Sunday 20 November 2016
Saturday 19 November 2016
Final score: University of Louisiana at Lafayette 21, UGA 35. It wasn't that close.
Let's see, what else was memorable about the game? It was really windy. The pregame included another flyover (C-130?). By the time we took our seats, Isaiah McKenzie had already scored two touchdowns.
Hmm. Was there anything else?
Oh, right. Black jerseys. No big deal. Can we let that go now? Please?
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Friday 18 November 2016
It hasn't rained at my house since September. That's probably my fault. My birthday was in September, and the one thing I asked for was a new rain suit.
Sorry, Georgia. I'll take the blame for the rain. Trump is still on you.
Wednesday 16 November 2016
Word on the street (ok, word via NFL.com) is that Jared Goff will be starting at quarterback for the LA Rams when the Miami Dolphins come to town this weekend.
I think that's probably a bad idea.
For those of you who haven't been paying attention, Goff was the first overall pick in the 2016 draft. That means the Rams thought he wasn't just the best quarterback available, but the best player available this year. The Rams have taken an old-school approach to rearing the young quarterback and let him ride the bench while he learns the ropes. Most teams these days throw their new quarterback prospects out on the field immediately to see if they sink or swim (*cough* Miami Dolphins *cough*). But not the Rams. At least not until now.
The reason I say this might not be the right week to start the Jared Goff experiment is because the Dolphins aren't the sort to play nice with opposition quarterbacks. No team in 2016 has spent more on their defensive linemen than the Dolphins (by a margin of nearly $4 million!). In the past 10 weeks, the Dolphins have broken Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks Russell Wilson and Ben Roethlisberger, accomplished journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick, and Tom Brady stand-in Jimmy Garoppolo. Is that the sort of meat grinder you want to put an unproven $20 million man in? I wouldn't.
So why this week? Maybe coach Jeff Fisher thinks that his previous starter, Case Keenum, is too important to risk feeding to the Dolphins' D-line. Maybe Fisher is frustrated with Goff and wants to punish him. Whatever the case, good luck, Jared Goff. You're going to need it.
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Monday 14 November 2016
Last week, Dungeons & Dragons was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame. Obviously, I think this is a great thing.
But more important than any novels I've written about a role-playing adventure I created, this special occasion gives me the opportunity to remind you of Tom Hanks' greatest performance.
This movie is Mazes and Monsters, the 1982 classic based on the right-wing paranoia that Dungeons & Dragons was destroying childrens' minds.
Drink it in. That man has won two Academy Awards.
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Saturday 12 November 2016
Auburn was ranked 9. They were favored by 10 points. Yet they haven't won in Athens since 2005. Do I have to tell you what happened next?
The evening started well, with a rare US flag display in one end zone and an F-16 flyover. Then the fellow who sits next to me showed up drunk. A fight broke out between two UGA fans a few rows in front of me, and then a second scuffle erupted when someone spilled his nacho cheese on someone else's jacket. However, things didn't really get ugly until the teams started playing football.
Auburn began the game with a truly dominant rushing attack. Their first drive was derailed only by a fumble. Their second drive resulted in seven easy points. Georgia, on the other hand, had nothing. They couldn't even get a break on a clear pass interference non-call. Bulldogs fans were not happy. Through halftime, the score remained 7-0. It looked like the sun was setting on what was left of our season.
Then, after halftime, Auburn inexplicably moved away from their run game. Instead, they devoted themselves to a passing attack that was more pass than attack. Auburn eked out only 37 yards in 22 passing attempts for the game and never scored another point. (Next time Auburn fans want to make an argument about firing Gus Malzahn, this should be exhibit A. If quarterback Sean White was nursing an injury, why ask him to do more?)
Meanwhile, UGA intercepted and returned a pass 34 yards to tie the game. Auburn continued to struggle while, in consecutive drives, UGA managed one field goal, missed a second, then made a third. UGA won, 13-7, without ever scoring a single offensive touchdown.
In 2016, we'll take what we can get.
(Special thanks to Friend Randy, an FSU fan who bought me a Coke before the game started and another after the game was over. That's friendship!)
EDIT 2016-11-13: I've been informed that television audiences were informed that Auburn stopped running the ball because they ran out of healthy running backs. All I can say about that is that the running back attrition wasn't obvious to those of us in the stands. I still think Malzahn would have had more success calling running plays for the quarterbacks instead of passes, but I'll have to trust he knows his personnel better than I do.
Thursday 10 November 2016
Wednesday 9 November 2016
When the Republicans chose Donald Trump to be their representative in the general election, I was convinced that they had selected the only man who couldn't win, a reality television star and self-proclaimed business genius who ruined both the USFL and Atlantic City, New Jersey. Obviously, I underestimated how much Americans hate Hillary Clinton. I hate being wrong.
People say they hate government, yet they keep re-electing the same Congressmen. They say they want to change a broken system, but they vote for the same political party their parents voted for. So don't try to tell me that this election was about anything other than a referendum on whether they wanted a woman who lied about her correspondence to run their country.
Just think how big a win it would have been if the Republican candidate hadn't called American P.O.W.s "losers" or said that most Mexicans in America were rapists or bragged about how he sexually harassed women or called the whole system rigged unless he won. Ye gods. This was the better option?
While I join at least 50% of Americans trying to come to terms with the surprise election outcome of a lifetime, I admit that I have already learned something new. I used to believe that people voted for the candidate that offered them what they wanted. While that's still true, I learned that what they want isn't a job (which Trump can't create) or a handout (which Trump won't offer). What they want is a friend. In politics, personal charisma trumps all. Everyone's willing to forgive their friend for just about anything, even being an ill-tempered, misogynistic racist. Sorry, Hillary, but you aren't any better at being charismatic than you are at managing your email.
Now America's newest
cult of personality friend is Donald Trump. We'll just have to live with him and his foibles until someone more charismatic comes along. (What's Oprah doing these days?)
Tuesday 8 November 2016
Screenshot from my phone on election night:
When the BBC is showing a mushroom cloud, you know things are bad.
Sunday 6 November 2016
This is the final batch of movies watched in October.
91. (1029.) Jezebel (1938)
Geez, 1930s Hollywood was obsessed with the Antebellum South. This story is more than superficially similar to 1939's Gone with the Wind and, quite frankly, better. I still don't know if I'd say I liked it, but given that I can't stand Gone with the Wind, I think I'll consider this a win.
92. (1030.) The Gumball Rally (1976)
Geez, 1970s Hollywood was obsessed with illegal automobile races. This is essentially the same movie as Cannonball Run. I can't say it's better, but it's still plenty entertaining. I liked it, especially Raul Julia's performance.
93. (1031.) The Rock-afire Explosion (2008)
If you're about my age, you probably remember ShowBiz Pizza. It was the original Chuck E. Cheese competitor that featured an animatronic animal band, the (unintentionally creepy) Rock-afire Explosion. This movie is a documentary about the robotic band's creator and die-hard fans. The film wants to be hopeful, but underneath the candy coating of sweet optimism lies a rotten core of bitter tragedy. I recommend this cautionary tale of nostalgia run amok to anyone who remembers peeking under the curtain to see Billy Bob looking back.
94. (1032.) The Frisco Kid (1979)
Harrison Ford and Gene Wilder play an odd couple in the American West. It's kind of like Shanghai Noon, except neither character is all that competent. For whatever other flaws it has (pacing is a bit of a problem as it starts slow), it's worth watching to see Han Solo in the Wild West.
More to come.
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