speaking of the strike, the worst part of this by far will be the proliferation of the plague on mankind known as "reality" TV. The only reality show I've ever added to the Tivo is American Idol. And then, I generally fast forward through all the insipid "personal stories" and Seacrest nonsense, just to see the top 12 perform. With all those hours to fill now that carefully crafted and skillfully acted shows will be without their words, expect the AI juggernaut to fill up virtually every night with the "backstories." Many pundits also criticized AI last year for not delving enough into this. Ye gods. Thank Zeus that by the time Idol rolls around next year, I'll happily be free of the Comcast Ti-Faux DVR and back with my beloved original recipe Tivo in order to zoom through this steaming pile of crap.

Okay, enough for now. Off to pack several black shirts and brush up on my dance moves.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Brady, Brady, wherefore art thou Brady Quinn?

After yesterday's embarrassing and streak-busting loss to Navy, I thought it was timely to post this brilliant, eloquent and razor-sharp take down of Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis, courtesy of Slate.

If you're not a fan of the Golden Domers, it's a must-read. Even better if you respect the tradition and history of the school and their football program, but find Weis's smug arrogance just a bit off-putting. Check it out. Just one of many turns of a phrase that make me giggle:

"The giant edifice of fraud that is Weis' reputation is actually a series of smaller frauds piled on top of each other."


Of courth, Lou Holth will continue to pick them every thingle week on E-eth-P-N.

That's a Wicked Pissah!

The Red Sox win another World Series. Remember when their fans were long suffering and almost pitiable losers, just like Cubs fans? Well, spending almost as much as the Yankees and hoisting two trophies will change the perception of the fan base quickly, dontcha know. And that's not even factoring in the "other" story from the area -- the juggernaut known as the Patriots. Throw in previously unbeaten Boston College, and the "Big Three" now making it look like Doc Rivers can coach, and you have enough to make an insufferable group of fans even moreso.

To that end, check out this absolutely hilarious post from Kissing Suzy Kolber on the subject

What if Clarice Starling was younger, hotter and spunkier?

Remember last television season, when there were rumors about producer Rob Thomas making a last ditch attempt to save the remnants of beloved cult favorite Veronica Mars by "flash forwarding" the story of our quippy detective a few years into the future, where she was a newbie with the FBI? He shot an extended length "trailer" showing just what this new show might be like, and thanks to the miracle of the interwebs, it has surfaced. Here you can view just what might have been:

Part 1

Part 2

No, we didn't see Keith, Wallace, Mac, Logan, Dick or Weevil. However, I thought this looked good, and would have gladly added "Veronica Mars, FBI" to my season pass list. Of course, I'd probably tune in to watch "Veronica Mars Stands in Line at the DMV." After all, I'm still watching "Veronica Mars has Gwen Raiden Electro-Powers and Follows Memory Wiped Peter Around a Full of Blarney Sub-Plot While the Rest of a Once Entertaining Show (Except HRG) Sinks Like a Fucking Stone."

Speaking of The CW, I've finally caught up on all the episodes of Reaper. My cumulative grade? B-. Obviously, Ray Wise is the main draw here and should deserve consideration for a Best Supporting Emmy when nominations roll around next year. The premise and set up is amusing, and Wise simply owns every single scene he's in as The Devil. The rest of the cast is solid enough, but with the exceptions of the pilot and last week's Halloween ep, the show's writing has been formulaic and the plots just redundant and recycled. Still, there's potential here and it's a pleasant enough diversion from the rest of the disappointment cluttering the screen these days (see show that has added Kristen Bell above).

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Good news and bad news

The good news? According to TV Guide's Mike Ausiello, Joss Whedon and Eliza Dushku are getting back in the TV business. Together! For a geeky one hour show! With Tim Minear involved! More on the show, including interviews with Joss and Eliza, on E!.

The bad news? It's on FOX. The same FOX that killed Drive, Firefly, Tru Calling, Wonderfalls and The Inside - all shows that involved our little trio of Buffyverse favorites. Both Minear and Dushku had a deal with the studio, so it's not like there was much of a chance for it to magically appear someplace else, free from network meddling, bizarre scheduling and a quick guillotine.

But a brilliant show probably cancelled after four episodes (in order to show more American Idol auditions) is better than no show at all, right?