Showing 1 - 10 of 334 posts found matching keyword: football

I'll be spending Valentine's Day with the person I love most.

I sure look happy to be held

(Yes, that's the cutout of me that took my place at Georgia football home games during the unusual, COVID-abbreviated 2020 season. Well, for one game of it, anyway. UGA Athletics allowed FanCutouts only for the last two season games, the second of which was ultimately canceled when Vanderbilt could no longer field a healthy team. So even at only one game — a 31-24 win over Mississippi State on November 21 — that $55 piece of corrugated plastic spent more time in Sanford Stadium in 2020 than I did. Lucky guy.)

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The 2020 NFL playoffs: a perfect confluence of football, Covid personal protective equipment, and Star Wars.

My converter's running wild!

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Since today's UGA football game has been postponed (due to COVID, what else?), let's watch some movies!

170. (1824.) Guys and Dolls (1955)
Nope. I'd never seen Guys and Dolls. Now I have. (Sinatra playing a mobster again? What range!) It's pretty good, at least all the scenes without Brando. I don't have any idea what The Method would say about someone who lives in a reality where people break into song about their most intimate feelings, but Brando must have been insufferable for a few months. Sinatra must have been a saint to resist having him iced.

171. (1825.) Springfield Rifle (1952)
For the first half hour of this bland Western, you think, "why is this film about spies and cattle rustling and runaway children called Springfield Rifle?" Then they tell you and you're like, "how much did the Springfield Rifle company pay for that?"

172. (1826.) Blockers (2018)
A very modern sex comedy about a group of helicopter parents trying to save their children's virginity. Is there anything John Cena can't do?

173. (1827.) Enter Laughing (1967)
It took two tries for me to get through Carl Reiner's directorial debut (based on his debut novel). The play within the play is quality stuff, but most of the rest of the time spent in the protagonist's life can be a dull drag.

174. (1828.) The Hospital (1971)
This "modern" medical murder mystery film is a delightful black hole of cynicism. My only gripe is the abrupt, uncomfortable brutality of the scene in the middle of this where George C. Scott damn near has a mental breakdown in his office and then forces himself sexually on (a willing) Diana Rigg. That's the pivot point of the plot, and it's cynical even about honestly, but it's both too predictable and too preposterous to be satisfying.

175. (1829.) Sidewalk Stories (1989)
A mostly silent take on the sort of movie Chaplin would have made but with Black leads, which serves to underscore some of its more serious points. A good film.

More to come.

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Somehow, both the Georgia Bulldogs and the Miami Dolphins have the weekend off. I think that means I have the weekend off, too.

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As I type this, news is breaking that the Atlanta Falcons have fired head coach Dan Quinn. Now he'll have some time to watch some movies. May I make a few suggestions?

157. (1811.) King of the Roaring 20's: The Story of Arnold Rothstein (1961)
Arnold Rothstein was a notorious gambler who is widely believed to have played a significant role in the 1919 Black Sox scandal. This loose biopic barely touches on that, focusing instead on Rothstein's betrayal of his friends. It could only have been improved by casting someone other than emotionless David "The Futgitive" Janssen in the lead role and a much-too-old-for-the-part Mickey Rooney as his whiney best friend.

158. (1812.) The Lost World (1960)
Another misfire of a movie in which dull 1950s-style adventure (and outdated cultural attitude) meets zero-budget special effects. I actually feel bad for Jill St. John for having to be in this as one of two obligatory damsels in need of saving. (I also feel bad for her toy poodle, Frosty, who exists only for comic relief.)

159. (1813.) Loan Shark (1952)
George Raft goes undercover at great personal risk to take down the loan shark operation that killed his sister's husband. That sounds a little cliche, doesn't it? It is. But revenge flicks never have or need the most original plots. Everyone wants to see justice served.

160. (1814.) Wuthering Heights (1939)
Speaking of cliches, this is just a terribly sappy melodrama about a pair of star-crossed lovers. That sort of story never works! Seriously though, Laurence Olivier spends the entire film being a true asshat to literally everyone else on screen, *especially* the girl he supposedly adores. That's not love; that's domestic abuse. I cannot believe that anyone ever really enjoys watching this.

161. (1815.) Skyjacked (1972)
Thrillers in the 1970s always had very little plot and expected the audience to be entertained by constant threats to the life of their ensemble cast. I'd say the biggest name in this film (which, as its name suggests, is all about James Brolin's determination to hijack an airliner and escape to Soviet Russia) is arguably Walter Pidgeon, but Charlton Heston has the big role and faces the most danger (including the wife he is cheating on with a stewardess). For fans of the genre only.

Hang in there, Danny boy. There's more to come.

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While watching the University of Georgia football team struggle in the first half of Saturday's season opener, it crossed my mind that maybe they were playing poorly because I had forgotten to wear my usual red gameday underwear. I immediately dismissed the thought because it is crazy.

There is nothing I, as a distant observer, might do on my sofa that could possibly affect the outcome of a football game in progress being played hundreds of miles away. There's even less my underwear could do about it. If it could, that would mean that there are intangible, undetectable threads connecting my very being to the game like the strings on a marionette. That's the stuff of superstition and religion. Like I said, crazy.

Of course, it's a seductive kind of crazy. It's easy to think that the world revolves around me, that I'm an integral piece of the cosmos, that my behavior and desires are strong enough to change the outcome of distant events. There are certainly narcissistic people — well known people, powerful people, *presidential* people — who think this. Those people are crazy.

Even if the energy that makes up the sentient being that calls itself Walter Stephens is indeed intertwined with the background radiation of the cosmos in significant ways (and that's a pretty big "if"), it's ridiculous to think that my energy is more relevant to the outcome of a football than the physical/mental energy expended by the 22 people playing it. My wants and desires will never be stronger than a motivated linebacker who has sacrificed significant portions of his life on the way to his goal of being able to charge through offensive linemen so that he can hug quarterbacks. That guy's crazier than I could ever be.

So, just because A) I'm not wearing red underwear, and B) the Bulldogs are playing poorly, those two things don't have to have a causal relationship just because I want them to. It's that sort of magical thinking that gets people in trouble. If you're one of those people, well, you know what you are.

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Clarke County, Georgia, home to a particular Classic City, has seen their overall number of COVID-19 cases double for three straight weeks. In their infinite wisdom, the Powers That Be at the University of Georgia have responded to that news... by deciding to allow tailgating at UGA football games. Ye gods.

In similar news closer to home, Newnan High School had to cancel a football game this past weekend because the team they were scheduled to play — from the next county over — came down with COVID-19 cases on their team. Newnan promises to refund all ticket sales. Eventually.

So far, no one I am aware of has died as a consequence of getting COVID at a football game, but football season has just started. If we get to December and that number is still zero, I'll be happy to say that I am a panicky little Chicken Little who has badly overreacted to some unprecedented circumstances.

In the meantime, the total COVID-19 death toll for the United States through the first eight months of 2020 stands just under 200k with that number expected to double by the end of the year. Rah, rah! Exponential growth.

Are you ready for some football?

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In the Before Times, tomorrow would have been the opening day of the Georgia football season (vs Virginia at Atlanta's Mercedes-Benz Stadium in the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff game).

That's not happening now. If Georgia does manage to have a football season, it won't start until September 26.

In honor of the COVID-19 modified 2020 season, I present my latest lawn ornament: On Ice.

40lbs is a lot of ice

Uga is always cool.

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Welcome to the 15th Annual Batman and Football Month, now with 80% less football! Past Septembers have included travelogues of my adventures attending UGA football games in Athens, GA, (and occasionally elsewhere around the South), but there will be none of that this year. (Thanks COVID-19!)

I find I'm not excited about football this year. I mean, I haven't been excited about anything the Miami Dolphins have offered in decades, but college football is usually another story. My ennui is probably COVID's fault, too. What is there to get excited about when everything we've seen in the past six months points to a significant disruption in schedule? Do I really need entertainment so badly that I'm willing to watch football players get sick and die needlessly for the sake of a game?

The Big Ten, Pac-12, Mid-American, and Mountain West conferences have all decided that the risk to fans and players alike is too great to play football in 2020, but the SEC is pushing ahead despite already having the highest percentage of cases per population (31 per 100k) of any football region in the country. As I've already said, I won't be attending. "It Just Means More℠" makes a fine motto, but let's not get carried away.

Maybe I'm just a snowflake. Maybe everything will turn out fine. It might happen. Sh'yeah. And monkeys might fly out of my butt.

In the meantime, I'll be following the advice of a billionaire philanthropist who doesn't have a financial interest in selling me football tickets.

I live in a basement. That's like a Batcave. Kinda.
It's easier for him. His parents are dead.

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After weeks of discussion about how they could continue playing sports in the face of an unabated pandemic, the University of Georgia is now scheduled to play Auburn on October 3 in their first home football game of an unusual SEC-only season. Theoretically, I have a ticket. At least, I paid for one back in February.

While they have announced that all attendees will have to wear face coverings "over the nose and mouth" while entering, leaving, or moving through the stadium, the University has yet to announce any actual plan for dividing the 93,000 seat Sanford Stadium into socially distanced sections. There are about 58,000 season ticket holders and nearly 20,000 student tickets per game in a usual year. Obviously, the stadium will seat far, far fewer than that this year. I imagine that only the richest donors will get seats for all 5 games, but I can't imagine why they would want them.

(My bad. There are only to be 4 home games. What would be the 5th home game is the Florida/Georgia game, still scheduled to be played in Jacksonville.)

That first football game is still six weeks away. Since the start of this mess, there has been no six-week period with an overall decline in cases in America. Students have only this week returned to campus, so the inevitable explosion in COVID cases is still on the horizon. What will things look like that first October weekend? Based on recent history, it can't be anything good. In fact, Georgia Tech has just declared Georgia to be the state in the Union in which a person is most likely to be exposed to the virus. Whoo-hoo! Let's play some ball!

I get that the players want to play. As a fan, I want to watch. But just because we *want* football doesn't mean we're in a position to have it. If you're old enough and smart enough to go to college, you're old enough not to let your wants hurt you. If getting this pandemic under control, if ensuring that we break the chain of infections to protect ourselves, our families, and our neighbors means we have to stay in our homes (or dorms) and forego one football season, we should do that, even if we don't want to. Any other behavior is just irresponsible.

Go Dawgs. Go home. Football will still be there once we're all healthy enough to play it.

UPDATE 2020-08-19: I woke up this morning to find an email from UGA Athletics informing that I am to be granted the opportunity to attend 1 home game not of my choice. Alternately, I can opt-out of attending any games and either A) transfer my donation to help fund the skyrocketing costs of the university's attempts to play games during the ever-worsening COVID-19 pandemic or B) be refunded my 2020 donations "before the end of the calendar year." I think you can guess which I chose.

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To be continued...