Saturday, January 02, 2010

Ironic Bowl, Movie Reviews

Drama, drama and more drama. Okay so the football team of the mighty Texas Tech Red Raiders, of the Big 12, and the once double mighty Michigan State Spartans of the Big 10 meet in the annual Alamo Bowl in San Antonio tonight! What is the big deal and why the drama? Well to start with the football team of the Spartans decided a few weeks ago to have a gang fight with one of the fraternities on the Michigan State campus. For some reason the administration of MSU decided this was not in the best interest of the football program and so they dismissed 14 of their players. So, that created a lot of drama for MSU and most of the pre-press was about these appalling acts and how it was going to affect the game. Needless to say the Red Raiders were licking their chops and looking forward to blowing them past River Walk, on past the Alamo and out of this historic city that prides themselves in reminding us of “remember the Alamo and we kick butt if you don’t.” Then the impossible happened and the Texas Tech Red Raiders showed the mighty Spartans that they could “one up” them on the drama scene and placed their head coach, Mike Leach, on suspension from coaching the game and then a few days later adding more salt to this oozing sore, fired him with cause. The cause being he mistreated one of their high profile prima dona players who just happened to have a prima dona father who just happens to be on ESPN as a color commentator for college football. Since all of this has been presented in the news for the past week I will not go into all of the details and I would encourage my readers to consult for all of the gory details. What I will do is offer some of my opinions on the subject, then move on to the movie reviews. My first point will be directed to those Red Raider fans who think Mike Leach is an offensive genius and the Tech program will never go on without him. Coach Leach is very much a smart, strong minded, hard headed, eccentric that did put together a productive offensive team, but never produced a conference championship, only finished in the top 10 one year, and never won a conference Championship or National Championship. While his offense was productive, to say the least, his overall team efforts(called defense, running attack, blocking, punting, kicking, reduced penalties, being disciplined or summed up with one word “balanced” just wasn’t there) which enables a team to win it “all” never materialized in his 10 years. My opinion is also motivated by the fact that he was being paid $2.7 million per year plus some nice bonus money. For that kind of money I feel we can ask for a lot or even demand it. My second point is that even though Mike Leach is the winningest coach in school history his overall record is only mediocre with an average of 8 wins per season. His best year was in 2008 and it did not produce a Championship of any kind and they even put the icing on the cake by losing in the Cotton Bowl. Their last game of the regular season, they still had the chance of winning the Big 12 but showed up in presence only and looked like a Pop Warner team that was just issued their uniforms the day before the game. They played so bad they created another definition of “stink.” My other point on this “mediocrity” thing is that the diehard fans have accepted this and make excuses for why their record is not better, i.e. if they had only scored more points again Houston they would have won 9 games, and these kind of stupid statements. Of course if they had scored more points than all of their opponents in 2009 they would be undefeated right now. Of course they wouldn’t have their coach because his firing had nothing to do with on the field performance or results. My third point is that Leach was a guy that demanded that his players have unquestioned discipline but he was not a good example of this attribute himself. Now, here are some things the fans are going to miss about him. He did put a very exciting productive offensive football team on the field of play. He was a very eccentric coach (he did not play in college, one in only a handful of coaches that didn’t; he was actually a rugby player). His program did have a very high graduation rate and that is a very good thing. He guaranteed the fans that he could produce 8 wins per year season, and a bowl bid out of 35 bowl games(wow wee what a feat!) While his heroes are pirates that will now become a dead issue in Lubbock and the retail stores will probably get stuck with some flags, boots, and pirate attire we normally didn’t have around until Leach brought his pirate ship to town via Buffalo Springs Lake. We will also miss his dull, dry interviews and his ability to say something that really didn’t make much sense, i.e. “the players feel like they are heroes because their fat little girlfriends tell them they are.” While this got a lot of press I really didn’t get it. First of all the football players don’t generally have fat little girl friends, and second of all this was a very offensive statement to “the fat little girlfriends of the basketball team, or maybe the track team, but not the almighty football players.” Now that I have vented my opinions I will say that Coach Leach was invited to ride his new Cannondale bike out in the canyons with a few of our triathlete friends; however, he never made it. Guess he couldn’t read the map!! His loss!!! Regardless, Texas Tech football will continue to play the game, and coach Leach will continue to coach football somewhere in the universe. He will sue the university big time; get a larger settlement than his salary since it appears that the administration made some bad legal moves in their suspension and firing play calling. Imagine Tech has a law school, a Chancellor that was a very successful practicing lawyer and a full team of lawyers employed by Tech, and they make what appears to be some major blunders!!! Oh well it is not the end of the world folks, it is just “As the Football Turns” in the Hub City of the South Plains of Texas.

Movie Reviews: “Nine,” ****, this is probably a five star movie but I don’t really know how to rate musicals, but this is good one. It got my attention because of Daniel Day Lewis, plus I went to the Michael Jackson thing and had a better appreciation for music. The movie centers on film director Guido Contini (played by Daniel Day-Lewis-one of the great film actors of the day in my opinion) as he reaches a personal crisis of epic proportions. He must balance his numerous women in his life, including his wife(Marion Cotillard), his mistress(Penelope Cruz), his film star muse (Nicole Kidman), his confidant and costume designer(Judi Dench), an American fashion journalist(Kate Hudson) the whore from his youth(Fergie) and of course his mother (Sophia Loren). What a mouthful that can only equal a lot of tension, no wonder the guy was having trouble balancing his life. This film will be nominated for an Oscar for sure. Rated R for sexual content and smoking.

“It’s Complicated,” ****, an entertaining movie about love and divorce, co-starring Meryl Streep, Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin. Jane (played by Streep) is the mother of three grown children, and finds herself drifting into a sexual affair with her ex-husband, remarried Jake (Baldwin) after a decade of divorce. Caught in the middle is a likeable divorced architect played by Martin, who has fallen for Jane, but discovers he’s become a part of a love triangle. Some very humorous scenes and fun to watch. Rated R for some drug content and sexuality.

“Avatar,” *****, this is a five star rated movie with lots of special effects. Obviously it is a sci-fi movie set on a moon called Pandora. This moon has a mineral that is essential for the survival of earth, so the military earthlings and some insensitive scientists are there to harvest this stuff regardless of the local 10 foot tall, blue humanoids call the Navi. Of course the battle begins between the intruders and the locals who are the nice good guys and gals. While we have the overbearing earth intruder military types (throw in a marine or two), the one military hero who is trying to earn his legs back (literally) and the scientists. Of course there is a love story, and a real villain. Go see, but be prepared for a long one, 2 hrs and 40 minutes. Also, it is offered in 2D and 3D (I would recommend this even though it is $3.00 higher). The only real recognizable actress is Sigourney Weaver, not a stranger to sci-fi and tough battles with the villains. Rated PG-13 for intense epic battle sequences and warfare, sensuality, language and some smoking.



Post a Comment

<< Home