No Such Nonsense

A little of this, that and... what was I talking about again? It's TV, sports, pop culture and politics - all the stuff that really matters in life.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

NFL Rundown: This Year's Big Questions

The pre-season games have started and it is almost time for the real football to begin. As with every summer, there are a number of burning questions about this season - the answers to which we'll see played out over the next few weeks and months. Here goes:

1. Whither the Falcons?
The questions of whether Michael Vick will be playing for them this season is well and truly settled - that'd be a big no. Where will Vick be playing? Have you seen The Longest Yard? So now, the real question emerges. What will the Falcons do without their enigmatic marquee player? Will they fold under the pressure of playing without their never-quite-as-good-as-promised QB? Or will they rise to occasion and play better without Vick than they did with him?

2. Can Eli turn things around?
Eli Manning is not Peyton Manning. That seems pretty clear. But can he move from being a whiny Sergio-Garcia-esque player to a true leader for his team? Tiki's gone. Strahan blew a ton of goodwill with his weird pre-season hold-out - and still might retire. The Giants need a new leader in the locker room and on the field. Can Manning, whom Barber recently criticized on-air for his lack of ability in the clutch, step it up? Or will San Diego keep looking like they got the better end of the deal with Phil Rivers?

3. How will Romo and the Cowboys rebound?
Last year was a storybook season for Tony Romo. He took over the Cowboy's starting job at mid-season and led them to the play-offs. But a last minute fumble against Seattle cost them the game and has a lot of folks looking pretty hard at Romo this Fall. Can he overcome the mishap? Will his team support him? Can the Cowboys win under a new coaching regime, with TO still threatening to blow everything out of the water every week? Lots of questions in big D.

4. Are the Eagles still McNabb's team?
Donovan McNabb led the Eagles to the Superbowl in 2004. They've dominated the NFC East for last half-decade, with McNabb at the helm - at least until an injury-plagued disappointment of a season in 2005. Then, last year, McNabb's season-ending injury opened the door for Jeff Garcia to revive his career and the team's fortunes at the same time. Garcia drove the Eagles to the play-offs, then drove to Tampa in the off-season. The team is McNabb's again, and he's ready to play. But is he the McNabb of old? Does his team still believe in him? How long until he's injured this year? I say week 6.

5. How will Randy Moss play in New England?
Can Belichik take another notorious "problem" player and turn him into a team guy? Or was that even Moss' problem in the first place? The guy loves to win, and understands better than anyone that he can't do it alone. And this is the first time he's had a truly outstanding cast of players around him. I'm predicting a return to his Hall-of-Fame form. But there's always a chance that it could all go horribly awry. Moss hates the media - and they hate him - which will be interesting to watch given the love-love relationship between the media and Moss' new pivot, Tom Brady.

6. How many Bengals will be arrested before the season is over?
Can I get an over/under on this? Last year, if I'm not mistaken, Cincinnati had more players arrested than games won. Is the chaos over?

7. Will Rex Grossman suck just as much this year?
Okay, that's not really so tough a question. Yes. Yes, he will. But will the Bears still find ways to keep winning anyway?

8. Will anyone be worse that the Detriot Lions this year?
Last year, the Raiders managed it. This year? Arizona? Oakland, again, even with JaMarcus Russell? Anyone?

9. Was New Orleans a one-season wonder?
Last year, New Orleans had an outstanding season. Back in the Superdome for the first time since Hurricane Katrina, the Saints played their best ball, well, ever and almost made the play-offs. They were, for one beautiful season, America's team. No one wanted to see them lose. And it wasn't just emotion - new QB Drew Brees teamed up with Reggie Bush and Marques Colson to produce a truly potent offense. But that's a heck of a lot to live up to...

Monday, August 20, 2007

What Cats and Professional Athletes Have in Common

It was only a matter of time.

I have to admit, I have been known to laugh at the lolcats stuff. Some of it really is funny. And cute, of course. And the pidgin cat language employed adds to the absurdist appeal. As to who actually spends time creating these images? You've got me there. But lots of people clearly do. And lots more are loyal viewers, such that even Time Magazine has picked up on the phenomenon.

There have been spoofs aplenty already. So, inevitably, we wind up with this. To be frank, so far, not nearly as witty of some of the cat ones. But give them time.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Boys and Cars

Some guy just paid $2.3 million for a car once owned by Steve McQueen.

That's some serious money for any car not made out of actual gold or outfitted by Q with an invisibility cloak and rocket launchers. Sure, it's a very pretty 1963 Ferrari, but one suspects that it is a bit more that the market price for your average early-60s sports car.

It's all about McQueen - an actor perhaps more associated with fast cars than anyone out there.. The car chase scene in Bullitt is one of the most famous, and widely imitated, sequences in the history of film. In his non-screen life, McQueen really did race - motorbikes, cars, on-road and off. So if you want some McQueen memoriabilia, a car makes sense. But why McQueen in the first place?

The McQueen mystique - which clearly still lingers almost 30 years after his death - is about way more than speed. He drank. He smoked. He fought. He was - despite a small stature - instantly tougher and meaner than anyone he faced off with on screen. Simply, there has never been an actor so effortlessly cool on screen. No wonder guys still see him as the ultimate guy's guy. Whether chasing down the bad guys in San Francisco or escaping them in WWII Germany, McQueen exuded a confident screw-you attitude that almost all young men covet.

So, the enduring appeal of Steve McQueen isn't really all that surprising. What is surprising? That there's no-one in Hollywood today that comes anywhere close. It's all Orlando Bloom pretty boys and Sean Penn artistes and Vince Vaughn frat boys.

Where have the men gone?

George Clooney comes close, I suppose, to being a real man - but is just a little too self-aware and sensitive for the job (the hang-dog puppy eyes his characters always lay on to get laid pretty much rule him out.)

Brad Pitt? Much as one might admire his newfound daddy-of-the-world status, it doesn't exactly bolster the manly-man cred. Besides, I suspect that Angie's the one on top in that relationship.

Leonardo DiCaprio? Johnny Depp? Owen Wilson? Girls go crazy for them. But guy's guys? I don't think so.

Even Matt Damon as Jason Bourne, a quietly lethal amnesiac spy, really just wants to settle down with his girlfriend and snuggle by the sea.

Has most women's desire for sensitive studs killed the real man in Hollywood?

Friday, August 10, 2007

Insulting women into bed

You know the argument that women always go for the bad guy? I think it isn't all women, it's really just all young women. I certainly did, back in the day (before the weary husband, of course). Distant, using, motorcycle-driving emotional fuckwits - that's was my late teens and early 20s.

Turns out I'm far from alone. The folks at the Freakononics blog have a look at the phenomena wherein men insult women to get the into bed. I love it, don't you?

Speaking of emotional fuckwits, this week was the finale of the grand social experiment known as Age of Love. The TV experiment, which purported to be about whether age played a factor in love, was really about how many cougars and kittens would loss their shit for a washed-up, never-that-good tennis pro who used to sleep with a certain vacuous hotel heiress. Lots, it turns out (lots of women, that is. Not lots of sex with the heiress, though that's probably true too). The show seemed to prove that young women look good in bikinis but are shallow and stupid, and that older women can still look good in bikinis, but are slightly less shallow and stupid. Fabulous.

The best part of the show, by far, was that Mark Philippoussis (or The Poo, as EW Popwatch would have it) chose a girl with major stalker potential. This gal was head-over-heels in love 5 minutes after the cameras switched on. She cried. She sulked. She went looking for him in the woods while he was with another women. She waited in his tent for him to return from that date. She used phrases like 'prince charming' and 'happily ever after' and 'I'm happy because I got my man'. She is so on the edge. But she can still have lots of his babies - something the 48-year-old hottie she beat out really can't claim.

Good luck Poo. Good luck.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

More movie stars in my hood

Looks like they're filming The Incredible Hulk at Knox College today. Yesterday, I had to walk around the film set at University College to get to the subway. Today, lots of hubbub, army vehicles, film crews on my way past. No Ed Norton sightings, sadly.

Mmmm, Ed Norton.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

TIFF news

I'm not usually a Toronto International Film Festival groupie. I see the crowds waiting outside the Hotel Intercontinental and the Windor Arms, I see the girls milling about Yorkville hoping for a sighting, and I am quite amused by it. I don't get the desire for an autograph. I mean, who cares really? Though I have to admit when Brad Pitt popped in for a day or two last year, I did wonder what he looks like in person. Not enough to spend hours standing around outside a hotel, but still.

This year, though? This year, I'm seriously tempted to log a little extra time in Yorkville myself. On the TIFF list:

George Clooney

Brad Pitt

Clive Owen

Colin Farrell

and, heaven help me, Ewen McGregor.

Think of the parties these boys could have. Well, not Brad. Angelina would likely frown on that.

So I might be hitting the Lobby Bar at the Four Seasons a little more regularly after all.

The weekly gossip

The tabloid news this week has raised some deep questions for me:

How did this happen?
Nicole Richie is pregnant. Yeah, we knew that already. What we don't know: how is it possible for woman who weighs 85 pounds to actually get preggers? Seriously? How is that possible? Joel must have some very impressive swimmers to have found such an undernourished egg.

Can she get any lower?
Britney's under attack from the tabloids for being a bad mum. Hmm. Ya think? Apparently, she tried to have Sean Preston's teeth whitened. Cause there is nothing sadder than a toddler with yellow teeth. Oh wait, there is something a lot sadder. The question: how long until Britney's in hospital for 'exhaustion'? Or worse. This is just a sad, sad situation of a very stupid girl with way too much money.

What's Courtney on?
The latest pictures of a skeletal, almost unrecognizable Courtney Love have raised concerns that C. Love is OD'ding on plastic surgery. Maybe it's just me but when a woman as famous for her various addictions as her music is getting scary skinny, liposuction is not the first culprit that comes to mind. Smack much?

What's Pete not on?
Pete Doherty gave an interview to the British tabloid the Sun in order to profess his love for Kate Moss, set the record straight about his alleged cheating and hopefully get back in her good graces. He also chose to refer to her as a 'nasty rag'. Cause girls love that. Dumbass.