It's Oscars time. Somebody wake the Grouch.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Bobby Knight Has Mellowed?

Forget for a moment that Bobby Knight is the coach everyone loves to hate. (As I'm Christian, hate isn't really the right expression. "Loath in brotherly love," or "The last person I'd want to be stuck in a lift with," come to mind.) Forget also that the article I'm linking to this evening was clearly written by a teenager, taking a break from writing on his local school sports section. (Best clue: The concluding sentence of the article reads "And not with a coach who looks like he's ready for some yuks with the cast of the 'Surreal Life 8.'" Using the word "yuks" with any degree of seriousness is a sure sign that puberty is still in onset.)

Bobby Knight is not his old self.

The fiery Texas Tech gaffer, formerly of the Indiana Hoosiers, formerly of Army, the man who threw chairs and unapologetically stuffed a Puerto Rican police officer into a wastebin, has used the word "Naw" in an interview, instead of his usual string of expletives borrowed from Jack Nicholson in The Last Detail. He's obviously softening up. Which makes for bad television, because the old, spittle flecking, swear-breathing, psycho Bobby Knight was a sports programmer's dream come true.

He needs our help. Here are a few suggestions for how Bobby can get his groove back.

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8 Ways to Get Bobby Knight Back to His Old &#$%&*!@ Self

  • Let's start with the obvious: Throw a chair. Billy Packer always makes a good target. I'm not saying to hit Billy Packer. At Bobby's advance age, the chair would merely give Billy a good scare... and Bobby a welcome rush of adrenaline.
  • Cut a Rap Album. Bobby has the vocabulary (and then some). He has a streetwise sense of rhythm, honed by years on the court. All he needs are trousers 3 sizes too big for him and someone from UCLA with a grudge against him. The trousers are the tough part.
  • Slap a Few Players Around. Of course, in this day and age, he'd need to get a signed release first. Also a bodyguard, as today's players fight back.
  • Take the summer and do that one man tour as a Howard Dean impersonator. It's eerie how similar they are, especially the shouting. Plus, as an actor, Knight can play the primadonna and actually win fans. "Step on my face again, Coach Knight! You were wonderful in the New Hampshire Primary scene!"
  • Buy a Hummer. Sorry, I've just heard those Hummer adds on the radio and it seems like the solution to every problem is to buy a Hummer. Apparently, owning a vehicle large enough to drive over a mobile home eliminates life's messy travails.
  • Vitalis. That's right. Dye those grey locks brown, or whatever colour they were before years of high blood pressure and missed defensive assignments turned them white. Regain that lost vigour, at least in your head... or on it. Of course there is a downside, as the birds dig the grey hair! Really!
  • Become United States Secretary of Defense. Nothing would bring back the old Knight charm like pushing around reporters in a press conference. Bobby's become almost folksy these days. A few verbal smackdowns of David Gregory would get his chops back. Plus, as a bonus, the Iraqi insurgents would surrender in a day. Would you want Bobby Knight in charge of the military fighting your side?
  • Marry Jennifer Lopez. Let's face it. Bobby needs crazy more than anything, and there are very few legitimate shortcuts. If J-Lo's not available, Paula Abdul would do in a pinch.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

So, 42 is the answer!

Everyone who remembers Douglas Adams brilliant Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy trilogy (in 5 books) also remembers that the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything is "42." No one ever figured out what the question was, though.

Well, as of today, I'm 42 as well. Yes, I know many of you surmised that I was 16 based on my sense of humour and ripplingly svelte physique, but you were wrong. I'm twoscore and two, is it turns out, and learning more about myself every day, but especially today. Today, the number 42 has revealed to me a staggering number of observations that younger me would not only have been incapable of reaching, but also too preoccupied with sex and sport to bother with. Now, I am fully prepared to address these staggering, mind-blowing revelations and share them with you.

Got a pencil handy? Here we go...

  • The birds fancy grey hair. My lovely and devoted wife says it makes me look "distinguished." I was hoping grey hair would give me an animalistic overpowering sexuality, but I can live with distinguished if it pleases the missus and distinguished doesn't equal "doddering." Quite frankly, I look very, very, very distinguished. Soon, I shall not have a trace of indistinction left.
  • Number 1 hurts more the older you get. Prepare yourselves. Of course, somewhere an 80 year old geezer is reading this and thinking, "Yes, but after 60, you feel it all less and less. I can't feel a thing there anymore." I don't even want to discuss number 2.
  • Politicians are stupid gits. All right, I suppose I had that one already figured out at 16. It's reliable filler though.
  • People passing the scene of an accident in their cars experience an IQ drop of between 50-100 points. I noticed that on the expressway this morning, as lines of traffic formed because people were too busy craning their heads to watch an accident on the other side of the other divided lanes to bother with somethign as trivial as the accelerator. The woman driving in front of me would have spun her head into Lind Blair territory if not for the the fact that, as she swung around in view of me, she noticed me gesturing wildly at her to speed the hell up. I don't know much sign language, but she seemed to get the message quickly enough.
  • The memory goes. I know this because I can't think of any more of these outstanding revelations. I could have sworn there were at least 42 of them. Perhaps they'll come back at 43.

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Monday, March 12, 2007

300, a Trustworthy Review of Golden Cinema

I just witnessed one of the violentest and most golden-hued motion pictures in the history of violent, golden-hued motion pictures. It goes by the title "300" and tells the tale of 300 nude beardy persons who faced down a hostile army of shrieking, hippo-like, make-up persons in the historical battle which determined the fate not only of Greece and America, but the combined destinies of every mortal being which has ever lived since the beginning of time.

There is a lot of historical accuracy in this movie, enough that I began to question whether "300" was made by Hollywood types or, perhaps, by a cadre of select Doctorate level historians. So many details are right on the money, from the charging rhino wearing jewelry and nose-gloss to the ancient Palpatine-like Greek priests who live in the temple that is situated about four feet away from the moon. It's all just right. Just exactly right, as if the living page of history burst out of my satchel with a rainbow glittery suddenness and came into being before my eyes.

I couldn't recommend this movie more, especially to those who like unnecessary nudity, drugged weird ladies in gossamer, creepy licking Palpatines, pierced cheeks, wild and nutty hunchbacks on the loose, and unpredictable elephants going straight-up bananas. It has a little bit of everything, except for blood and decapitated tender heads, which it has more than a little bit of, even unto the level of seven pints of each in every single scene. Sometimes heads get cut off by Spartan swords, sometimes weird bloated knife-hand monsters cut them off in slow motion, and sometime they just suddenly fall off for no reason and start rolling around like reanimated bowling balls looking for a platter of blood sandwiches.

Some journalists have been looking for modern parallels between the movie "300" and current events, wondering aloud which politicians are represented by Xerxes and King Leonidas, and also wondering how to put their pants on in the morning as they blindly stumble around in their Manhattan apartments with brains clearly leaking out of their ear canals, leaving hollow skulls full of emptiness within which to come up with these crazy ideas. As for me, I think it is clear that King Xerxes (appearing here in his second motion picture since "One Night with the King") is clearly meant to represent Dick Cheney, as they both share cheek piercings, golden forehead chains, plucked eyebrows and voices that have been pitched down an octave in a studio. Also, they are both nine feet tall. Good job, journalists of the world, for noticing the similarities. Prizes are coming your way for your astute observations. Your contributions to world culture and society have elevated you to the level of "not half bad."

Check out "300" at a motion picture venue near you. Bring plenty of soap for eye-washing afterwards. I give it a 14 out of 15.5.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Annual Madness

The annual American madness has struck again as it always does in March. The NCAA National Basketball Championship brackets have been set and all over the country people are busily filling them in with prognostications more improbable than a Dennis Kucinich presidency.

That's part of the madness, you see. One must, at some point on some bracket, pick their favourite team to win it all, even if that team sneaked in as one of the last at large choices in the bracket or got in by winning the Big Mideast Suncoast Atlantic Patriot conference championship and is facing a number 1 seed in the first round. Madness does not allow for cold, unfeeling rationality. Madness requires a stiff drink and ignoring that the average size of your team's starting lineup is 5 inches shorter than the other team's.

As I keep my private details to myself (yes, those too) all I can say is that my universtiy alma mater did find its way into the bracket, and I have them picked to go all the way and win the final 175-12. I was thinking a shutout, but that rarely happens in basketball.

As Stew is more the basketball expert than I, he can explain all the details regarding which teams have the most effiecient guard play, who presses the best, which teams shoot the 3 effectively enough to compensate for weak inside play, and which teams female cheerleaders will be incredibly distracting to the opposition. (My guess: most of them, especially teams from warm weather states, because...let's face it, they don't wear much there, do they.)

So let the madness begin! Here are my top 4 picks for upsets in this year's tournament:


  • Slippery Rock over Mongoose State by 4

  • Sasquatch U. over West Alabama Polytechnic by 7

  • Millard Fillmore State over Rancid Cactus University by 3

  • Alaska-Moose Wattle U. over Genghis Khan by 5