<em>Adrian: “Why do you wanna fight?”</em>
<em>Rocky: “Because I can’t sing or dance.”</em>
—From the film, “Rocky”.
I wrote a fairly controversial column for this week. It would have managed to insult everyone. But this week finds me in a blithe mood. So, I will shelve my acidic diatribe for another week and offer up some random thoughts in the realms of entertainment and sports.
— I am not enthused nor am I upset about the announcement that Colin Farrell and Vince Vaughn have been chosen to play the leads in the second season of “True Detective”. Nic Pizzolatto, the show’s creator, has raised the bar so high after the inaugural season that I have to set my bar lower.
Rewatching True Detective again these past two weeks, I still believe that it is the greatest thing ever produced on television. You just do not find storytelling and acting that good and that consistent.
For those who care about awards shows and were aghast when Matthew McConaughey lost the Emmy for best dramatic actor, you still have the Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild awards to look forward to in January.
— If you have not seen the new DirecTV commercial with Rob Lowe and “Super Creepy Rob Lowe”, <a href=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8PhusMW8SZI” target=”_blank”>here it is</a>. It is 30 seconds of bend-over-in-laughter comedic genius.
— As my column appears on CVD and falls under the umbrella of the Radio Ranch, I am a little hesitant to criticize often branches of the tree I work on. But I need to know why the radio station Q-92 feels the need to play the Bryan Adams ballad “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You” three times a day.
I hated that song in 1991, and my seething enmity for it has festered through the years. For those who are young…or those who have been in therapy to block out the memory, that song came from the movie “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves”. Or, as most of us now know it by now:
The film where Kevin Costner started to lose his mind.
— Every once in a while a dance song comes out that I fall in love with. Recently, that song is “Come Get It Bae” by Pharrell Williams. I lock the doors, close the shades move the furniture to a safe distance and just let loose when that song comes on.
I always lamented the fact that I am terrible at singing and dancing. I love doing both. Fortunately, I only dance in public at events where everyone is so drunk they do not remember it (or anything) the next morning.
— Three times in the last six years I have drawn up business proposals to independent film theatre companies in the hopes of bringing a good movie house to Logan. No luck. I think there is an audience for good films here. I have to fight not to sneer at marquees of the theatres in this valley as they often play films that are usually forgotten within a month.
Indie films would sell in Cache Valley if marketed properly. Do people here really only want to see superhero, Mormon and far right wing films? Even given my noted cynicism I say no.
Next week, I plan on seeing “Gone Girl” when it is released. This would be the first film I saw in the theatres since I took my sons to see “The LEGO Movie” way back in February. I want to see good movies and Cache Valley does not have them.
— The three best songs with September in the title:
<ol> <li>Wake Me Up When September Ends by Green Day</li> <li>September Morn by Neil Diamond</li> <li>September When It Comes by Rosanne Cash and Johnny Cash</li> </ol>
— Every year I usually pick up one new TV show and see if I can stick with it. This year? Nyet. Nothing appeals to me.
— I do not know why the New York Times is obsessed with Lena Dunham. Her show “Girls” sucks. Not even merchant marines want to see her naked—but she still strips every chance she gets. She is not funny, profound or interesting. And still, weekly, the Times seems to have some article on her that suggests she has re-invented entertainment.
— Finally, this Sunday I will be finished with fantasy sports for the rest of my life when the baseball regular season ends. I am too old and disinterested to waste time and expunge energy worrying about the performance of athletes. I started playing fantasy football in 1989. My league started in 1990 and lasted for 20 years. I won my league twice: 1995 and 1997. Brett Favre was my quarterback both years.
Anyone that has played a board game or a sport with me knows that I am disturbingly competitive. I must win! I am gracious when I lose, but I intricately replay the game move by move in my head. I did that with fantasy football. I spent Sundays in a state of manic fanaticism fretting over events I had ZERO control over. I made myself physically sick. I started hating football. So I quit. Cold turkey. And now I am doing that with fantasy baseball. I don’t want it anymore.
Allow me to finish this with a long parable that I hope everyone who plays fantasy football will relate to—and then subsequently quit this destructive hobby.
Fred Smith, who is not real, was a good tight end in college. He had a couple of tryouts with NFL teams, but did not make the cut. In late November 2014, Fred will be hauling boxes for UPS when the call from the Philadelphia Eagles comes in. The Birds’ tight ends were nicked up the previous week and they need Fred to fly to Philly immediately.
Fred rushes home, kisses his wife and newborn daughter and races to the airport as fast as he can drive. He has a few good practices, stays up all night reading Coach Chip Kelly’s expansive playbook and has to contain his excitement when he learns he will dress for the game as the team’s 3rd tight end.
It is late in the 4th quarter and the Eagles are losing 14-10. They have the ball on the 1-yard line. Quarterback Nick Foles takes the snap and fakes a handoff. The defense bites on it. As Foles rolls out, there is Fred Smith wide open in the end zone. Touchdown!!!!
The stadium is bedlam! 80,000 (drunk and violent) Eagles’ fans are in euphoric bliss. The whole team runs out to congratulate Fred. Then, the camera gets a close up of him running towards the sideline, football grasped tightly in his arms, tears streaming down his cheeks as he thinks about his wife and baby girl back home in Terre Haute, Indiana.
This is a great American story. But millions of Americans are cursing Fred Smith’s name. In an unbridled apoplectic rage, they wish for Fred to catch testicular cancer and die slowly. Are they fans of the other team? No. They want Fred Smith to perish in a plane crash because Eagles running back Shady McCoy is starting on their fantasy team and he did not get the ball on the goal line. That play call just cost the multitude a first round bye in their fantasy playoffs. (Using a Charlton Heston voice) “Damn you, Fred Smith! Damn you to Hell!”
This is why fantasy sports suck. It makes us wish death on Fred Smith.