Tag Archives: Kevin Spacey

Tina and Amy, and surprise winners, make me happy at the Golden Globes. And thoughts on the end of Peyton Manning, a terrible call against the Cowboys, and other NFL musings

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The worst part of last night’s Golden Globes show for me was not the ridiculousness of “The Affair” winning best dramatic TV show, or that I got creeped out upon learning that 56-year-old Kevin Spacey is dating 31-year-old Kate Mara (I mean, that’s pretty wrong, right?).

The worst part was hearing Tina Fey and Amy Poehler say that it would be their last time hosting. Their chemistry last night was again fantastic, with my favorite bits being, of course, mocking George Clooney’s “Lifetime Achievement Award” by listing all the amazing real-life accomplishments his new wife Amal Alamuddin has.

Love Tina and Amy for their wit and charm.
Some other musings from my brain (and as always during awards shows, my wife’s brain) on a pretty entertaining Globes:

— So happy, first of all, that two of my favorite pieces of entertainment last year got lauded properly: Loved seeing “Boyhood” win three major awards, because it’s truly the best movie I’ve seen in the past five years (my original review of it here.), and loved that “Transparent” and Jeffrey Tambor took home two big awards. Tambor’s speech was terrific.

— Best dress of the night, as chosen by the wife: Jennifer Aniston, with a runner-up spot to Amy Adams.

— How hilarious is it that Alison Tolman, who played the Frances McDormand character in the “Fargo” TV show, competed in the same category Sunday as McDormand herself, being nominated for “Olive Kitteridge?” That was just weird.

— Great speeches by Matt Bomer, Kevin Spacey, and Patricia Arquette. And Clooney’s line about “if you’re in this room, you’ve caught the brass ring” and his tribute to his wife were really sweet.

— Best Twitter line I saw last night was from TV critic James Poniewozik, who said after “Transparent” won:  “Also let’s just take a moment and recognize that the award for Best Comedy was won by an online bookstore.”

–Finally, I liked how most speeches weren’t rushed off the stage. For many of these people, this is their one moment in the sun, so I want to hear people like Gina Rodriguez pay tribute to her family.

**So the NFL divisional playoffs always seem to give us a couple of great games among the four, and this weekend was no exception.

The Packers-Cowboys game, which I only saw bits and pieces of (was at my nephew’s rockin’ 10th birthday party Sunday), was a classic, and Baltimore-New England Saturday night was an old-school shootout.

But the lingering memories for me of this football weekend will be twofold: 1, The end of Peyton Manning as an elite NFL quarterback, and 2, NFL instant replay has gotten out of control, and for idiotic rules to decide the outcome of a team’s season is just ridiculous.

First, couple thoughts on Peyton: I love this guy, have loved him ever since he was in Knoxville. I’ve defended him against critics, been thrilled when he won a Super Bowl, and laughed at his great sense of humor on “SNL” and in commercials.
So it’s been really painful watching his last two playoff games, last year’s Super Bowl and Sunday’s desultory loss at home to Indy.
Peyton’s finished. He really looks done. His throws sailed high, low, all over the place yesterday; in short, he looked like Ryan Lindley or Kyle Orton on some of them.
When he really needed to make a play, he just couldn’t get it done. Look, the guy’s had an amazing career, and he’s one of the 5 best QBs to ever play. The fact he came back from four neck surgeries to be as good as he was before is incredible.
But I think it’s finally just about over for Eli’s brother. And I’m a little sad about it.
Now, for the Dez Bryant catch … and that’s what it was, it was a freaking catch. I hate the Cowboys, hate Dez Bryant and his selfish, look-at-me all the time histrionics, but if the play he made late in the fourth quarter to give the ‘Boys a first and goal and a chance to take the lead is not a catch, then I’ve never seen a catch in my life.
He leaped, caught the ball, came down with two feet inbounds, landed, reached for the goal-line as he was being tackled, and then the ball moved slightly.

The refs on the field thought it was a catch. Eighty thousand fans at Lambeau thought it was a catch. No one on the Packers sideline could honestly think it wasn’t a catch.

And then the replay official overruled the call, and the Cowboys lost a chance to score, and everybody was incredulous.

It’s just so silly. Instant replay is around to get calls right, and correct egregiously bad ones. Calls like yesterday’s on Bryant just take the game away from the players, and it’s just so wrong.

Still, looking forward to Sunday. I predict a Packers-Patriots Super Bowl.

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.”

Friday grab-blog: The power of David Stern, the glory of Kevin Spacey, and the hell of John Sterling

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So I think it’s pretty obvious to most fans who the most powerful man in sports is, but just in case it’s not, let me make yet another case for a vertically-challenged Jewish lawyer who works in New York.

His name is David Stern, and he’s the commissioner of the NBA.

David Stern could’ve made Mother Teresa attack someone with a knife. He could’ve gotten Noah to bring the animals on to the Ark one at a time. He could have convinced Thomas Edison: “You know what? People like it dark.”

Stern can do absolutely anything he wants, I am completely certain. His fingerprints are on every decision made by any commissioner in the last 25 years.

And in the last few weeks, Stern decided that there was no way in HIS green earth that disgraced referee Tim Donaghy was going to publish a book further tarnishing his officials’ integrity.

You remember Donaghy: He was the guy who was caught gambling on NBA games, and making calls that affected the point spread in games he bet on and was refereeing. He was disgraced, and he said he wasn’t working alone, and yet, after initial outrage (especially from Sacramento and Phoenix fans, who could finally say “A-HA, I knew we got screwed in the playoffs”) the tumult died down. No more refs were implicated, the fans moved on, and King Stern had his league back to normal.

Only now, Donaghy has written a book. And man, does he spill the beans. In excerpts published on the popular sports blog Deadspin, Donaghy dishes all sorts of explosive details. He talks about he and his fellow striped shirts making wagers on who can go the longest without calling a foul. He talks about noted homer referee Dick Bavetta intentionally trying to let the Lakers win Game 6 of the 2002 NBA Western Finals, and about how Steve Javie had a personal vendetta against Allen Iverson.

Could Donaghy be making all this up? Perhaps. But read that excerpt; this is a guy who has a ton of details in there, details that would be hard to make up.

This book was going to make huge waves in the media and with fans, and David Stern couldn’t have that. And so, curiously, Random House has decided not to publish the book after all.

The NBA says it never threatened a lawsuit. And sure, it’s possible that Random House, after reviewing the final draft, full of uncorroborated accusations, veiled threats, and other possibly-litigious material, decided on its own to yank the book.

But I’m not buying it. This is David Stern’s work. Of course I have no proof, but I have little doubt he and the league brought pressure to bear.

He’s just that powerful.

**Covered a high school volleyball game Thursday night. I really enjoy covering the sport, mostly. The points are fast and exciting, the players are the happiest athletes during their competition I’ve ever seen, and there’s great athleticism on display.

But man, the shrieking. The players shriek. The fans shriek. Everyone seems to shriek at a volleyball match. Admission should come with two Advil.

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***ESPN is now 3-for-4 in my book in its “30 for 30” documentary series, scoring another great one this week with “Muhammad and Larry,” a film about the 1980 Larry Holmes-Muhammad Ali fight. This was the fight that never should have happened, as a way past his prime Ali was just pulverized by the heavyweight champ, Holmes. Great behind the scenes footage from before the fight, and some great interviews from the present day with Holmes and Ali’s friends.

It’s on again Sunday, I think, at 3 p.m. on ESPN.

**Finally, a few thoughts on Thursday night’s World Series game, won by the Yankees (whoo-hoo!)

1. I’ll tell you what one circle of Hell is: Driving home in the car, the only radio broadcast of the game I could pick up was the WCBS 880 feed from New York, with John Sterling doing the play by play. Absolutely the worst announcer of any sport working today; even lots of Yankees fans don’t like him. He’s so pompous he makes James Lipton look humble, he constantly gets his facts wrong, and often blatantly misrepresents the action.

2. Why did FOX hire Ozzie Guillen to be a commentator? The man is pretty unintelligible.

3. It was fun booing Pedro Martinez one more time. As much as I hated the guy throughout his career, I think he’s the best pitcher of my lifetime. Better than Clemens. Better than Maddux.

Well, since I was talking about James Lipton earlier, I stumbled upon a few minutes of genius here, as the great Kevin Spacey perfectly impersonates some fantastic acting voices:

Thirty-four

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So I turned 34 on Monday.

Not really a big birthday, landmark-wise. Not close enough to 30 to feel that I’m in my early 30’s, but not close enough to 40 to start freaking out about that big number.

The biggest things that hit me about 34 were this: I’m now twice as old as the typical high school senior, and I’m in the last year of that coveted advertising demographic of 18-34. I know, thrilling.

I always used to get pretty depressed a few days before my birthday; I’d go into a little bit of a funk as I thought about another year gone down the drain.

I’m as optimistic a person as you will ever find (well OK, maybe Richard Simmons and Dick Vitale are cheerier than me), but around August 12 of every year I would get sad. “I haven’t done this yet,” or “I’m only this far along in my career,” all that stuff would bounce around my cranium like a ping-pong ball.

I’ve gotten better about that over the years, starting with my birthday in 2004  (I had a girlfriend then, so that probably was the big difference), but I still get a little bit melancholy.

I look back and ask myself: Is this where I thought I would be by now? Shouldn’t I have done X, Y, and Z by this point in my life? And am I ever going to achieve my dream of working for Sports Illustrated?

It’s not a good way to think, to always be browbeating yourself about what you have and haven’t accomplished, and I do my best to knock those thoughts out of my head when they come in.

I keep telling myself it’s not a race, that there’s no finish line, and that no one who really matters is keeping score of what I have and haven’t done. A long time ago I realized that I have what many others don’t, and that there will always be others with more than me.

Looking around inside my brain today (I like to browse from time to time), I saw a loving wife who will be my true companion until we’re old and gray. I heard from my wonderful parents, who despite their divorce 20 years ago (geez, has it been 20 years?) remain close friends. I heard from the best in-laws a person could ever hope to have.

I glimpsed fantastic and trustworthy friends, some who I’ve known literally since birth, and who now have kids of their own (I’m still having trouble processing that Marc, Tracie and Andrew, three people who knew me when I looked like I did up in that picture, have kids of their own now).

I have a job doing what I love to do, in an industry filled with people determined to keep raging against the dying of the ink.

I get to tell stories of great heroism and courage, and expose shameless liars and crooks, and make a small difference in people’s lives. That’s a damn special thing to get to do every day.

When I’m no longer able to or allowed to do that, it’ll be a hell of a sad time.

The roadmap of my life has brought me here, to this point, and I have to admit: It’s a wonderful view.

Thirty-four will be wonderful, because I’m truly blessed.

Now 40? That scares the hell out of me.

P.S. I think I still have that belt in that picture up there. Boy did I love that belt. And you notice how the socks match the sneakers? In the words of Kevin Spacey from “American Beauty,” that was not an accident.