Saturday, October 31, 2009

College Football Picks

Here's my picks for today. Good luck to one and all.

Cincinnati -14.5 over Syracuse
Georgia Tech -11.5 over Vanderbilt
UTEP -7 over Alabama Birmingham
Michigan -6.5 over Illinois
Connecticut -7 over Rutgers
Indiana +17.5 over Iowa
Iowa State +6 over Texas A&M
Ole Miss -5 over Auburn
Houston -6.5 over Southern Mississippi

Friday, October 30, 2009

Monday, October 26, 2009

Godfather Though for the Day

Michael Corleone is often thought of as a poor husband and father. He tried to be like his father Don Vito but it just didn't work out. Sure he loved his kids but it just wasn't enough. In the end his family is a mess.

How come Kaye never gets any of the blame for this? Seriously.

Keep in mind that Kaye was Michael's second choice (in fact second wife). If Appolonia had lived - do you think Michael would have had so many family problems? Do you think Appolonia would have ever had an abortion? Divorced Michael? I don't think so.

Maybe the real lesson to be learned from the Godfather trilogy is to not marry a WASP.
Texas Tech

I had the same question. Mike Huguenin from points out something that had me mystified Saturday:
OK, someone explain this. Texas Tech blasts Kansas State 66-14 on Oct. 10. On Oct. 17, K-State blasts Texas A&M 62-14. Saturday, A&M blasted Texas Tech 52-30.
Texas Tech was a 21 point favorite on Saturday.
Mad Men

Last night's episode of Mad Men was just awesome is in the dictionary sense of the word. As always Alan Sepinwall is the place to go for Mad Men discussion.

Two thoughts about last night's episode:

1. So much happened last night and so many loose ends were tied up that is seems impossible that the show was just 1 hour long. This season of Mad Men seemed to be moving so slow and then BAM! Even with so much revealed last night you know that many more twists and turns are about to pop with the JFK assassination just around the corner (time-line wise).

2. Many people make Sopranos comparisons but last night's episode made me think the show was more in tune with The Wire. On that show all the lose ends for the season would be cleared up in the penultimate episode with the last episode acting as almost an afterword. Also in season 3 of The Wire you had Stringer Bell getting killed which made many wonder where the series would go from there. The main plot of the series was McNulty and the rest trying to get Avon Barksdale and Stringer Bell but with Stringer Bell dead - where would the series go? Likewise in Mad Men the main plot line was the Dick Whitman / Don Draper secret. Now with the secret out (to his wife at least) - where does the series go? Many people thought season 4 of The Wire was the best of the bunch. I get the feeling things will get even better on Mad Men too.
Steve Phillips

Steve Phillips has been fired by ESPN. My first thought on hearing this was "He'll never work again."

Phillips was not a very good GM in baseball and he was worse as an analyst. Now with the image of Phillips as the guy who was banging a chubby intern seared into people's consciousness - Phillips won't get another job in baseball or broadcasting. Sad but true. What organization is going to hire a guy with his record of sexual opportunism / harassment?

Phillips and John Kruk were/are both mind-numbing on Baseball Tonight. I couldn't help but wonder if John Kruk was caught in a dalliance with a chubby intern if he too would get fired or if that would be looked at differently?
Spiking the Ball - Delay of Game

Twice yesterday, in two separate games, I saw a penalty flag thrown on players who spiked the ball after nothing plays. The result was a delay of game penalty in each case. Good!

In both cases the player was upset with themselves so they spiked the ball and the refs penalized them. Two minor penalties would normally not be worthy of mention but this is a pet peeve of mine. It irks me to see players get to the NFL and immediately feel entitled to be jerks. I'm glad that the NFL is cracking down on spiking the ball and delaying the game. People are sick of these "look at me" demonstrations.

Now if only the NFL could do something about players celebrating like fools when they tackle a player after an 8-yard gain.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

King of Spades

Did you know that the King of Spades on a playing card was originally supposedly designed to represent King David from the Bible? The sword he holds was supposed to be the sword used to cut off Goliath's head after young David killed him with a rock from his his sling.

During the early parts of the Civil War - Robert E Lee was given the nickname "King of Spades" because of his propensity to dig trenches as part of his strategy. At first the nickname was derisive because soldiers hate to dig. Later when the effectiveness of his tactics saved the lives of many of these same soldiers - the nickname became affectionate. reportedly Lee always loathed the nickname.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Saturday will feature the last Notre Dame / BC matchup in football for some time. BC has done very good in the series to have a 9-9 mark against the "powerhouse" Fighting Irish. The Eagles have won the last 6 matchups. The unspoken reason why this series is coming to an end is because the Boston College fans are obnoxious when it comes to Notre Dame. There is simply no couth on the BC side of this "rivalry". You're better off wearing Red Sox gear head to foot at Yankee Stadium than simply wearing a Notre Dame cap at a BC home game against the Irish. The line in this game is ND -7.5 but I wouldn't touch this one (if I was to pick it my heart would be with BC but my head would say ND)... Girls in bikinis doing hula hoop. Yeah baby!... Georgia Tech beat highly touted Virginia Tech by 5 points last week yet the line against Virginia is just GT -5.5 points? This looks like a gimme. Am I missing something? Is this a trap?... On this date in 1850 Worcester was host to the first National Women's Rights Convention. That put Worcester on the forefront of the woman's suffrage movement. Seeing how Worcester was also the birthplace of the birth control pill - it can be argued that Worcester was one of the most important cities in terms of woman's rights in the entire US (throwing this in to balance off the girls in bikini's doing hula hoop)... Hard to believe but both the iPod and ESPN's Pardon the Interruption have been around for 8 years now... I wonder why the Wake Forrest / Navy game is off the board? Navy was an early 3-point favorite... Happy 47th birthday to Doug Flutie. I have no idea why Flutie is not still with ESPN doing college football. He is way more knowledgeable than dickhead Jesse Palmer. Can someone explain this to me? Doug Flutie is to Larry Bird what Jesse Palmer is to Michael Smith.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

The biggest upset on Saturday was 14 point favorite Ohio State being pasted by Purdue. The biggest upset Sunday was 14 point favorite Philadelphia being beat by Oakland. I had Ohio State and Philly. How was your weekend?... This was awesome.... I agree with the people who compare Peyton Manning and his colts to Greg Maddux and his Atlanta Braves. Both were not the best athletes but who used their heads to become perhaps the premiere players at their positions. Yet even though their respective teams were in the playoffs every year - each player only managed one championship ring... I predict we will see a 3 interception performance out of Brett Favre within the next 3 games... I think Mike Shanahan was over-rated as a pro coach. I think the success Josh McDaniels is having may be emphasizing that point. That's why I think the perfect job for Shanahan would be to take over the University of Colorado program.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Religious Affiliations of the Super Heroes

I found this very interesting.

Who knew that Batman was a lapsed Catholic who is now an Episcopalian? It was easy to guess that Catholic Girl was Catholic (how come there's no Catholic Avenger? That would be a cool name for the Pope's alter ego and while I'm rambling - who ever heard of Catholic Girl?). But did you know that Ben Grimm (the Thing from the Fantastic Four) is Jewish? Magneto (the X-Men super villain) is also Jewish.

The funniest one I thought was J. Jonah Jameson who is the employer of Peter Parker. His religious affiliation is listed as "hates Spider-man". I just found that amusing.

Here are some of the major super heroes / villains and their religious affiliations:

Superman - Methodist
Spider-Man - Protestant
Batman - Episcopalian/Catholic (lapsed)
Lex Luthor - Nietzschian atheist (I would have guessed Lutheran)
The Joker - atheist
Linky Links

- The Yankees as Welfare Chislers - Interesting look at the tax breaks given the New York Yankees. Your tax money at work.

- Map of the town of Mayberry - Just what I said. Same artist has other interesting TV related drawings.

- How to calculate hand odds in Texas Hold 'em. Nothing like a little math in the morning to make your head hurt.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

College Football Picks

Here are my picks for today.

Texas (-3) over Oklahoma
Ohio State (-14) over Purdue
USC (-10) over Notre Dame
Houston (-17) over Tulane
East Carolina (-18.5) over Rice
Kansas (-9.5) over Colorado

Good luck.
Linky Links

Some interesting stuff to read on a Saturday morning while waiting for the college football games to start.

- Missile Silo Fixer-Upper Now Swanky Bachelor Pad - as cool as it would be to live in an abandoned missile silo - I'm not sure if it qualifies as a "bachelor" pad. I think a girl would be sort of on her guard against a guy who invited her back to such a place.

- What Poker Can Teach Us - as far as I'm concerned there is nothing more American than poker. If it was good enough for Truman, Eisenhower, Nixon and Obama - it should be legal for every American.

- Carl Sagan, spaced out on pot - turns out that 4:20 was Sagan's favorite period in the time-space continuum

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Word and Thing of the Day

The word of the day is cacoethes.

The thing of the day is the Imperial Shag.

I have a cacoethes for an Imperial Shag.
WAGS of the 2009 League Championship Series

The wives and girlfriends of the League Championship Series.

I'm partial to this picture of Johnny Damon's wife Michele. Do you think the SI photographer asked, "Excuse me Mrs. Damon but could you give me a good shot of your ass?"

Holy crap is Jorge Posada's wife Laura Posada cut!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Bill James Playoff Predictor - Dodgers vs Phillies

The Bill James Playoff Predictor method has been very accurate in the past in predicting winners. Here's how the Dodgers stack up against the Phillies

1. 1 pt to the lead team for each half-game in the standings (Phillies 4)
2. 3 pts to the team that scored more runs (Phillies 3)
3. 14 pts to the team with fewer doubles (Dodgers 14)
4. 12 pts to the team with more triples (Dodgers 12)
5. 10 pts to the team with more home runs (Phillies 10)
6. 8 pts to the team with the lower team batting average (Phillies 8)
7. 8 pts to the team that committed fewer errors (Phillies 8)
8. 7 pts to the team that turned more double plays (Even)
9. 7 pts to the team that walked more batters (Dodgers 7)
10. 19 pts to the team that had more shutouts (Phillies 19)
11. 15 pts to the team whose ERA was lower (Dodgers 15)
12. 12 pts to the team that has been in postseason most recently or went further (Phillies 12)
13. 12 pts to the team that won season series (Dodgers 12)

Phillies 64 - Dodgers 60

Edge to Phillies
AJ Benza Fired as Host of High Stakes Poker

AJ Benza has been fired as co-host of High Stakes Poker. This is a bad move by the Game Show Network. Benza has good chemistry with Gabe Kaplan and has also earned lots of viewer goodwill over his 5-seasons of co-hosting.

Since Benza is a relatively unknown outside of his work on the show and has even offered to accept a pay-cut I don't think this move was financial in nature. I would guess his departure is due to one of these two reasons:

1. Just a plain stupid move by the GSN executives.

2. A power play by Poker Stars trying to insert one of their pro players as co-host as a way to turn the show into a defacto hour long Poker Stars infomercial.
Mike Sexton - Poker Hall of Fame

Mike Sexton was the only person chosen for this years induction to the Poker Hall of Fame.

Congratulations to Mike Sexton - proff that sometimes nice guys do finish first.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Unbearable Lightness of Boston

It was a beautiful day Sunday in New England. The sun was out, the temperature was in the mid-sixties and there was just a slight breeze. The wind was enough to rustle the leaves on the trees but not strong enough to blow them off the branches.

I had watched the first 8 innings of the Red Sox / Angels game at home. Going into the 9th the Red Sox were leading 6-4 with Jonathan Papelbon on to close out the game. The outcome was assumed to be a foregone conclusion so I left my house for a local watering hole to watch the Patriots.

When I stepped into the bar the score was 7-6 Angels. I still don't know how exactly it unfolded and I don't care. The strange thing was that I was not surprised. Jonathan Papelbon despite his numbers this year has been a heart-attack waiting to happen. Pride goeth before a fall and it seems like nobody has more hubris than Papelbon. It is no accident that the Red Sox locked up Kevin Youkilis, Dustin Pedroia and Jon Lester to longterm deals but Papelbon is on just a one-year deal. Papelbon has made no bones about wanting to break the arbitration salary records for closers. And after that he's made no bones about wanting the highest salary available from free agency even if that means signing with the Yankees. The feeling among many fans is to trade him - and that feeling just grew that much stronger after Sunday's debacle.

Papelbon's final line for the 2009 playoffs was 2 appearances and a 13.50 ERA. Eric Gagne says hello. And for those out there who are surprised that Boston fans would jettison Papelbon so readily - I have two words for you - Keith Foulke.

Keith Foulke was the real MVP of the 2004 playoffs. He gave up just one run in 11 games. Now he's just a distant memory.

Anyway - the Red Sox lost and their season is over. Like many Red Sox fans - as far as I'm concerned baseball is now over. I'm baseballed out. It may seem like heresy but I'm kinda rooting for the Yankees. The thought is that if the Yankees win it all with Johnny Damon playing a big role then the Yankees may not be in such a hurry to throw mega-bucks at Jason Bay.

Immediately after the Red Sox loss the question in New England was "Where have you gone Tom Brady, our Red Sox Nation turns our lonely eyes to you?" The answer to that question was that Tom Brady was in Denver to play the Broncos. The first half went very well for the Pats. They were leading 17-7 and seemed in control. I left the bar to go to the American Legion where I could enjoy a cigar.

The second half was just the cherry on top of a lousy day for Boston fans. The Pats couldn't score and it seemed predestined that the Broncos would tread the path that eventually lead to their overtime victory. One storyline that hasn't gotten enough play is the role the referees played in the Broncos game-tying drive. First there was a fumble recovered by the Patriots that was ruled not a fumble because of forward progress. Replays show it to have been a fumble. The Pats got screwed. Then there was the "taunting" penalty that kept the Broncos drive alive. Replay clearly shows the ref throwing the flag before the defender said or did anything. My guess is that the ref was going to call pass interference but the fact that the ball was tipped making contact OK seemed to have made him opt for the taunting call instead. Fishy call? You bet! (Or somebody was betting if you know what I mean.)

All-in-all it was a lousy day for Boston sports but that's OK. Boston fans have been to a large extent spoiled over the past few years. In my life I've seen championship teams from the Celtics, Red Sox, Patriots and from local college hockey teams (Harvard, BC and BU). This post was not meant to sound like I was whining. It was just a chance to say my peace and move on.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

David Ortiz's Nipples

Rick Reilly with an entertaining offering on athletes he's seen naked. I liked this bit on David Ortiz:
During his unforgettable playoff run in 2004, Red Sox slugger David Ortiz hit yet another crucial home run to win yet another crucial game. Afterward, the hulking Ortiz came out of the shower and began wading through the 50 or so of us waiting for him, wearing only a towel and a scowl. Suddenly, he spun around on this tiny, middle-aged, balding radio guy, leaned over him menacingly and growled, "Did you just look at my nipples?!?"

Fear froze the little guy like a Popsicle. He squeaked, "No."

Ortiz suddenly broke into a huge grin, slapped the little man on the back and said, "Why not?"
Why not indeed?

Saturday, October 10, 2009

BC's Gary Tranquill

Very interesting look at Boston College Offensive Coordinator Gary Tranquill.
Tranquill has been an assistant, and the list of those who hired him speaks to his value and reputation. Among others, Tranquill worked for Woody Hayes at Ohio State, Don Nehlen at West Virginia, Welsh at Virginia and Navy, Bill Belichick with the Cleveland Browns, Frank Beamer at Virginia Tech and Nick Saban at Michigan State.
Another interesting note:
[BC head coach Frank] Spaziani, 62, assembled a young staff, with the exception of Tranquill. None of the Eagles' eight other assistants was born when Tranquill began coaching.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

30 for 30 - Kings Ransom

Not sure if I'll do a review for each of the 30 for 30 shows but I wanted to do one for the first in the series - Peter Berg's Kings Ransom.

It can be argued that the trade of Wayne Gretzky was the most important thing to happen to professional hockey since Lord Stanley donated a silver cup in 1882 to the hockey champion of Canada. It can be argued that Wayne Gretzky was as important to the NHL as Larry Bird and Magic Johnson were to the NBA combined. It can't be argued that the Gretzky / Jones wedding wasn't as big in Canada as the Prince Charles / Lady Di wedding was in the rest of the world. It can't be argued that Gretzky in LA wasn't as big a celebrity as anyone in the 80's. However, it can also be argued that nobody really cares now because it is after all only hockey.

But that's the potential charm and power of this 30 for 30 series from ESPN. They will be recapping events that mattered at the time through the eyes of people who were effected by the events but who are now artistically talented enough to tell the story in a compelling and different manner.

Let me confess to two things; I'm not familiar with Peter Berg and secondly I stopped following hockey a couple of years ago.

I'm not really familiar with Peter Berg because I've never watched Friday Night Lights. I know - my bad. In my defense - I didn't see the movie because I wanted to read the book first and then I never watched the TV show because I had other things to do. I enjoyed the show tonight but I wasn't overly impressed. I thought the golf course scenes were lazy and indulgent. I would have much preferred if information about the financial state of the Oilers at the time of the trade was covered and why that $15 million was so important to Peter Pocklington. Instead we got Peter Berg and his hobo beard.

Bill Simmons stopped watching hockey pretty much for the same reason as me - we both became disgusted with Jeremy Jacobs and his cheapness in running the Boston Bruins. I probably held out a little longer than the Sports Guy. The trade of Joe Thornton was the last straw for me. I lost so much interest that I had to double check to see if Edmonton still had a team (they do).

Three final thoughts about the show:

1. I bet ESPN and Bill Simmons must have been real happy that the Twins / Tigers playoff game went to extra innings drawing off a bunch of viewers from the debut of the first 30 for 30 show. Real happy.

2. A number of times during the show people would say that Wayne Gretzky put Edmonton on the map. I don't think that's true. I think that even back when Edmonton was winning all those Stanley Cups that the average person wouldn't have been able to find the city on a map (Canadians excluded).

3. Going back to my original point about the trade being the most important thing to happen to hockey - it was rumored that Detroit was also in the running for Gretzky. I would have liked to see this angle explored in the show. If Gretzky went to Detroit or any of the original six for that matter - hockey today would look much different. Never mind the Stanley Cups he could have won with a better team like the Red Wings. There most likely wouldn't be any teams in warm weather states if Gretzky doesn't go to LA specifically.

All in all - a good first show for 30 for 30. I can't wait for the next one.
Poker Night

The original name to the play A Streetcar Named Desire was Poker Night.

If they kept the original name - I might have seen the play or movie by now.
Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

This weekend plus last night's win by Minnesota the home teams in the NFL were 12-2 straight up and 12-2 against the spread. Just saying... Now I'm hungry for BLT sandwiches. Hmmmm bacon... The funniest Tweet during last night's game came via Bill Simmons, "Salvatore from "Mad Men" puts more pressure on his wife for sex than Green Bay's getting on Favre"... Minnesota now has 118 points scored on the season putting them behind only the New Orleans Saints (144) and surprise the Baltimore Ravens (124) on the season... Separated at birth? Vikings coach Brad Childress and Gavin McLeod in Kelly's Heroes... Quote for the day, "Sir, there is nothing which has yet been contrived by man, by which so much happiness is produced as by a good tavern" - Samuel Johnson... Interesting breakdown on how the Obamas broke the three main rules of selling when trying to pitch Chicago to the IOC... Another solid quote via Bill Simmons, "Has there ever been a uniform number that so perfectly describes a player's performance as JaMarcus Russell's No. 2?"... Interesting rundown on the 2009 Poker Hall of Fame candidates by Dr. Pauly....

Monday, October 05, 2009

Bill James Playoff Predictor - Red Sox vs Angels

The Bill James (happy 60th birthday) Playoff Predictor method has been very accurate in the past in predicting winners. Here's how the Red Sox stack up against the Angels

1. 1 pt to the lead team for each half-game in the standings (Angels 4)
2. 3 pts to the team that scored more runs (Angels 3)
3. 14 pts to the team with fewer doubles (Angels 14)
4. 12 pts to the team with more triples (Angels 12)
5. 10 pts to the team with more home runs (Red Sox 10)
6. 8 pts to the team with the lower team batting average (Red Sox 8)
7. 8 pts to the team that committed fewer errors (Red Sox 8)
8. 7 pts to the team that turned more double plays (Angels 7)
9. 7 pts to the team that walked more batters (Red Sox 7)
10. 19 pts to the team that had more shutouts (Angels 19)
11. 15 pts to the team whose ERA was lower (Red Sox 15)
12. 12 pts to the team that has been in postseason most recently or went further (Red Sox 12)
13. 12 pts to the team that won season series (Angels 12)

Angels 71 - Red Sox 60

The Bill James Playoff Predictor does not bode well for the Boston Red Sox
Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros- Johnny Appleseed

Because the song makes me happy.
Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

I wonder if all the votes for AL Rookie of the Year are already in? If not Rick Porcello has the ultimate stage to impress voters when he starts for the Tigers in the one-game playoff on Tuesday. Not sure who wins this game but my gut says it will be a relatively high scoring affair.... Joe Flacco was OK for the Ravens yesterday but don't forget the name Dominic Randolph. He's the starting QB for Holy Cross and he's a better player than either Flacco or Ryan Fitzpatrick were in college... The one game playoff reminds me of one of my favorite stats. Jim Rice started for Boston back in 1978 when the Red Sox faced the Yankees in a one-game playoff (f*cking Bucky Dent). That meant that Rice played in all 163 games that season. Only Brandon Inge is close to that mark having played in 160 games so far this season... The New Orleans Saints defense has been as impressive as the offense. Adding Gregg Williams as Defensive Coordinator and Darren Sharper to a one-year deal have really made a difference... I think one of the main lessons so far in this NFL season is don't fire your Offensive Coordinator during the pre-season games. The Bills and the Buccaneers have been awful so far.... Happy 60th birthday to baseball genius Bill James...

Saturday, October 03, 2009

College Football Picks

Here are some picks for today's early games.

Toledo (-5) at Ball State - the game is a home game for Ball State and last year they beat Toledo 31-0 but that was last year. This year the Cardinals are 0-4 and in real danger of going to 0-5. I think Toledo should be able to pass on Ball State and win the game.

East Carolina at Marshall (+2.5) - last year's game at East Carolina was an overtime 19-16 victory for the Pirates only because Marshall's kicker had a meltdown. This year Marshall comes into the game at 3-1 while East Carolina is just 2-2 but is a road favorite?

South Florida (-6.5) at Syracuse - this could be a trap game for South Florida. They have the hangover from last week's monster win over Florida State and they also could be looking forward to next week's tilt against #10 Cincinnati which could decide the Big East championship. The Carrier Dome is a tough place to play but South Florida is just a better team. I would worry a bit if the line goes over 7 points because there is the danger of the Bulls overlooking this game.

Tulane at Army (-6) - I'm taking Army giving 6? Yup. Tulane has trouble stopping the run and the discipline of Army will prevent the turnovers Tulane will need for a road win.

Virginia at North Carolina (-13) - Virginia won last year 16-13 but that was last year. This year North Carolina is coming off a loss and will use last year's victory by Virginia as extra fuel to run rampant over the hapless Cavaliers.

Wisconsin (+3) at Minnesota - the experts view this as an even matchup with the Gophers giving 3 just for home-field advantage. I think Wisconsin is the superior team.

Michigan State (-4) at Michigan - I think talent wise the two teams are evenly matched but the Spartans are desperate at 1-3 while the Wolverines may be overconfident at 4-0.

Arkansas State at Iowa (-21) - this could be a trap game for Iowa. They are coming off the huge upset of Penn State and next week they play Michigan. I think the team will be too well coached for a letdown though and I think they win this one in a walk.

Virginia Tech (-17) at Duke - Virginia Tech has outscored Duke 138-17 in their last 4 meeting and this could be the best team the Hokies have put on the field in that time.

Alabama (-16.5) at Kentucky - Florida beat Kentucky 41-7 last week and you know Nick Saban will be looking to prove his team is better than Florida by winning by a bigger margin.

Edit Note: I'll keep adding my picks for the early games right up till the 12:00 kickoff.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Obama and the Olympics

This was an amusing post. This one made me spit when I read it:
This isn't about the number of Olympics "lost", it's about the number of Olympics "saved" or "created".
Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

I think that the trump card for those that argue that The Wire was the superior TV series over The Sopranos is the fact that Eric Mangini never had a cameo on The Wire... If Kevin Towers is let go as the GM of the Padres this off-season - I'd like to see Paul DePodesta get another shot as a GM... Have you seen that AXE shampoo commercial that claims that 85% of girls find dandruff on a man to be a turn-off? What the heck is wrong with that other 15% of women polled?... Random thought - do you think Donny Most is living comfortably off the residuals from Happy Days?... Speaking of The Sopranos - today is Lorraine Bracco's (Dr. Melfi) 55th birthday...

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Alan Sepinwall and Bill Simmons

Very interesting interview of Bill Simmons by Alan Sepinwall. Nothing earthshaking but just solid info and insight.

And Bill Simmons returns the favor by having Alan Sepinwall on his BS Report podcast.
Roman Polanski as a Godfather Character

It occurred to me that there are many parallels between Roman Polanski and the fictional Jack Woltz from Mario Puzo's book The Godfather. From the Jack Woltz Wikipedia entry:
In the novel, Woltz is portrayed as a man who has achieved great success in the film industry, having come up from nothing.... It is also revealed that he is a pedophile who routinely molests young girls who audition for his movies, as well as the daughters of some of his actresses. (Although this aspect of the character is left out of the feature, it can be viewed in a deleted scene).
The chronology doesn't quite jibe as the book was released in 1969 and Polanski wasn't arrested for child-rape until 1977. It does make me wonder though. Puzo wasn't above using real people as templates for characters in his books (see Frank Sinatra and Norman Mailer as examples). The inspiration for the pedophile director had to come from somewhere. Was it Polanski (do you really think his rape of the 13-year old girl was his first taste of underage sex?) or is the pedophile movie director that common in Hollywood that it could have been someone else? Polanski was in Hollywood prior to 1969 so he could have been the model for Woltz. It could be someone else or Puzo could have have made the character up out of whole cloth.

The pedophile director in The Godfather used to bother me. I wondered why Puzo would insert such disturbing information that really didn't further the plot. Now I have other questions.