The Wrestler

January 9, 2009

I just saw “The Wrestler” after having it recommended to me by a critic friend I trust and after seeing the impressive trailer and I’m not sure whether I liked it or not. The theater was full so I couldn’t move away from the 12-year-old guy disguised as a late-20s adult on a date. I knew during the trailers he was bad news because he did that stupid adolescent giggling at the romantic scenes, giggling at the gay movie, giggling at the emotion scenes in the trailers. I wanted to do the perfect escape move and disable his gonads for the rest of his worthless life.

Also, if you are a guy with less than a 2-hour bladder. Don’t go to the movies. Wait until you find it on cable.

But other than that it was $9 well spent. I was impressed with Mickey Rourke. Disturbed by Marissa Tomei. And not nearly impressed by Evan Rachel Wood’s character (although I think I believed the actress) as everyone I’ve read.

I think I suffer from the unrealistic expectations. Everyone seems to think this is the best sports movie EVER. But I don’t see it as a sports movie. Never will it be more clear to you that wrestling isn’t a sport. And in order to explain the parts that don’t ring true to me on the personal front, I’d have to spoil, which I don’t want to do.

So, I can’t recommend it. But I wouldn’t try to discourage you if you feel compelled. Maybe you’ll be lucky and sit next to a grown up. Then the experience may be a whole different thing.


Phinally!

October 29, 2008

It isn’t quite what it would have been if they’d done it when I was attending every single Phillies home game, like maybe 1993. Oh if they’d won the World Series that year I’d have ended up in intensive care.

But here I am, in my frigid living room (kept cold so I could share in the atmosphere of the Cit without having to shell out $900 for the right to stand there) drinking a flute of asti spumante. Yes, there have been cheers, whoops, shouts, curling up in a ball of anxiety, and tears of pure joy.


Seven for Seven

October 27, 2008

Yes, today may be the day that the Phils finally blow the tinfoil hats off the silly curse promoters. But before we revel in the potential fulfillment of our sports dreams, the weekend just past deserves some celebration all its own.

I started out this weekend hoping for a nearly impossible run–seven for seven from my favorite teams. And this is how it went:

  • After just enough of a break to let Flyers fans get home, Penn State beat Ohio State in the Horseshoe in Columbus for the first time in 30 years, keeping hopes of a championship run alive.
  • Overlapping the PSU game by only a little, because of the rain, the Phils won an exciting game 3 of the World Series over the Tampa Bay Rays, setting off fireworks at 1:47am.
  • Sunday started with a stunning Liverpool win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, where Chelsea hadn’t lost in 86 matches. This moved the Reds into first place in the Premiership and legitimizes their league championship hopes. I realize this doesn’t fit an amazing Philadelphia sports weekend. But you’ll note this is MY amazing sports weekend. Sadly, the game was not even available PPV. So of all the events of the weekend, I didn’t get to see this one.
  • Then the Eagles beat Atlanta making it hard for Eagles tailgaters to follow instructions and leave immediately after the game, so the parking lots would be ready for Phillies fans.

If you’re anything like me, you are exhausted and happy and looking forward to losing your mind tonight. It couldn’t happen to a more fiercely loyal, frustratingly pessimistic fanbase. None of that curse stuff today. None of the woe is me stuff. No complaining about perceived weaknesses. This is the day to take down the walls around your heart and let it beat for the Phillies. Love them right to a historic victory. Enjoy the ride!


A Challenge for Us All

October 17, 2008

One of my favorite on-line places to hang out is Tomato Nation, where Sars gives great advice and occasionally rants about baseball. (I’ll forgive her for being a Yankee fan–I think she may have been born that way.)

Each year for the past few she and her “awesome” readers have supported teachers’ projects through Donor’s Choose. If you follow that link, and scroll just a few projects down, you’ll see a high-poverty school is in need of about $300 worth of basketballs and other basketball-related equipment. Donations through Donors Choose are 100% tax deductible and you can donate as little as a dollar. Believe me, little donations add up fast.

And as a special treat for those of us who follow the antics of the inimitable Sars, donors through her bloggers’ challenge get her closer to her goal of $100,000 donated by her readers and supporters. If that goal is reached, Sars will dress up as a tomato and dance at the White House. If you wonder what a dancing tomato looks like, check out last year’s Donor’s Choose tomato dance at Rockefeller Center.

You know as well as I do how much sports can mean to keeping high-risk kids in school. So click on that link up there, give some dough, and maybe noodle around in the site a bit to find more places to give.


Last Minute Tickets a Bargain

October 9, 2008

Even when I still had Phillies Season Tickets, the purchase of post-season seats included minor annoyances. I’ll never understand charging season ticket holders a fee for buying their season tickets, or for buying post-season tickets. Incorporate the cost of doing business in the ticket, for heaven’s sake.

But now that I have not even a Six-Pack plan, I had decided that the post-season was out of reach. I’d seen the ticket prices on Stub Hub and knew I couldn’t afford to go.

Today, I was jonesing big time for tickets for tonight’s game between the Phillies and the Dodgers. A post season without me? I couldn’t imagine it. But I went to Stub Hub again, to remind myself that the tickets were beyond me. What did I see but a set of three tickets behind the plate in the Hall of Fame Club at an unbelievably low price. I called the agency, asked them if the seller would consider selling a single (leaving them with a very easy-to-sell pair). They called the seller. He said yes. And I’m going to the Phillies game tonight. Read the rest of this entry »


Drop the Puck?

October 8, 2008

You have got to be kidding me. I wait all summer for the hockey season to start. I spend all this time longing for opening night, with all the hooplah and happiness, and this is what I get?

What genius thought this was a great idea? What brilliant PR person at the Philadelphia Flyers, who usually don’t put a foot wrong, didn’t realize that forcing all of their paying customers to attend what will amount to a pre-election rally for Sarah Palin is not the right thing to do? Since when is politicizing the product (in a largely Democrat city, no less) good for the brand.

Yes, I know Ed Snider is all over the Ayn Rand pseudo-philosophy. But his personal politics are his own business. His business should not be used to be political. And I don’t want to have Sarah Palin shoved down my throat.

On a night when the fans should be welcomed back and charged up to start another run for the cup, the focus will be, not on the Flyers, or their fans, but on a political candidate who’s approval/performance ratings have been falling consistently.

And if I have to hear how sexy she is by wickedly chuckling men (it started immediately) for the next three days, I’ll puke. Please don’t tell me this is a victory for feminism, when the only positive thing people have to say about a woman candidate is how cute she is. Can we have smart, please? There are plenty of women out here who are smart. Lot’s of them are smart AND cute.


I’m Talkin’ ’bout Freedom

September 7, 2008

For the first time in 20 years I am not in a full blown football pool. For the first time in probably 15, I’m not running one.

So this year, no worrying about being home early enough Tuesday night to prepare the odds sheet and send it out. No worrying about my own picks and whether I’m going to use a system or not and whether or not my system needs to be tweaked. No getting annoyed at the players for thinking the deadline doesn’t apply to them so I end up getting up early before church Sunday and STILL not having all the picks in so I can get the sheets out to the players and they can see how they’re doing in relation to everyone else. And no more sending checks to people the weeks I don’t win.

Yes, I’m in Glen Macnow’s Suicide Pool, hoping to stay in a while, like I did the first year I partook and no end up out in the first week (thank you Jacksonville) like I was last year. But that’s not nearly so time consuming or, yes, I’ll say it, stressful.

For the first time in years, my autumn is as it should be. Bliss.


What’s That You Said?

August 28, 2008

The LPGA is requiring golfers to achieve a basic level of competence in conversational English in order to continue to play on tour. This has, as you might expect, caused a firestorm of reaction. For a balanced, nuanced view, Ron Sirak looks at reaction from players and agents. Read the rest of this entry »


The Gold Standard Update

August 25, 2008

As I said yesterday, there is another way to look at the medal totals at the Olympics. So for those Americans threatened by the dominance of China in gold medals, I present the final tally in the official SportsDiva Medal Count.

China won 51 events, yes. But there were only 74 gold medals awarded to Chinese athletes and only 185 total medals awarded to Chinese athletes.

By this measure the United States, which won only 36 events, actually won the gold medal race and completely overpowered in the total medal race. American athletes are bringing home 124 gold medals and 314 total medals.


The Gold Standard

August 23, 2008

So there is a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth that the U.S. has fewer gold medals than China does. But not if you look at it my way. The special SportsDiva Medal Count right now (11 am EDT) has the United States at 87 versus China with 72.

How can that be, you may ask? China has 49 gold and the United States has 33. Au contraire! Look at the Chinese and U.S. medal winners. Note that 72 Chinese individuals are wearing gold medals around this week, while 87 Americans are. By the end of the weekend, if a few more U.S. teams come through with gold, it won’t be even that close.

Of course, there are those who want to parse medals by population and GDP. They’re from smaller or less wealthy countries who have their own ax to grind. The United States doesn’t come out too badly per capita, but using both population and GDP, it looks pretty bad compared with Zimbabwe!

I like to think that China’s concentration on sports in which there are more medals for individuals to win has backfired. Team sports, at which the United States is excelling in this Olympics, are the key to winning the SportsDiva Medal Count. So, for those of you who weren’t feeling dominant enough this morning, relax and root on the volleyball, basketball, and water polo teams. Building world domination one team sport at a time.

I’ll get back to you with the overall total tomorrow.