Friday, September 30, 2011

a ton of random thoughts

Some random thoughts and predictions floating around in my head as the month of September (mercifully) draws to a close …

* My MLB playoff predictions, and I am beyond geeked for this postseason, especially the National League:

Rangers over Rays in five
Yankees over Tigers in five
Brewers over Diamondbacks in three
Cardinals shock the world, upend the Phillies in four

Yankees over Rangers in six
Brewers over Cardinals in six

Brewers over Yankees in five

World Champs: Milwaukee Brewers.

* Fall TV: I am way behind on my television viewing, thanks to baseball drawing me in the last week and a half. But one show I had high hopes for that delivered big time … was (of all things) “Hart of Dixie”. Now, in the interest of full disclosure: (a) you will never find a bigger fan of “The OC” than me, and (b) I’d watch Rachel Bilson in anything, no matter how awful it looks. This show … well, see (b). That was my thought entering this, “endure the 42 some odd minutes and then dismiss it”.

Only … its actually a pretty decent show. My only complaint – they gotta get Nancy Travis back full time (she’s contractually obligated to Tim Allen’s new show). Since Allen’s show hasn’t gotten a single positive review, and hopefully will be (wyclef voice) gone by November, hopefully this happens.

The premise of the show is absolutely ridiculous … and I’d expect nothing less from the CW. Rachel Bilson (who played Summer on “The OC”) plays Zoey Hart, a (stunner) heart doctor who inherits an elderly Southern doctor’s medical practice. So she goes to Alabama to check things out … and hates it. Save for two people – Nancy Travis’* nurse (the best character by far in the pilot), and Scott Porter (who played Jason Street on “Friday Night Lights”, one of my five favorite shows of all time), who plays George Foster, the dude who is pretty much the only friendly person in town.

By the end of the pilot, Hart decides to not sell her share of the practice to the (predictably) anti-Yankee doctor who owns the other half, and decides to stick around. As will I.

(*: again, in the interest of full disclosure, I would watch Nancy Travis in anything. She was awesome in “Greedy”, one of my four favorite movies of all time. I need to do a “review” of that thing, it’s entertaining as hell. She also starred in one of the most underrated sitcoms ever, “Almost Perfect”, which ran in the mid 1990s. What can I say, I like obscure sh*t.)

Now, given the fact that most every year, my favorite new show of the season is gone by May, probably is the kiss of death. Consider the last eight years …

2010: my favorite new show last year was “Better With You”. Cancelled after a full season.
2009: my favorite new show was “Flash Forward”. Essentially cancelled at midseason.
2008: my favorite new show a summer debut, “Swingtown”. Cancelled after thirteen episodes, godd*mned religious conservative protests.
2007: my favorite new show was (pathetically) the rebirth of “Paradise Hotel”. (gregg voice) damn skippy! Sadly cancelled after one last epic run. (Also good to know that four years after the original, Zack was still the most annoying f*ck in reality television. (gregg voice) damn skippy!)
2006: my favorite new show was “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip”. One of the best pilot episodes ever. Unfortunately, the series collapsed after that. Cancelled at midseason.
2005: I freaking loved “Commander in Chief”. Gone in April. Honorable mention to the late, great, one-seasoner “Invasion”, one of the most impressively written shows I’ve ever watched. (brett voice) damn skippy!
2004: Gee, let me see … “Lost”! Hey, finally a winner!
2003: Gee, let me see … “The OC”! Hey, another winner!

My way of saying … take the endorsement of “Hart of Dixie” with a huge grain of salt. I intend to get caught up on “New Girl” this weekend, because Zooey Deschanel is another actress I’d watch in anything. (If you haven’t seen “500 Days of Summer”, sprint to your closest Redbox machine or hastily change your browser to Netflix and spend the next 90 minutes watching the best movie of the last three years. It’s ok, I’ll forgive you going off-site.)

* More TV stuff: glad to see “How to Make It in America” is back, starting Sunday night (9:30 CT, HBO). Very underrated comedy. And yes, I am fully aware the primary star (Bryan Greenberg) is a “One Tree Hill” veteran. (Why the hell do you think I gave it a chance last summer?) Give it a chance if you have HBO, you won’t regret it. (Season one only had eight episodes, most of which are on Youtube!, so you can easily get caught up if you, like most of America, missed season one last summer.)

* More TV stuff: liked Ashton Kutcher as Walden Schmidt on “Two and a Half Men”. But I don’t see how they milk more than this final season out of the show. Hate to say it, but that show was Charlie Sheen … excuse me, Charlie Harper. I’ll still tune in every Monday for as long as they keep putting out new material, but man, I had flashbacks the last couple Mondays to the first couple episodes of my favorite show ever (“NYPD Blue”, for the clueless amongst the readership) after Jimmy Smits left in season six. And incredibly, as much as I hated, and I mean HATED*, Rick Schroder’s Danny Sorenson … season seven of “Blue” is my favorite season of my favorite show. Just goes to show you.

(*: most episodes of the Rick Schroder era consisted of me on the back deck, enjoying a cigar, and screaming at the crap on my television so loudly that "The Voice of Reason" could hear me even with the pane glass door closed and bolted. Let’s just say, when Bochco wrote him out in one of the cruelest ways imaginable, I was cheering very, very loudly.)

* One final TV thought: I know most of you who read this site do not share my political views, and that’s cool. But if you want a good laugh every night after a long day at work, you have GOT to watch Reverend Al’s show on MSNBC. I now time my leaving work, so that I reach the car at about 4:59, and immediately tune the satellite radio onto MSNBC so that I can listen to Reverend Al driving home. The man is comedic gold. Even if you disagree with every single thing about the progressive agenda (and how you can disagree with the social part of it, save for abortion (yes, I am the extremely rarest of rare democrats: I am anti-choice), I have absolutely no freaking idea), but even if you make Barry Goldwater look liberal, you will laugh your ass off at Reverend Al trying to pass himself off as a credible journalist. The man can’t speak coherently. Even his guests (and Reverend Al, in nearly two months on the job, has yet to have a Republican on his show), even his guests have to ask him to repeat himself at least three times a night. Its funny stuff. Speaking of politics (and it’s about to get very political for a couple pages …)

* Why is everyone so damned desperate to nominate a Republican front-runner? Anyone remember September 2007? Specifically, three months out from the Iowa caucuses, would ANYONE have bet that:

a. Hillary Clinton would NOT be the Democrat’s nominee, and
b. John McCain would be the Republican’s nominee?

I’m actually enjoying these Republican debates. For once, it appears the other side has a deep, talented, “I don’t have to swallow hard and then puke after voting for them” field of candidates. Personally, I’m rooting for Gingrich, because at the end of the day, Gingrich will always put country ahead of politics. (Unlike a lot of folks on both sides of the aisle now, unfortunately.) But I’d be fine with Romney. I’d be fine with Huntsman (who has no shot). I’d be fine with Herman Cain. I’d really be cool with Chris Christie, because he’s not a social conservative. Chris Christie is 2/3 of me politically: socially liberal, foreign policy hawk. I’m not as right wing on economics as him, but even I can admit that the Keynesian philosophy of the last three years has been an abysmal failure, and it’s time to try something else.

The only two in the field I have no stomach for are Michele Bachmann (who is flipping nuts), and Rick Santorum (who is way too conservative socially for my stomach). But even if Santorum was the nominee, I’d at least think about voting for him over … well, we’ll get to that in a moment. The point being: this is the deepest, most non-offensive field of candidates the Republicans have trotted out there since what, 1968? I look forward to the continuing debate amongst the field, and am cautiously optimistic that the nominee will be someone I can get behind (like McCain last time, and amazingly enough, Bush in 2004. Yes, the biggest Gore backer you’ll ever meet … voted Bush in 2004. I can’t explain it either. Oh wait, yes I can – John Edwards. Even back then, you could see the sleaze.)

* As for who my side runs with … how can it be Obama? If Obama is the nominee, we’re (in the words of ween) up sh*ts creek with a turd for a paddle. And I don’t just mean in the Presidential race – if Obama is at the top of the ballot, we will lose the Senate, the last bastion of sanity remaining in Washington. (Obama’s way too far off the reservation to the left, and the House, sweet Jesus, they’re the anti-NASCAR: no left turns anywhere, anytime, anyplace.)

Which is the point Dick Morris has been raising lately, and one I actually agree with: Obama isn’t Jimmy Carter II. He’s LBJ Jr. I concur with Morris – the only shot my side has of holding onto the White House (and the likely three Supreme Court nominees coming in the next Presidential term) … is if Obama steps aside. DNC rules state you have to be in by mid-November if you’re a credible candidate … unless the front-runner steps aside before the Convention.

I mean, is this set up perfectly for Hillary or what? Setting aside the fact that she should have been our nominee four years ago, she’s in perfect position to assume her proper position atop the party. The ONLY competent aspect of the Obama administration has been foreign policy, where what George Bush began has finally paid off, bringing self-determination to the Muslim world*. Most importantly, the biggest rat bastard of the modern era is currently passing through some shark’s digestive system in the Indian Ocean. And most obviously, you can’t blame her for the economic disaster Obama has been – if anything she can simply say “hey, we haven’t had unprecedented prosperity since this distinguished gentleman next to me was in charge. I think I know how to turn this economy around. And if I don’t, well, I know who to ask (huge applause line!)”

(*: it’s the biggest reason I supported the invasion of Iraq. Once one democracy was established in the region, the dictatorships would topple. I might have despised our previous President for a number of reasons … but on Iraq, he was 100 percent correct. And the ONE leading Democrat to stand behind him every step of the way on Iraq? Yup, Hillary. I’d really like to know what Mickey and his family think of Barry at this point. He’s everything I told you he’d be the weekend I essentially got booted from the lake. I told you he’d be an incompetent buffoon in over his head. I told you he’d be a one-termer. I told you we pissed away another FDR / Truman run of being in ultimate control by setting aside the candidate who did what was right, versus what was politically beneficial. I’d be REALLY curious to see if they’re all still wearing their Obama t-shirts, still have their Obama bumper stickers on every vehicle and boat. I’m guessing they do – anyone dumb enough to vote for Barry, is probably too stupid to admit they done f*cked up. But I’d be curious to know. I mean Jesus, even “The Self Proclaimed Champ” voted for McCain, and I don’t exactly view him as the bastion of common sense and/or political reason. (dusty voice) does he mean me? (stevo voice) YES! When even DJ has the common sense to reject Obama, my God, what the hell were his voters smoking?!?! (dusty voice) and can we have some? (stevo voice) no sh*t champ, no f*cking sh*t …)

If you put a gun to my head and made me predict the nominees right now … I’d say it’ll be a Romney / Marco Rubio ticket versus a Hillary / ??? ticket. And the three best possible picks for Hillary would be, in inverse order …

3. Jane Harmon (Rep, D-CA). Was the chair of the House Intelligence Committee until she basically told Speaker Pelosi to go to hell. Like Hillary, is a pro-war Democrat. Like Hillary, is a moderate on economics, and like Hillary, fights like hell for women’s and family social issues. I’d be perfectly fine supporting the first all-female ticket if this was it.

2. John Kerry (Sen, D-MA). My issue in 2004 was never Kerry, it was his running mate. If Kerry had picked ANYONE with an ounce of character, he’d have won in a landslide. Christ, he almost won with Edwards on the ticket. A Clinton / Kerry ticket has one major drawback though – all Northeast. (Spare me the “Clinton was Arkansas right?” rebuttal. That was 20 years ago. Everyone views Hillary as a New Yorker now.) The only all-sectional ticket to win in the last 100 years is Clinton / Gore. On second thought, maybe this isn’t so bad …

1. John McCain (Sen, R-AZ). McCain gave serious thought to nominating Joe Lieberman (D-CT, and spare me the I-CT, we all know he’s still a Democrat) as his running mate. What better way to unify the nation, and get rid of the catastrophe that is Obama, than by picking the most sensical, moderate, down-the-middle Republican out there? McCain and Hillary are close friends. They have very similar views (hence my joke, that sadly was actually accurate, that HRC was the most conservative of the three major candidates in 2008). Tell me a Hillary / McCain ticket wouldn’t win a 45 states and the District landslide victory. Sure, the Tea Partiers would vote against it … but who else would?

A couple final thoughts:

* NBA, get this done. If you lose games over a (at most) 2% salary cut? You people are dumber than I give you credit for being. I have to believe that David Stern does not want his final major act as commissioner to be cancelling the season over $40 million dollars a year.

* Sunday’s game: is going to be a blowout one way or the other. I predicted the Chiefs to win comfortably … but it’s gonna come down to which sh*tty quarterback self-implodes first. The first quarter is going to be huge Sunday. If the Chiefs D and the crowd rattles McNabb (like we did in his last visit here, had him down 17-0 after one, 23-6 early in the second), we roll to an easy win. If Cassel plays like he has for about 9 ½ of the 12 quarters so far, we’re getting demolished.

I’m betting on the former, on McNabb imploding. But if Cassel is the one who implodes, I won’t be stunned. And yes, it has sunk to this as a Chiefs fan – wondering if our quarterback is capable of doing enough positive stuff to beat an 0-3 team AT HOME. Which reminds me …

* I have come full circle on the man I affectionately call “Coach Asshat”, Todd Haley. Two years ago leaving the denver game, I wanted him fired on the spot, and spent twenty minutes contemplating rushing the field and attempting to beat him senseless with the back of my seat. (You laugh, but as my brother and his buddies proved at the playoff game last year – those seat backs are pretty easily removable.) Now? If Coach Haley is fired, then GM Scott Pioli better hit the curb right behind him.

This season is 100% the fault of Scott Pioli. He’s the one that has us $32 million plus under the cap. He’s the one who assembled zero depth at any position outside of running back. He’s the one who passed on the quarterback of the future three separate times during the draft, and spent his first round pick on a wide receiver who has yet to play a single down in the 2011 campaign. If this is Todd Haley’s fault, then at least hold the architect of this catastrophe as responsible as Haley.

Finally …

* one last prediction for the weekend. OK, two.

1. MU sticks it out in the Big XII. I also envision, once the Board votes on Tuesday to give it one more try, that BYU will come on board (a rock solid decision by the way). After that? Expand again to twelve, and target TCU (solid football program, further ties Texas to this conference, and oh yeah, a certain hot-as-hell 34 year old’s thoughts you’re reading right now graduated from there) … and South Florida. South Florida?!?! South Florida! You want to secure this conference’s future? Land a program in the most fertile football states in America. We already have Texas. Now add Florida. And …

2. Nebraska 31, Wisconsin 20. If the Big XII implodes on Tuesday, don’t blame Nebraska. Like any sane, rational person in the 2008 election – they saw this catastrophe coming. They had the common sense to get the f*ck out of town. Can’t fault them for employing common sense.

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