At the highest level, as well at various other points along the curve, there is an obvious line of demarcation separating the sports observer from the sports participant. Most everyone enjoys athletic endeavors in one way or other, but if big time sports – any or all of them – were particularly easy, most everyone would give them their very best effort, and such effort would often be sufficient to win through. Instead of watching the NCAA Elite Eight or World Championship Boxing on an action-packed Saturday night in late March, broadcast bandwidth would be choked with an endless procession of club teams and pug fighters in rote or at least never especially scintillating matchups, far removed from the presence of legitimate excellence, not to mention any effort to define it. A motivated and/or especially ignorant cynic could easily assert that that is what boxing has become anyway, or, perhaps, has always been. Continue reading “Surgical Steel: Andre Ward UD12 Sullivan Barrera” →
Comedy gold is minable from all corners of the internet at any given time. For instance, I got a chuckle yesterday upon closer inspection of a picture taken Monday at the ongoing NFL Owner’s Meetings in Boca Raton, which assembled 7/8 of the league’s current head coaching fraternity into a canned moment suitable to be immortalized and treasured just shy of forever. I’m ashamed to admit I only fully recognized thirteen of the twenty-eight commandantes in this class picture, including three from the Steelers’ home division*. Jeff Fisher and John Fox canoodled like (only) momentarily interrupted drinking buddies. Rex Ryan looked like he desperately wanted to sell you something from the Bills’ Pro Shop. Bruce Arians looked like he was late for his tee time. Ron Rivera looked like a guy whose team just went to the Super Bowl, though, oddly enough, not as much as did beaming Bengals coach Marvin Lewis, whose team I’m utterly, earthshakingly certain did not. Continue reading “Steelers Thoughts #13 (3/23/16): Runaway Baggage Carousel!” →
WARNING: Massive spoilers ahoy. Tread lightly.
Another picturesque morning dawns at Downton Abbey and finds the extended Crawley clan – Lord Robert Grantham and his wife, Lady Cora; their headstrong and heretofore unattainable daughter Mary, with her freshly pressed husband of less than five cumulative wedded minutes onscreen, the former race car driver Henry, and her young son from a previous marriage, George; their perpetually lightning struck middle daughter turned surprisingly capable modern woman, Edith, and her official “ward” but natural daughter, Marigold; their Irish widower son-in-law, the former revolutionary turned estate agent and erstwhile matchmaker, Tom, with his daughter Sybil (named after his late wife, the Grantham’s youngest daughter); their cousin Isobel, sensible, empathetic mother of the former widow Mary’s late first husband – strolling the grounds and talking idly about this plan or the other, in no particular apparent hurry to get any underway. To see this group of “formers” together, content, convivial, and out of doors, freed of the magnificent bunker that is its ancestral castle and largely unencumbered even by fawning servants, is our first indication that things have somewhat changed Continue reading “Parting thoughts on “Downton Abbey”” →
The proliferation of online streaming options may have more or less stabilized, but the biggest services in the game have also expanded both their offerings and scope. More new television is being produced now than at any time in the history of the medium, to say nothing of the numerous worthy series that may have originally fallen through the cracks only to eventually return to compete side-by-side with them for your viewing attention. With a veritable bottomless pit of television choices culled from sources past and current, premium and broadcast, online and terrestrial, making the decision to finally watch one series over another (or, indeed, all of them) can be excruciating. Luckily, all shows, in a throwback to the age when they competed for set airtime rather than free-roaming eyeballs, tend to put their best foot forward with their premiere, or pilot, episode. “Pilot to Bombardier”, then, is a semi-regular column where DAE reviews pilots for a trio of shows pulled from its massive, crushing backlog of as yet unwatched streaming and conventional viewing options in an attempt to determine which definitely deserve a further look and which might be safely discarded. Continue reading “Pilot to Bombardier #1 (3/4/16): Girls Love Arrow” →