Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Cotton Bowl

It's Nebraska versus Auburn! To most people in the United States, it's a "Who Gives A Shit" bowl game. To fans of the two programs, and several intermittent casual observers, this could shape up to be a good game.

Just to fans? Are there no ramifications, win or lose?

Good question, Ron. There are no championship ramifications. There are, however ramifications of perception.

If you were to read Huskerpedia, and saw this thread that I have linked right here in this oddly-colored text, you would see a thread that is a debate on whether "must win" games actually even exist. The apologists are out in full force with sarcasm. For example, the blithering idiot, HuskerNCorpus, says "Looking at the 2007 schedule, I think it's clear we have 14 must-win games (including the Big12 CG and the bowl game). If we lose one of those "must-win" games, something seriously catastrophic will happen to the program. 2008...I haven't seen the entire schedule, but you can bet on NU having at least 13 must-win games."

HnC, stop baiting people and open your eyes. On various boards, you see, prior to each game, excuses being formed before the first snap. Then when it is noticed, the irritating game of semantics begins. Here is the bottom line. Every game needs to be looked at as a "must win" game. We are the Cornhuskers, for crying out loud, not Iowa State, Kansas, or Colorado. Parity is a bullshit excuse, as well. It is irrelevant when it comes to our expectations. When we start talking about acceptable losses, losing becomes acceptable. Every time the World's Most Ignorant Man, Jim Rose, talks about what awesome losses we have, he needs his teeth kicked in.

This is not to say that their is to be rioting, raping, and pillaging after a loss. Far from it. We need to learn from it, and move on. Losing is not an option. Will it happen? Yes. But the philosophy of winning has apparently become dumbed down by the same people who wanted Solich burnt alive, while his family was executed.

Solich had to go, so we could continue/rebuild to dominance. There is no such thing as "restoring the order" when you start talking about which losses are ok, and which losses aren't. I call that continuing the Solich order.

In the Cotton Bowl, fans are apparently showing their distaste for losing. $10 a ticket. Are you kidding me? They'll be giving them away at Jack in the Box pretty soon to every third customer.

Stop with the stupid excuses, realize that we demand a winning program, and watch the program deliver that. When your expectations are set high, great programs deliver high results. When your expectations revolve around excuses, apologists, and overall douche-baggery, then you get failure.


Rocky Balboa

30 years later, Sylvester Stallone is releasing a Rocky movie. I was a little apprehensive at first, considering what happened in the 5th installment. However, that was a long time ago, and I was willing to wipe the slate clean. After all, the Rocky movies before this were like a dentist survey.

I saw a trailer for it quite some time ago, and it actually looked pretty good! I was excited for a Rocky movie!

About a week before the release, I started seeing some reviews for the film. Mostly positive!? Now I was really jazzed. Could this be the movie that wraps up the story with some dignity?

I resisted the urge to have a Rocky marathon before heading to the theater. I only own 1 through 4. In the world I live in, Stallone was kidnapped by North Korea and forced to make Rocky 5. I did, however, watch The Office. Completely unrelated, sure, but the Christmas episode was a riot.

My duaghter and I headed out to the movie for the biggest dice-roll movie I have gone to in a long time. I generally have a gut feeling on whether or not a movie will suck completely, or be great, or just plain good. I had no real feel for this one. My daughter was very excited. She is a big Rocky fan.

The theater was pretty packed, considering it shows 793 different movies. We got a large popcorn with butter, a bottle of water for her, and a large Mr. Pibb for me. I smuggled in some plain M & M's, which is the usual M.O. I can't have popcorn without chocolate. It's really the only personality quirk I have, besides schizophrenia. And a third arm growing out of the middle of my back...don't get me started.

SPOILER ALERT! Do not read further if you do not want to hear about Rocky Balboa, the movie.

I am not going to do a scene by scene breakdown, but I will say that Stallone pulled it off in a big way. For someone who physically was not in the movie, Adrian was a huge part of the movie. She dies of cancer, and Rocky is left in Philly running an Italian joint called Adrian's. I like that it wasn't some big chain-like place, but a quaint little joint where you can get your arteries clogged with some good food.

Rocky's son works in the corporate world, and is trying to get out of his dad's shadow. Their relationship isn't strained really, but Rocky Jr. is sure making it that way.

Long story short, ESPN does a computer simulation that pits current champ Mason Dixon, believably played by Antonio Tarver (he probably didn't have to research the role much), against Rocky. Rocky wins by knockout. Dixon is seen as a guy who is the champ of crap, really, as the heavyweight division is a joke, and he is the champ of a joke division, with no real competition.

Rocky catches wind and decides he wants to fight again...nothing bug, just some small club fights. Dixon's camp hears Rocky was granted a lisence to fight, and go after Rocky in an effort to provide the champ with some validity. Rocky accepts. Rocky fights Dixon. I won't spoil the ending of the fight in case you have not seen it.

The champ and Rocky come out looking great, and Rocky quenches his thirst for fighting again. Next stop: Rambo.

That's just a high-level overview of the movie. The movie's character interaction was so much better than I anticipated. I've seen some critics slam Stallone for being self-indulgent here, or having Rocky's life mirror his own. So what? Rocky wanted another chance to comeback, and so does Stallone. The ones who think he should remain in the video rental bargain bin are the ones who are maybe a bit more self-obsessed here.

There are some other people who were slamming the use of previous footage in the form of flashbacks. After such a long time between movies, it may not hurt to use those to clue people in. I saw nothing wrong with it or thought it was overdone.

Rocky's relationship with his son and Marie, the young girl from the first movie, was all good stuff. In fact, it was, to me, the best part of the movie. Unless you are a heartless jerk, you can't help but root for Rocky again. I saw it twice.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Odd Ramblings

I have Not finished reading this book yet, but about half-way through, I can say it is an excellent read. I read 90 pages in one sitting. Form me to keep my attention that long is unheard of.
Gaiman mixes creepy and humor better than anyone I've read, with compelling characters and hilarious dialogue. Pick up this book! I also suggest Neverwhere and American Gods by the same author. Very good books.
Nebraska faces Auburn in the Cotton Bowl. I look forward to this game. Auburn has a good program, and their name doesn't start with "Notre" and end with "Dame". I had a 6 or 7 page dissertation of the Big 12 championship game ready to go, and I apparently closed the window on accident and didn't save any work. That was a fun, profanity-laden moment. In a nutshell, I was disappointed in the outcome, and am hoping the time off will be useful for the team. Everyone and their mom seems to be picking Auburn, with a few exceptions. I haven't watched Auburn play, so I reserve any predictions for those who think they are experts.
Travelling for the holidays? Me, too. Hope everyone enjoys their holiday season!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Old News is Good News

Zac Taylor receives quite the honor in the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year. The guy is totally awesome, and if he pursues the NFL, I will be rooting for whatever team he ends up with. Zac is the quintessential leader, and he's tough as nails.

I am excited to see what Callahan has in mind for the QB spot next year. Zac has obviously been critical to the success of the team, and I hope a guy like Ganz or Keller can step in with a smooth transition.

Oklahoma is on the horizon, and it seems like NU, according to the media, is quite the underdog. I think we can pull this one off. Coach Callahan and the team are having a great season, and I hope Zac's last two games are W's.