Steelers Thoughts #11 (11/30/15): Deep Breathing Exercises

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So, Thanksgiving happened. My apologies for not sending along official season’s greetings wishes in a more timely, graceful, or obviously heartfelt manner, but real life intervened/interfered, as it does so often. Around these parts, owing in equal measure to outside influences and internal convolution, ideas tend to form and arrive on one of two schedules: preemptive or procrastination. I hope you had the finest and fullest of turkey days and experienced the very blackest of Fridays, that you had sufficient opportunity to bask in the loving glow of your family and/or friends and/or 42” television, and that all participants survived the experience with their limbs, digits, and senses of humor intact. Like most holidays, the extended Thanksgiving stopover requires from me a decent bit of driving to get from central Ohio to east Tennessee and back again. It’s a journey I’ve taken so many times now that it’s practically imprinted in my DNA, and, horror of horrors, the return trip falls, far more often than not, on Sunday afternoon. Nothing has the potential to add figurative hours of teeth-gnashing, blood vessel-popping hilarity to the several actual hours you’ve invested in returning home than listening to Pittsburgh Steeler football in real time, Continue reading “Steelers Thoughts #11 (11/30/15): Deep Breathing Exercises”

Beauty before age: Saul “Canelo” Alvarez UD12 Miguel Cotto

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Once imagined as an answered prayer, the long-awaited showdown between the two greatest fighters of this generation, Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, was instead a fairly epic failure, widely purchased and even more widely reviled, and, months later, lingers as a topic of uncomfortable conversation and a general pox on the house of boxing. Gun-shy consumers still smarting in the aftermath of May’s grand non-event voted with their shuttered wallets when offered the opportunity earlier this fall to anoint a new pay-per-view star, Kazakh destroyer Gennady Golovkin. Even from the perspective of someone who did not buy that fight card live, or particularly feel it PPV-worthy, it was still a disappointing result, despite solid in ring efforts at the top from Golovkin and direct support Roman Gonzalez, the post-Floyd world’s current #1 pound for pound entrant. Continue reading “Beauty before age: Saul “Canelo” Alvarez UD12 Miguel Cotto”

DVR Hindsight #14 (11/17/15): Gotham and/or/vs. Supergirl

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Batman and Superman aren’t only doing battle on movie screens next summer. In the relative calm before the computer-generated storm that will be Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice, they are already fighting by proxy on television as their B-teams (for the latter, his fair-haired, similarly-powered, older cousin and assorted cross-overs/hangers-on; for the former, no less than the collected origin stories of the caped crusader, police commissioner Jim Gordon, and the top two to three tiers of his infamous “rogue’s gallery” of enemies) take a field that a, scant few years ago, contained the barest trace of superhero DNA and no horizon to speak of, but today boasts no fewer than six separate shows (and even more if you count streaming services). “Batman vs. Superman” has been a passionate and evergreen alpha-hero debate among comic book fans for more than twice as long as I’ve been alive, but this latest round, willed into existence and shoehorned clumsily into place by the rivalry between two of the biggest networks on broadcast television, just doesn’t have a consequential feel to it yet. Continue reading “DVR Hindsight #14 (11/17/15): Gotham and/or/vs. Supergirl”

Movie review: “Spectre” (2015)

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“You are a kite dancing in a hurricane, Mr. Bond…”

Even as it ostensibly seeks to promote him, the world press, particularly its internet contingent, sometimes seems in an awful rush to retire James Bond, if not bury him outright. It shares, in this odd attitude, some measure of common cause with his equally rash, often overmatched on-screen adversaries, which is ironic and also not a little apt, seeing as neither party ever seems capable of shutting up at the moment it might prove most to his advantage. In the months leading up to the release of Bond’s 24th official outing, the beleaguered but oft bedeviling Spectre, the air online has been choked with complaints and conjecture of multiple, maddening, often intertwining varieties. This is, of course, part and parcel anymore to the promotion of any “event” film existing at the rarified level of a new Bond, but all the counter-programming and cross-channel squawking this time around felt, to me, excessive and desperate, grossly and instantly. Continue reading “Movie review: “Spectre” (2015)”

The tics, twists, and Pavlovian bells of “Rock Band 4”

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So it’s come to this. In a week literally bookended for me by two concerts in two states (one of which you’ll hear tell eventually and the other of which was perfectly awesome, but too short and sweet to fit this format), a mere four days removed from a month that is essentially a rolling, 31-day horror film festival, with my childhood favorite baseball team having just been brutally, decisively removed from World Series contention (Thank you so much for this year, Mets!) and my childhood favorite football team dealing with critically uneven play from its franchise QB fresh off the disabled list even as its league best RB goes down to a heartrending, season-ending injury, have I somehow run out of things to talk about? Nah. It’s just that I’ve found this new thing, this one time. Continue reading “The tics, twists, and Pavlovian bells of “Rock Band 4””