Archive for August, 2009

Off The Leash – Summer Fall Nights

August 31, 2009

OK, so here are some random thoughts for your late night or early morning or when the hell ever consumption and contemplation:

It is August 31st, soon to be September 1st, and the last few nights have already felt like autumn has arrived.  This summer has been a complete failure, weather-wise.  Heh.  Weather-wise.  That reminds me…

Billy Wilder has quietly become one of my favorite director/producer/writers in film, and I probably haven’t even seen half of his movies.  Right now, high on my list of all-time favorites are “The Seven Year Itch”, “Stalag 17”, and “The Apartment”.  I haven’t even seen “Sunset Boulevard” or “Some Like It Hot” so I may not even have experienced the best he had to offer.  Is it strange that many of my favorite movies are older than me?

My wife is going to give birth to my 4th child, our 3rd, and my first son in just about a month and a half.  I can’t even begin to explain how absolutely and all-consumingly excited I am about this. 

Someone I worked with a few years back has passed away.  That’s the second former co-worker to die in the last year.  Neither of them made it past 50.  Damn.

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The Truth About Favre

August 18, 2009

Why didn’t he just tell the truth…sort of like this:

“Hi, my name is Brett Favre.  I used to be the starting quarterback for the Green Bay Packers of the NFL.  Under my leadership, I turned the Packers from an also-ran to one of the elite franchises in NFL history.  After a bunch of years of messing with the GM over whether or not I was going to retire, those bastards decided that they could do without me and handed the starting job to that other dude.  What’s his name, Derek or Ray or something? 

Anyways, I’m still mad that they did that.  After all, I’m the MAN.  How dare they not let me unretire for the second or third time?  They should know that the real issue is that the new coach didn’t let me make all the decisions, and that riled me, and I was just trying to assert my rightful place as the unquestioned leader of the franchise.  Plus, I don’t really like training camp.  Give me three warm-up throws and a couple 11 on 11 drills, and I’m good to go.   That’s how awesome a player and person I really am.

So now you understand why I got mad.  I am DYING to get back into that stadium and soak up all of the wild cheering of my adoring fans.  Plus, I want to show those lousy bastards in Green Bay’s front office that they messed with the wrong dude; that I am NOT washed up and they shouldn’t have let me go in the first place.  And please, don’t judge me based on that year in New York.  I wasn’t really motivated enough there.  I only even agreed to go there because it was the easiest way to keep my name in the news.  Plus, there were all these restrictions in the agreement between the Packers and the Jets that prevented me from going to the Vikings like I wanted to, so I had to play SOMEWHERE for a year. 

Now that my year in purgatory is over, I am psyched to play against the Packers for the Vikings.  I know, I know, it seems that this is kinda late in the summer to finally make the move, but who really needs training camp anyways?  😉  I can’t wait to walk into Lambeau Field and light it up.  So to all of my fans, I say watch me!  It’s going to be an awesome year!  And to the Green Bay Packers’ coaches and management:  SCREW YOU!!!”

No Margin For Error

August 10, 2009

Pat Kane ends up in the klink after being arrested for beating up a taxi driver and robbing him.  OK, this sounds crazy but barely plausible.  Next thing you know, everyone is yelling for Kane’s head and wondering how a big name dude does something so stupid.  The inevitable “privileged asshole athlete” theme begins to overtake the commentary.  Sandy Beach is calling for him to go to jail (with the snide comment “if he’s guilty, of course”).

But wait.

Turns out Kane and cousin may have been locked in the cab by the driver, who thought they were just a couple college kids who might skip out on a fare.   The driver’s lawyer is now trying to downplay the incident.  Reports that the driver has gotten into spats with customers before are beginning to make their way to the media.  Hmmm.

What this sounds like is a couple kids that are probably a little intoxicated and one of whom is a pretty rich and famous hometown boy ran into a surly cab driver with a temper who was going to teach a couple college boys a lesson.  Then all hell – or, as is seemingly more likely, a smaller incident – broke loose and everyone ends up looking dumb.  People arrested, stories on the news and talk radio and every online media outlet in town, people who don’t know a hockey puck from a doughnut shouting their opinions at each other.  What this so clearly illustrates is that there is little room for error for those in the public eye, or even those who either inadvertently or purposely get caught in the glare of the media spotlight.

As a student of people – and who really isn’t? – I have a few questions.   Is this a new phenomenon?  Certainly the sheer size, reach, and ubiquity of media coverage is at an all time high.  Is it too much?  Are we expecting an level of behavior from our celebrities that is simply out of touch with the reality of their status as human beings, mere mortals, people who were born just like us?  I think that the money accorded these folks comes with an awful and almost unfulfillabe expectation.  Should we dial it back a bit?  Can we?  Or is this the bell that cannot be unrung?