Monday, August 30, 2004

The Weekend in Review

Rambling while preparing the Kankas for Ellen's (and Dave's) Visit

  • I'll start with an "in case you haven't seen this yet" link: Jeremy Bloom's thoughts on the NCAA and their decision. At least Bloom can rest a little easier with Mike Williams also sitting out this year.

  • While we're linking, I give you the Rally Squirrel, the star of Cleveland's recent comeback over the Yankees. Unfortunately, only decided that the YES Network's coverage was worth posting. (movie link - might not want to play this at work)

  • Watching ESPN's "behind the scenes" of the USC-Virginia Tech game only made me hate television studios even more. You're supposed to cover the game as it happens, not tell them when and how to play! Idiots.

  • Speaking of the game: wow, VT almost had that one. If they hadn't laid over and died after that crap pass interference call (he was moving around the guy, not pushing him out of the way), USC is in a decent sized hole.

  • Speaking of ESPN's college football coverage: How many times this year will I catch myself saying this this year: "wow, Trev Alberts is actually making
  • sense this year. Oh wait, that's Craig James." Sounds like something my dad or Dave's dad (or Sports Guy's dad) would end up doing.
  • Still speaking of ESPN college football, it's official: College Gameday will be on campus again for the ND-Michigan game. I wonder how Fired-Up Friend Todd will be able to contain himself.

  • Mike Brey has named his captains for the upcoming season: seniors Chris Thomas and Jordan Cornette, and juniors Torin Francis and Chris Quinn. Cornette and Thomas are obvious, but Francis and Quinn are probably the surprises here. With Francis, perhaps not, since his solid play on the court is almost like natural leadership. In Quinn's case, it may be a strategical push (or a kick in the seat) on Brey's - go out there and play like you're a leader, like you're in charge. It could mean big things for ND's "other" starting guard.

  • Kanka's Sports page is getting a little more minor publicity. Apparently, Yahoo's Finance department has a separate message board for each company/stock. Well, someone on Sirius's message board apparently liked my comment about Sirius's Tom Brady commercial. Link here.

OK, so I happened to be in the room while my sister was watching the MTV awards last night. I pretended to be reading, but I kept peeking over my book for column fodder. Here are the highlights.

  • The first thing i saw was, reunited after five years, P. Diddy and Mase. Wow, it's almost like Simon and Garfunkle, but not as interesting. They were there to unveil their new slogan: "Vote or Die." Well, it is important for the youf of America to get out there and vote.

  • The award that Diddy and Mase presented went to an Usher song featuring Ludacris and Lil John. The stage was the biggest posse convention I had ever seen.

  • I will give the VMAs credit - they were very fired up about music history this year. LL Cool J called Alicia Keys this generation's Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder performed, Keys gave a 20 second tribute to Ray Charles (should have been much longer), and of course Dave Chappelle gave a shoutout to Rick James. When Usher won an award, he credited Michael Jackson, and - surprise - Jackie Wilson ("Your Love Keeps Lifting Me Higher and Higher") as dancing influences. It's nice to see someone remembers these people.

  • My favorite moment of the night came during Alicia Key's performance (and it wasn't just because Keys is nice to look at). Keys began singing one of her songs on piano, then the house lights came up on her band and a second piano player - Stevie Wonder. After that song finished, they broke into "Higher Ground" with Lenny Kravitz. Fun to watch. As I watched, though, I thought how funny it was to see a semi-Cosby Show reunion. Not only was the night a celebration of bthe history of black culture (a constant favorite theme of Cosby's - see previous point), but the performers all had Cosby ties: Keys was an extra, Wonder a special guest star, and Kravitz was formerly married to Lisa "Denise" Bonet. All that was missing was Adam Sandler (extra/friend of Theo's) on guitar.

  • Several female Olympic gold medalists were introduced during the show. I'd like to know who had the idea of standing Kerri Walsh (tall blonde beach volleyballer) next to gymnast Carly Patterson.

  • It's absolutely amazing that the Beastie Boys are still doing the 80s rapper thing, even with gray hair. They're doing it well, too.

  • To introduce a bit, Nick Lachey and Paris Hilton came out on a floating stage (think a cage from Heartland suspended by wires from the ceiling). The two stare at the wrong camera for 45 seconds until finally they turn, and Paris says, "Oh, over there!" My sister's comment: "Nick's probably thinking, 'finally I'm with someone dumber than Jessica.'"

  • The act these two introduced was supposed to be a group of "up and comers." It was a group of 12 people, all with long hair and robes. There was a male lead singer, 7 instrumentalists including brass, and 6 female backup singers. The song they sang was some sort of psychedelic showtune. While watching this, I could think: when did "Jesus Christ Superstar" become a music genre? The best part was the scattered cheering from the crowd. It was as if they were saying, "this sucks, but MTV is telling us we should like it, so maybe we should cheer."

That's it for today. Look for a Transaction wire Thursday morning, then my first ND football preview of the year Friday morning.