What your view of sports and life would be if you had too many concussions
Every August finds me furiously watching all the movies I’ve recorded in the past few months, but have yet to make the requisite viewing time. Since I know that in a few short days, every byte of electronic pack-rattery I own will be devoted to the likes of Big Eleven Ten, SEC, and every other nugget of college football I can find. As great a film as The Third Man is, Orson Welles can’t compete with Joe Paterno.
This usually results in some high-octane, power-viewing, all while sneaking in the requisite pigskin reconaissance. Shuffle 30 hours worth of DVR space with a deck of DVDs, and you have a guy on a week-long classic film festival.You also have to plan carefully for just such an event. There are logistics to consider. You must know what type of films you will be watching, so you can stock up on the proper supplies. For example, a major part of my viewing selection samples the works of Sam Peckinpah and John Wayne. Add to them the casting of this duo’s work (William Holden alone pushes the needle to the red here); let’s just say the liquor store owners in the neighborhood aren’t sweating next month’s mortgage payment.
Peruse the list while you still have time. If you are like me, your Saturdays soon will be filled with the orchestrated chaos, surgical violence, and machine-gunning beers at 9 A.M. perched on the tailgate of your buddy’s truck that all add up to another college football season, or every goddamn day of Swiggin’ Sammy’s life. I don’t know which part of that best explains my fascination with Peckinpah; I just know what I like.
Ride The High Country – It confounds me that this movie didn’t make the The New York Times’ list of the 1,000 greatest movies ever made. The coupling of two legends of American westerns, Randolph Scott and Joel McCrea, in the trademark Peckinpah stir of betrayal, redemption, and the quest for a by-gone era has to be considered a far better film than some overblown production number like “An American in Paris.”
While these sort of lists always draw criticism, this one is especially easy given the oversight of the works of Sam Peckinpah. Sure, they give you the obligatory “Wild Bunch,” any such list will. But “Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia” and “Ride the High Country” are every bit the classic than most of this list, if not more so.
No Time For Sergeants – This is without a doubt one of the funniest movies ever made. It’s the classic “fish out of water” comedy; the travails of a Georgia hillbilly drafted into the Air Force during the ’50’s. It’s so full of classic lines and scenes that listing them would be impossible. Toilet seats rigged to stand at attention, the misreading of the eye chart, and the sergeant’s attempt to get the hillbilly drunk are all classic bits. If you’ve never seen this film, find it and watch it.
The Getaway – Sam Peckinpah and Steve McQueen. What else do you need? Oh, and don’t forget Slim Pickens.
The Killing – Prime work from another guy who was just too cool for words. Sterling Hayden as Johnny Clay, a guy who retains his cool even after he watches the $2 million he just stole in a daring, well-orchestrated racetrack heist get blown all over an airport runway.
They Were Expendable – To me, this is the best war movie ever made. It takes place in the Philippines right after the Japanese invasion in 1941, a period that saw a large scale American defeat. It doesn’t engage in the “rah-rah” jingoism common to war movies made after WWII. Instead, it graphically depicts the understanding fighting men have about honor, duty, and sacrifice. This is embodied in the closing scenes of the movie where John Wayne and Robert Montgomery are order to leave Luzon for the safety of Australia. Montgomery’s only comment: “Well, that makes us a fine pair of heels,” knowing full well they are leaving their men to a fate of a prisoner of war camp or death.
Command Decision – This movie is brilliant on two fronts. Most importantly, it does a wonderful job of explaining the burden of conscience carried by those whose job it is to send men to their deaths. But I never really caught on to another aspect of this film until I got my first management job. Clark Gable’s character endures no end of politically-based battles from his own side in addition to trying to fight the Germans. Granted, I’m not ordering the 8th Air Force to attack Schweinhafen, but I’ve yet to make a decision that didn’t come with a lot of infighting.
The Bridge on the River Kwai – Do you know what happens when you let a six-year old watch the original “Star Wars” before he walks in on this film? You get your classic “Art Linkletter” moment. The kid strolls into the room midway and inquires the plot. He says, looking at the screen, “That’s stupid. Obi-Wan could just use ‘The Force’ to build a bridge.”
2) My liver goes to training camp. Hiccup.
We all know that one of the joys of the 12 greatest days of the year is unadulterated juvenility, and nothing fuels that quite like good, old John Barleycorn. This is what drives a normally sedate accounting-type to blasting “Cheer, Cheer for Old Notre Dame” into my ear at 2:30 A.M. following the Irish’s romp over Penn State a few years back.
3) I worry about how much more exposure Petros Papadakis is going to get.
At least he’s not without his endearing characteristics:
A self-described obsessive-compulsive who keeps telling himself he’s got to stop smoking the Newports, drinking Jim Beam and eating a half-dozen cheeseburgers every day, Papadakis admits he’s more than driven to do this radio show day after day. It’s reached a point to where he feels lost without it and misses the interaction with producer Brian Vieira, engineer Cornelius “Corndog” Edwards and former producer Craig Larson.
“For me, it’s become a true gang mentality, although we aren’t wearing vests like in ‘West Side Story,’ ” Papadakis said. “Those guys get me excited and riled up, they pull it out of me, otherwise I’d be in a corner drinking wine out of a bottle.
At least he’s doing what every good football fan should be doing; complete and reckless indulgence.
4) I’m watching every regional preview show I can find.
Wonder why nobody ever talks about the Sun Belt conference? Never mind, I know.
5) I keep telling myself this is finally the year Houston Nutt has the dramatic public meltdown we’ve all been waiting for.
I love the Nutt, just because he’s like a jack-in-the-box two notes before it pops. And with Ole Miss looking suspiciously like a top ten team at this point (I really just wrote that…I know, I can’t believe it either), perhaps it happens during the LSU game which could make or break them. Maybe it happens early if the team disappoints. Either way, people of Oxford, be warned. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, the man is 100% batshit crazy. Remember those great seasons back in Fayetteville under the Nutt? Those should tell you there are a panoply of mind-boggling possibilities.
Let’s face it. If you love Nutt-ball, you love a team that can’t pull off a three-yard run, but will hit a 65-yard bomb. You love a team that will break your heart with the stupidest penalties (raise your hand if you remember the defensive back coming onto the field a few years ago with no fucking pants!), but they find ways to win. You love a team that can dismantle Florida at Vaught-Hemingway, but can’t seem to get over the hump that is LSU.
Given all that, the sky is the limit. Could it be Nutt running on the field naked? Could it be Nutt finally having the brain-splattering stroke he always looks like he is about to have? Or could it be the Rebels shocking us all by winning the SEC West? Your guess is as good as mine; that’s the beauty.
6) I discover something disturbing in Texas
This year’s disturbing observation…an intervention may be needed at Texas Tech. The following video clips kinda make you wonder. The first involves a clearly drunken Texas Tech fan hassling everybody involved in a post-game interview.
Things we noticed about this video:
1) Is there something about fans of any team using any variant of “Raiders” as a mascot? The guy in the video is just a rural Texas version of this guy:
2) How the hell can these guys be shocked that they are a) encountering drunks at a football game, b) encountering drunks in Texas, and c) encountering drunks at a football game in Texas? The video doesn’t show their heads up their asses, so we’re begging for explanations.
3) This was shot after a last-second Texas Tech victory over Oklahoma. How stupid do you have to be to try to shoot a post-game interview in the tunnel under the stands not five minutes after a controversial finish?
Now, on to the simply disturbing. The Bell Ringer is a long-standing tradition at Texas Tech. We would never disrespect tradition; it is one of the things that makes college football the best sporting experience one could possibly have. But, like all things, tradition must be observed with care, otherwise it turns into this…
My alma mater opens its season in Lubbock this year. I’ll be sending them a case of hand sanitizer.
7) The autumn flower of my love for Holly Rowe blooms once again.
This just happens to be one of the reasons we like Holly Rowe; blonde, yes, but spunky and chunky in a way that suggests that she would a) drink real beer with you, b) split dessert, and c) enjoy a spanking every now and then while more than holding her own in the sack. There–try and watch her now without thinking about that. Exactly our point.
I’m out to cure the ignorance of the college football fan when it comes to Rowe. She may not be some slinky blond slice of bimbo pie, but any woman who can talk college football like her is “all aces” in my book. The rest of you should take note.
If we are going to get stuck with sideline reporters, we might as well have those who know of which they speak. Holly, you will always have a standing invitation to share my couch, watching any college football game while splitting a pizza and a 12-pack, and if there is a God, the obligatory DVR pause, if you know what I mean (wink, wink, nudge, nudge).