After spending the majority of last week (going into this week) first reviewing Avatar and then committing three blog entries to talking about viewer reactions, and the mythology behind it- originally I had 12 pages of notes on a legal pad- its time to move on and talk about other stuff that's been in the news.
Its time for a new edition of Quick Hits
(1) The AFC Championship Game. I know I picked the Jets, but it was heart over head. When they went up 17-6 on the Colts I thought just maybe they could get it done. Then Manning came back with that touchdown before halftime to make it 17-13. And Boomer Esiason was prophetic on the CBS halftime show when he said Peyton Manning had figured out what the Jets were doing on defense.....if the the Jets were going to blitz linebackers and defensive backs to make up for a lack of a bonafide pass rusher, then look for the weak spot on the field and the best matchup for the offense. So don't throw to Reggie Wayne (who was covered by Darelle Revis most of the game), and chuck it down field to Austin Collie and Pierre Garcon. From 17-13 at halftime it was all Colts in the second half, 30-17.
The Jets had an incredible run in the playoffs after a roller coaster regular season. Revis has emerged as the best corner in the NFL, and rookie qb Mark Sanchez and rookie rb Shonn Greene have become bright young stars who should shine for years to come.
And what else can you say about the Indianapolis Colts other than they are a special team and Peyton Manning is the greatest quarterback of his generation- sorry Tom Brady fans. Brady has more Super Bowl rings but Manning's body of work in the regular season gives him the nod.
(2). In the NFC Championship Game, I lost track of how many times both teams put the ball on the ground, but ultimately it was those lost fumbles by the Minnesota Vikings (3) and interceptions by the Vikes (2) that spelled their doom in the 31-28 win for the New Orleans Saints. The game shouldn't have been as exciting as it was because of all of the miscues by both teams (the Saints lost a fumble and had 9 penalties for 88 yards, Vikings 5 for 32- but all seem to come a critical times in the game).
The game went into OT, and was won by a field goal by Garrett Hartley to win it, sending the Drew Brees and the Saints to Miami to face the Indianapolis Colts in the Super Bowl.
You have to wonder...is Brett Favre really done, or will he retire and then unretire for one more season? If he does not retire and gives it one more year, just how much longer can he keep taking that kind of physical pounding at age 40 before his body betrays him? Also, regarding Adrian Peterson- nobody playing in the NFL has his raw ability and breakaway speed....but how long can any team tolerate a player that fumbles as much as he does? How does any coach entrust a game to kill the clock in its late stages to a guy who can't hang on to the ball? He needs to sit down with Tiki Barber, and who had a similar problem with the Giants, and was cured of it through the coaching of Tom Coughlin.
(3). How about those scenes on Bourbon Street in New Orleans during and after the NFC Championship? While the game was being played, it was like a ghost town there, empty streets, only a few tourists walking around. After the winning field goal, it was instant Mardi Gras.
And good for the Saints, the city of New Orleans, and the fans all along the Gulf Coast. The franchise was in the doldrums most of the time since its birth in 1967. And of course, there was the devastation of Katrina in 2005, an event from which some of New Orleans and the surrounding area has not recovered, and may not ever.
The Saints in the Super Bowl....it won't heal all of the area's wounds, but it will help to ease some of the pain still felt there.
Robert B. Parker, and knew nothing of his passing until Saturday. I was listening to the radio in the morning, and Richard Neer spoke about Parker's death last week at age 77. There were few writers as prolific as Parker, who turned out as many as four novels in a year, who wrote ten pages per day, and never knew what his characters would do or where the plot was going until he was in the act of writing. Most famous for his mysteries, he created the characters Spenser and Jesse Stone. In more recent years Parker has turned his attention to the Old West, creating a series of three novels that I fell in love with- Appaloosa, Resolution, and Brimstone. I wondered how life would turn out for the laconic lawman- turned gunslinger- turned lawman Virgil Cole, his partner Everett Hitch, and Virgil's libidinous lady love Miss Allie French. Sadly, I'll never know.
Robert B. Parker wrote 60 novels in a career that spanned nearly 40 years. I miss him already.
(6). The Jay Leno-Conan O'Brien Fiasco- a nations's long nightmare is over. We can all rest again. Amen.
(7). Kudos to all for helping out in the Haitian relief effort. According to The Huffington Post The World Bank and the United States government each made a commitment of $100 million. Last Friday's celebrity telethon raised $57 million. Americans sent $159 million in private donations. It sounds like a lot of money, and it is.....but check out the amount of destruction and devastation, and the byproducts of the quake- homelessness, food and water shortages, and disease.
And here's a sobering thought- look at those dollar amounts in the previous paragraph. When Rutgers University expanded their football stadium from 42,000 to 53,000 the price tag rose to over $100 million. That was just to enclose an end zone and add seating, and put in premium seats near the Presidents box.
That alone will give you an idea of just how much money in needed to even start to rebuild Haiti. Its going to be a long, arduous process.
(8). President Obama's State of the Union Address. I'll watch, even though I'm still angry at that circular firing squad, aka the Democratic Congressional leadership. Sometimes I look at Mr. Obama and I think he's vintage Michael Jordan playing on the 2009-10 New Jersey Nets.
(9). Damages is back! And Glenn Close is as delightfully devious as ever. I wonder how Ellen Parsons (Rose Byrne) will work her way back into Patty's (Close) life. And we do know this item due to the show's time shifting format, and its the first secret revealed of Season 3....Tate Donovan (as Tom Shayes) will NOT be back for a Season 4.
That is, of course, he has a twin brother that the audience knows nothing about.
(10). Finally....I want to thank the readers of this blog who's numbers seem to be steadily growing. January 2010 is looking to be are biggest month yet as far as new visitors.
And we did it with minimal reference to home shopping hosts, past or present....that's an inside joke, people!
Late Addition! I just corrected numerous typos 10 hours after originally posting this. I'm not nearly as illiterate as some suspect.