Tag Archives: Al Pacino

Fatherhood makes men’s testosterone drop. The Glen Rice-Sarah Palin fling: Wow. And Spacey channels the greats

This story in the New York Times the other day had me asking all sorts of questions.

According to a study in the scientific journal The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the testosterone level in men drops significantly after they become a father.
And what’s even more interesting is that the more they are involved in their kid’s upbringing (reading them stories, changing diapers, etc.) the more the testosterone seems to drop.
On one hand, as a non-scientist, I might be able to explain this. When a man does child-rearing things like cleaning up dirty poopy diapers and reading the kid a bedtime story, his natural male aggressive instincts might be lowered.
And this is a good thing, I think. We’re so conditioned as men that testosterone is everything, we have to have a lot of it, yada yada yada.
But if being a good father makes me have less testosterone, then sign me up right now. There are millions of other men who are so caught up in their own selves that they would see this study as a problem.
I see it as a welcome scientific sign that testosterone has nothing to do with how good of a man you are.

**Stumbled across this on YouTube tonight and it made me laugh hard, yet again. Kevin Spacey, channeling Marlon Brando, Christopher Walken, Johnny Carson, and Al Pacino:

**Finally, this totally jolted me awake Wednesday morning. According to Joe McGuiness’ new book on Sarah Palin due out soon, everyone’s favorite right-wing nutjob had a one-night stand with NBA star Glen Rice when he was playing in a college tournament in Alaska in 1987.

This was a year before she met Todd, so clearly basketball players didn’t do it for her, but snow-machine racers did.
I just can’t wrap my head around this one. The best comments from Twitter that I saw on this: “I wonder if she could see Russia from on top of Glen Rice (Chris Jones said that one), and my friend Rob Kalesse saying “she was on him like white on rice, baby.”

The NFL owners screw the players (and fans) again. And the great child marshmallow test.

Well, I guess it would’ve been too much to ask for this NFL labor war to end peacefully.

All the harmonious feelings and “we’re getting closer” leaked news bulletins that have come out the last few weeks, assuring us that a deal was about to be struck, now are as worthless as Confederate money and words coming out of the mouth of Sarah Palin.
All week, we football fanatics heard that Thursday was going to be the day. Owners were going to ratify a new labor deal, then the players would do it, and great glory Hallelujah, we would still have an NFL season.
Training camps opening soon! Free agency coming soon! Real, actual football season starting on time!
And then, pfffttt. Turns out it appears the owners tried to screw the players at the last minute. According to the excellent Peter King’s story on SI.com, the owners tried to throw in some language that had not been agreed upon, and basically gave the players an ultimatum.
And yeah, that didn’t go over so well. Looks like the owners totally overplayed their hand, and in a pretty obnoxious way.
So now this whole damn deal may blow up, we may have weeks and months more of men in suits arguing instead of men in cleats and pants hitting each other, and who knows if the 2011 season will get played.
I’m making this about me. I knew God would punish me by having the Jets get really, really good, get them thisclose to making the Super Bowl, and then the sport would blow up for a year.

I want my NFL football. Dammit, dammit, dammit.
In the meantime, here’s Al Pacino to get you fired up:

**This next video is based on a famous experiment done by Stanford psychologists in the 1960s. The idea is this: They bring a little kid into a room and put a marshmallow in front of him or her. They tell the kid they can eat the marshmallow now, but if they wait 10 minutes, they’ll get two marshmallows.
Man, what IS a kid to do? This cracked me up, especially the kid’s face at 1:55. As one YouTube commenter said, “it’s like watching a bunch of cute, adorable crack addicts.”

Jets. Steelers. One win from a lifelong dream. And a great piece on Rafa

I am a nervous wreck as I sit here typing this, late on Saturday night.
I am excited beyond belief. I am nervous beyond belief.
For the fourth time in my lifetime, the New York Jets are one win from the Super Bowl.
The last three times they got this close, the Jets broke my heart.
In 1982, I watched from the basement of the house of my family’s friends, the Katzes, in Monsey, N.Y., as the Miami Dolphins turned Richard Todd into Ryan Leaf.
In 1998, I watched from my apartment in Wilmington, N.C., as fumble after fumble by the Jets in the second half gave Denver the win.
In 2009, I watched from a sports bar in Ormond Beach, Fla., as a halftime lead evaporated under a hail of Peyton Manning passes.
I don’t ask for much in life. I’m a pretty happy guy. I’m a man made joyous by simple pleasures.
I ask today for a New York Jets win, and their first Super Bowl appearance of my lifetime.
I have seen all my other sports lifetime dreams occur. I saw the Rangers win a Stanley Cup. I saw the Yankees win multiple World Series. I’ve seen Duke win four national championships in basketball.
If this can happen today … if Mark Sanchez can outduel Ben Roethlisberger, if the Jets defense can stuff the run, if LaDainian Tomlinson has just a little more magic left in those old legs … my sports dreams will be complete.
Notice, I’m not even asking for a Jets Super Bowl win. More than any other of the four major sports title games or series, I think just reaching the Super Bowl is an accomplishment to be celebrated.
Of course I’d want the Jets to win the Super Bowl. But I don’t want to be greedy. Just get there.
Four times they’ve been in a position to bring me to tears of joy. Three times they’ve broken my heart.
It has to happen today. It will happen today. Jets 20, Steelers 16.
Please, God, grant me this wish, and  I’ll never trifle you with sports requests again.

And now, to get you fired up if you desire firing up, a couple of clips:

And take it away, Mr. Pacino:

**I’ve linked to Jon Wertheim’s work before here; he’s a friend of a friend and a super nice guy, as well as being one of the finest sportswriters in America. He’s got a new book out, called Scorecasting; basically it’s “Freakonomics” for sports. It looks terrific, from the excerpt I read in SI.
Anyway, wanted to point you to a fabulous story Jon wrote on Rafael Nadal in SI two weeks ago.
It’s funny, the more tennis fans that I talk to who love Roger Federer like I do, the more they feel like me: It’s impossible to hate Nadal. The guy is humble, polite to fans, and so unassuming he flies coach, still.
He’s on a quest right now to win the Australian Open, which would be his fourth consecutive Slam title, something even the great Fed hasn’t done.
It’s a fairly short story, but Wertheim absolutely sums up the essence of Rafa.
Read it and tell me how you could root against him.

A great night at the Emmys. And rude service-people do so much damage

Love the Emmy Awards. Always one of my favorite TV nights of the year. And yet I’m always disappointed and angry when my favorite shows don’t win.
Except Sunday night, they almost all did. Stunning to see quality rewarded. Thrilled that “Modern Family” and “Mad Men” both took home the big prize.

A few rambling thoughts from my brain from last night’s show, which I found very entertaining:

**Very nice job by Jimmy Fallon. Surprised at how good he was. The opening sketch was great, and I loved Fallon’s musical tribute to the three shows that went off the air. Brilliant.

**LL Cool J. As my wife said, “Dude, you’re like in your 50s. Time to take off the Kangol hat.”

**Jane Lynch had to win for her role in “Glee.” I only wish she wore the track suit and did a “Sue’s Corner” while she was up there.

**Great speech by Eric Stonestreet, Cameron from “Modern Family.” I loved that he said he’s giving the Emmy to his parents so they can see it every day “and realize what they made possible for me.” Very touching.

**January Jones is beautiful, but that was a pretty awful dress, I think.
**And Lauren Graham, sweetheart, I love you, but what the hell were you wearing? Not good.

**So glad Al Pacino won for the Jack Kevorkian movie “You Don’t Know Jack.” Although that was a rambling, weird speech, Al.

**I’m a huge fan of the death montage every year, and I loved this year’s, with Jewel singing along with it. But Dennis Wolper is the last person we see? He’s the most important death of the last year? And yeah, I moaned a little seeing Boner Stubone and Corey Haim in the montage. So sad.

**I like George Clooney more and more these days, because he can laugh at himself. That’s rare with famous people.

**Guess I should see that “Temple Grandin” HBO movie. I think it won like 412 awards.

**Finally, a long overdue win for Jim Parsons, Sheldon on “The Big Bang Theory.” Such a great show, and such a great part. Really, it was a terrific night for people who like good TV.

**So I found myself in a department store in the mall the other day, and I had a pretty crappy experience with a saleslady.
This woman was rude, dismissive of the story I told (that a product I was told was in stock by another employee a short time earlier on the phone, now wasn’t in stock, it appeared), and just extremely off-putting.

And I wonder if she realizes how uncomfortable she made the situation for me. And how I simply won’t shop there again, because of her attitude. And that for all she knows I could be a big spender.  Just like I would patronize a store that gave me great customer service, just because they were nice, customers like me avoid stores because of one bad attitude from one employee.

I know retail work isn’t easy; I’m not saying every person should be as enthusiastic and helpful as Richard Simmons on a case of Jolt cola (do they still make that?).

But the damage one person can do to a store’s reputation is unbelievable.

Al Pacino as “Dr. Death.” And Eliot Spitzer, the chutzpah king

Nobody likes to mention this, but Al Pacino doesn’t really make good movies anymore.

Seriously, as ESPN.com’s Bill Simmons has pointed out, Pacino hasn’t made a good major theatre movie in, like, a decade.

His last movie that I liked was HBO’s brilliant “Angels in America,” when he played the savagely profane but brilliant lawyer Roy Cohn. (Lewis family trivia: I’ll always remember that movie because Julie and I had our first phone conversation that night, it lasted three hours, and I learned later both of us wanted to get off the phone at about 10:59 p.m. so we could watch the West Coast version of the movie. See, we were made for each other.)

So when I heard good ole’ Michael Corleone was playing Jack Kevorkian, a man I admire greatly, in a new HBO movie called “You Don’t Know Jack,” I was pumped.

Saw the movie Sunday, and it was really, really good. I feel very strongly about euthanasia and why it should be legal, and I always thought Kevorkian was truly on the side of mercy. Pacino completely channeled Kevorkian, and director Barry Levinson got a fantastic cast to play off Pacino (Susan Sarandon, John Goodman).

I remember thinking at the time that all the same people who protested Kevorkian and called him a murderer, are also the same people talking about religious beliefs and showing “mercy” to people. Allowing someone to die with dignity is as merciful as you can get.

The movie was great, I highly recommend it. But it made me sad that 15 years after Kevorkian started gently helping those with terminal illness to stop the suffering, this country still looks at assisted suicide as such a sin.

I think years from now, many will wonder why such a humane act was deemed illegal.

**So I woke up Sunday morning to read in The New York Times that former New York governor Eliot Spitzer has reservations about likely Democratic nominee Andrew Cuomo, that he’s too politically motived, and that Spitzer isn’t sure he’s right for the job.

Spitzer, you know, the guy who decided it’d be smart while governor to use a prostitution service and pay for it with a credit card, isn’t sure someone else is right for the job.

This brings up a host of questions: Why is Spitzer still asked by media members to pontificate and analyze, when he’s clearly a disgrace as a human being? Is there no “shame” period anymore in American life, or if there is, Spitzer’s sure seemed to be short.

Look, I don’t know how great or not great Andrew Cuomo would be as governor. I like what I’ve seen and read about him, my friend Andrew once worked for him at a non-profit and said Cuomo was nice, and his father is one of my favorite speakers ever (Mario Cuomo).

But that the New York Times would give Eliot Spitzer, one of the biggest megalomaniacs in politics, a platform to bash another gubernatorial hopeful, and that Spitzer would continue to come off as holier than thou as he has for years, just ticks me off.

Jets-Colts. Today. Too psyched for words

***I’ve been to Fenway Park and Wrigley Field. I toured the grounds of Wimbledon. I watched the New York Rangers win the Stanley Cup.

Today, the biggest sports dream left in my life may happen. The New York Jets may advance to the Super Bowl for the first time since I was born. The team I have worshipped, lived and died for, screamed at and exulted over, is one victory over the Indianapolis Colts away from playing for the world championship.

Too pumped up for sleep last night. Too nervous until 3 p.m. today; I’m sure I’ll be pacing around our apartment like a madman. Don’t tell me it’ s just a game; please, those of you who don’t understand the passion of sports, don’t say that to a Jets fan today.

I can’t write anymore; all I can do is give you this. Three videos that are guaranteed to pump you up, no matter what you’re doing today in your life.

Number 1, Mr. Al Pacino, from “Any Given Sunday”

Number 2, Herb Brooks’ locker-room speech from “Miracle on Ice”

And finally, No. 3, a wonderful compilation from the people at Overthinkingit.com, 40 great movie speeches in just 2:15:

Let’s go J-E-T-S!