Sunday, November 04, 2007

Sunday Serenade

Without further ado, a heady melange of sports and such like...

It's Halftime for most of the 1:00 NFL games now, and by my decidedly unofficial count, we've already had three long touchdowns via return -- two standard kickoff returns by the Jets' Leon Washington and Maurice Jones-Drew of Jacksonville, and one 109-yard return of a missed field goal by San Diego's Antonio Cromartie. And that's only midway through the early games.

Sooooo nice to see No. 2 Boston College get beat last night by Florida State -- dashing their championship dreams as well as the Heisman hopes of QB Matt Ryan. As I said, anything New England-related and I wish it the absolute worst short of death by immolation. For now...

My nephew P.J. is down in Miami on vacation, and he left me a message Friday night telling me he just met Hall of Famer Michael Irvin and couldn't get over what a nice, down to earth guy he is. Hell, I could've told him that. He was the glue that held those Dallas Super Bowl teams together.

Funny thing. A few weeks ago I had jotted down in one of my trusty memo pads (which I have dubbed my Acoustic BlackBerries) that Amani Toomer is now the Giants' all-time record holder for Touchdown passes caught with only 49. I thought that was a pretty shabby amount for a franchise that's been around seemingly since just after the Crimean War. But I never got around to writing about it here on Warden's World. Then I pick up The Onion the other day (Nov. 1-7 issue) and in their sports section is the following: "Amani Toomer Breaks Giants' All-Time Receiving Touchdown Record With 14." So you see, warped minds think alike.
Just to put it in perspective, or what others might call belaboring the point, the Dallas Cowboys leaders in the same category are: Bob Hayes with 71, the aforementioned Mike Irvin with 65, then Tony Hill with 51, Frank Clarke with 50, and Drew Pearson with 48. Not only did all these players' careers span fewer years than Toomer, who's been a steady player for 12 years now, but the Cowboys franchise came into the NFL as an expansion team in 1960, with no extra draft picks, just castoffs from other players. And I'm sure most other teams have receivers who caught well more than 50 TDs holding their records.

Which is a roundabout way of saying the Giants have not had that many teams that were offensive juggernauts through the years. Even on their two Super Bowl winning teams, which were obviously driven by the defensive side of the ball, the receivers were below average. Granted, they had a great tight end in Mark Bavaro, but the WR position was manned by the likes of Earnest Gray, Stephen Baker, Bobby Jackson and Mark Ingram. Factoring in that Phil Simms played in one of the windiest and coldest stadiums for all those years, as well as who he was throwing to, and maybe he should be reconsidered for the Hall after all.

Chris Russo, know-it-all loudmouth heard daily in New York on WFAN sports radio, has picked 23 NFL games against the spread this season, and has come up a winner but six times! However, that 6-17 record will in no way impinge on his making hundreds more debatable observations on his next show that as always confuse his own opinion with objective fact, with a degree of absolute certainty commonly found among the truly mentally ill.

Have you heard those
lame-ass radio spots for the Versus Network featuring Dennis Miller? He's apparently for some ungodly reason being given yet another chance to fail with a talk show on that obscure cable channel. But if the ads contain material that they are highlighting, I can only cringe at what the outtakes contained. On the promos I heard on WFAN, one of the "jokes" Miller launches goes as follows: "You know, calling big-time college football players student-athletes is like calling Doctor J an MD." I'm not kidding. Then it's this beaut: "Reading the sports pages these days is as painful as watching Britney Spears dance." Good god, man, stop. But he doesn't.

"Of all the sports on Versus," sellout Miller intones in that by now nauseatingly canned delivery, "I know the least about bull riding. Now, bullshitting -- that's my stock in trade." And mercifully the commercial eventually ends. Now based off this painfully wooden attempt at comedy, who in their right mind would tune in for more of Miller's trademark scripted "ad-libs"? I'm guessing not a lot of fucking people.

Speaking of washed up comics, I am really getting sick of Jerry Seinfeld and his non-stop shilling for his dumb animated kids movie. What an outright bore this guy is now. He's done nothing since Seinfeld ended except release overpriced DVD sets of the by now played out sitcom. Who the hell would buy the DVD of a show that's on TV like 10 times a day!

First he flies over Cannes in May wearing a bee suit to promote his upcoming movie. I don't know, but when I read about that I thought to myself that only a gigantic jackass would do something like that. His actions of the last few months have only solidified that feeling in my mind.
Seinfeld now comes off not as the likable, unassuming guy he portrayed in "Seinfeld" but as a greedy, narcissistic blowhard. What other conclusion can you draw about a guy who goes on talk shows and gives interviews while saying stuff like: "There is nobody I can't talk to who wouldn't have any idea who I am. I mean, I can call people like, say, Oprah..." Aside from the convoluted grammar, the egotistical sentiment behind it is even more deplorable. He only called up Oprah and asked her to be in his movie because he thought it would generate X amount of publicity and lead to X amount of additional revenue that he can spend on more vintage cars or whatever it is he collects. Real deep guy here. When you think of talent as it equates to how much money a person has, Seinfeld may just have made the most of one with the least of the other, if you get my drift.

I loved it when his gold-digging wife came out with a cookbook about getting kids to eat healthy and it turned out many of the recipes were flat-out ripped off almost verbatim from a real person's cookbook. How low is that? Of course, Seinfeld defended his wife, but just the way he conducted himself in this episode was further proof of the monumental level of his obnoxiousness, as he called the writer of the other cookbook a "wacko" who was looking to cash in on his fame and said something like, why would my wife need to rip someone else off when she has more money than she knows what to do with.

What a creep Seinfeld has become, describing himself as "
old, tired and rich" in recent interviews. I would under no circumstances short of violent abduction watch this cynically over-hyped, overpromo'd and overmarketed piece of garbage. Needless to say, I am very disappointed in Renee Zellweger for appearing in this CGI-enhanced drek, and of course she will hear about it when I run into her at our next social gathering. When the revolution ultimately comes, Seinfeld will be one of the first to go in the new Puritanical Sparta I envision taking shape in America after Unbridled Greed has run its course.

Switching gears to talk about people who are still actually funny, we've now had six new episodes of The Office this season -- four hour-long and two half-hour shows. But riddle me this: why are the half-hour episodes somehow twice as funny as the hour-long ones? The other night was the best of the year, with Michael, Jim and Dwight visiting the branch run by Karen in an attempt to stop her from poaching "talent" from the Scranton branch. Whatever gets more Karen into an episode is okay by me. (By the way, did you know she's Quincy Jones' daughter in real life? I know, I know, you can thank me later.)

Rented Factotum the other night, the movie based loosely on the Charles Bukowski novel with a real good cast of Matt Dillon, Lili Taylor and Marisa Tomei. But it was one of the supporting actors who appeared in just a couple of scenes that caught my eye. At first I couldn't quite place who she was, but then it came to me who the attractive redhead was: Adrienne Shelly, the actress who was murdered in her Greenwich Village apartment almost a year ago (11/1/06) to the day. She made her debut in The Unbelievable Truth, the 1989 Hal Hartley indie flick that I strongly recommend.

Shelly was murdered by her building's super, an illegal immigrant who strangled her and crudely tried to make it look like a suicide, because she complained about the noise he was making in an adjacent apartment -- which quite frankly sounds like the makings of a good Law & Order episode if it weren't so tragically real and such a waste of talent. What makes Unbelievable Truth so good is part of what makes all effective independent movies: it has characters that are offbeat and unpredictable and whose next actions are unexpected, instead of the over-foreshadowing of Hollywood movies that beat you over the head with their obviousness and inevitability.

And Adrienne Shelly herself -- a strikingly unique looking redhead -- embodied that quality in films like Trust and the recent Waitress, which she directed. (I just noticed on iMDB that she did appear in a Law & Order back in 2000, although not enough of the plot details are included to definitively call this ironic.)


Magnus Maximus said...

Dennis Miller's whole routine is rather tired. I used to actually enjoy his comedy, even went to see him once many years ago. No longer. Maybe I'm biased because of his politics.

I agree about Seinfeld also. I saw him on Conan a few nights ago and his standup seemed workmanlike and uninspired. Granted, he doesn't tour anymore so his chops are rusty. His bee movie has gotten mediocre reviews so far, and the clips I've seen look pretty bad. Did he write the movie? All the press I've read on it seems to imply that he did. It seems old Jerry's days are in the past. I guess after Seinfeld he can just rest on his laurels forever.

Serge A. Storms said...

I, too, am guilty of finding Miller funny in the past. But I was young, an easy mark to the obscure reference and snarky delivery. Since then, I've discovered many comedians that make Miller look like the one-trick-pony he is. (see: Mitch Hedberg, Zach Galafianakis, Lewis Black)

Seinfeld. I don't know what to say about this guy. The words coming out of his mouth don't match the desparation you can see in his eyes. Yes, he's loaded and doesn't need to work. However, he had slipped way out of the spotlight and thrust himself back into it on an elephant caravan over the Alps. You can almost hear his inner voice screaming for pop-relevance again. I am tired of watching my NBC programming and being treated to the "Bee Movie TV Juniors" bits though. Hopefully they're done with that.

Frank Calliendo shredded Brady this weekend. It was quite funny. Hopefully you caught this and enjoyed.

Wardens World said...

I actually found Miller funny back then also. But that seems like a long time ago. I still find the Seinfeld reruns funny and watch them when nothing else is on. At least the other cast members tried to make a career with other shows, to varying degrees of success. The latest with Julia Louis-Dreyfus I find unwatchable, like most CBS sitcoms. Who watches these shows?

I thought the best Seinfeld spinoff would have been a show starring Kramer and Newman. Classic comedic potential with the fat guy and the tall guy. Couldn't been bigger than Laurel & Hardy.

Max: Seinfeld is saying he did everything in this movie, direct, write, etc. Once these guys have kids they pretty much become mediocre, Ray Romano types. I hate the whole wave of Shrek, Cars, Bee Movie animation with celebrity voice-overs. Not my thing.

Serge: Ya know, I hardly ever watch the pregame shows. However, the few times I did and caught Calliendo he was hilarious. One of the funniest things I've ever seen was him doing Jim Rome, the sports radio guy. Dead on, scary good impersonation. His Madden of course is killer too. Does he have his own show or something?

Serge A. Storms said...

I know he used to be on Mad TV and he also runs the stand-up circuit. I don't know that he has his own show though.

Serge A. Storms said...

Oh, here's a link for the video -

Magnus Maximus said...

I think Seinfeld was an excellent standup in his prime. Did either of you guys see Comedian? It's a documentary chronicling two comedians: Seinfeld as he tries to build a new act in small clubs, and an unknown comic trying to make a name for himself. It's an interesting contrast; you have Seinfeld who is deliberatly "slumming" in tiny clubs in order to focus group new material, and the unknown comic who has no choice but to start from the bottom. The best part of the movie isn't the comedy itself but the behind-the-scenes glimpse into the creative process. It's a good movie, although its attempts to elicit sympathetic feelings for Seinfeld's creative struggles didn't work for me; after all, they show the guy flying around in his private jet. I'd recommend though.

Wardens World said...

I just read another negative article in a free weekly paper up here, a cover story in the New York Press, that talks about Comedian and how Seinfeld continues to show something very much like contempt for fans who are only trying to be friendly toward him. He seems like a guy who uses the media to promote his upcoming projects, but otherwise can barely contain himself from looking down on the little people. I doubt the guy is ever gonna contribute anything else to pop culture. Too comfortable now, too cut off from reality, like Woody Allen. I want to check out Comedian, though.