Entries from January 2007 ↓

Odds and Ends

I havenít blogged in over a week and even now donít have much to say. Just a few odds and end on various topics, delivered here in no particular order.

For the first since Iíve been a voting member, I had more of my picks correct than incorrect for the Screen Actors Guild Awards, given out last Sunday night. I got 7 right and 6 wrong. I was particularly happy to see Eddie Murphy win. I finally got around to seeing Dreamgirls just the week before and really liked the work he did in that picture. Heís got a career doing more dramatic work if he wants to pursue it. But Norbit may be a bit of a setback.

SAG Awards time is about the only time of the year when I feel like a big shot. Regular ole no name members like me get to vote and the studios actively court us. I got a free pass to see Dreamgirls, along with passes to see The Queen and Babel, although the former arrived a day late and the latter was for a theater chain that stopped honoring them. I also got DVDs of The Departed, which Iíd already seen, Venus, and just arriving in the mail today, several days late, Little Miss Sunshine.

I was genuinely sad to hear that Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro had to be euthanized although it was far from unexpected. Yes, you can argue that too much has been made over the life of an animal, but what was interesting to me was the very fact that his owners even cared enough to try to save his life. Horse racingís dirty little secret is that far more horses get ďput downĒ than ever get put out to stud. Only winning horses get that retirement, which is why Barbaro got the medical treatment he did. Had he been well enough to sire offspring, he could have easily earned back in stud fees the money spent on training, racing and treating him. But the vast majority of race horses, most of them losers, are of little value to their owners should they get injured or once their racing days are over. Quiet as it is kept, they wind up going to the glue factory or turned into dog food. No lie.

Two weeks ago for my birthday, I saw the Signature Theatre Company’s production of August Wilson’s Two Trains Running. It was simply excellent in every possible way. Frankie Faison and Arthur French were partiularly memorable, but the entire cast was brilliant. Now comes word that the third play in the Signature’s tribute to Wilson, King Hedley II, sold out its entire run in just 48 hours when tickets went on sale Jan. 22. Theatre-goers were waiting in line outside the way sports fans line up for playoff tickets.

This Friday, some friends and I will take in the 100th Millrose Games indoor track and field meet at Madison Square Garden. This is the second year in a row I will have attended and in addition to seeing great competitors, there is some of the best eye candy both on the track and in the stands. Itís a ďke-keĒ event that apparently not a lot of non-sports fans know about, otherwise NYC might have developed a weekend of social events around it in the same way the Penn Relays led to the Black Pride weekend in Philly. Maybe one day.

On a topic I may discuss further at some later date, with all the talk of Democratic and Republican presidential hopefuls, and will it be Hillary or Barack, I just want to remind everyone that we have 22 months before the presidential election. Twenty-two months! Primaries aren’t until next year, and we wonít vote until November 2008, yet some people are acting as if we must decide on a candidate now. Not only do I refuse to play along but I donít think such an early start to the campaign is in anyoneís best interest. Certainly not the voters.

Thereís an outside chance my voiceover career isnít over yet, but thatís about all I can say at this point. Hopefully Iíll have some good news in the near future.

Iíll post my official Super Bowl prediction either late Saturday or early Sunday.

The envelope pleaseÖ

Nominations for the 79th Academy Awards were announced this morning in Los Angeles, by Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Sid Ganis and Academy member and past Oscarģ nominee Salma Hayek.

The full list of nominees is posted here.

Despite multiple category wins at the Golden Globes, ďDreamgirlsĒ failed to receive a much anticipated nomination in the Best Picture category. However Best Supporting Actor and Actress nominations were handed out to Eddie Murphy and Jennifer Hudson, respectively. The film received eight nominations overall, leading all contenders.

Golden Globes winner Forest Whitaker received a Best Actor nomination for playing Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in ďThe Last King of ScotlandĒ and is considered the frontrunner. Will Smith was also nominated in that category for “The Pursuit of Happyness.”

Best Actress nominee Meryl Streep received her 14th nomination for ďThe Devil Wears Prada.Ē She is a two-time winner.

Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2006 will be presented on Sunday, February 25, 2007, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Centerģ. ??The Oscarsģ will be televised live on ABC at 5 p.m. PST (8 p.m. EST), beginning with a half-hour red carpet arrivals segment, ďThe Road to the Oscars.Ē

Post Game

The Chicago Bears defeated the New Orlean Saints 39-14 to become NFC Champions.

The Indianapolis Colts beat the New England Patriots 38-34 to win the AFC Championship.

So, for the first time in NFL history, two Black head coaches will face each other in the Super Bowl, Tony Dungy for the Colts and Lovie Smith of the Bears.

Super Bowl XLI will take place Sunday, February 4 in Miami, Florida.

Road to the Super Bowl: Week 3

Hello again, sports fans. If youíve been following along with my post season pigskin prognostications, then you know my picks have been positively pitiful, to continue the alliteration. I come into this weekendís Conference Championships with a 2-6 record and basically need to get all the remaining games right to get to 5-6, and may need to throw in the meaningless Pro Bowl to eek out a .500 record.

Needless to say, my picks are for entertainment purposes only. Please, no wagering.

This weekendís games will not make things any easier. Sundayís matchups look, on paper at least, to be two of the best games weíre likely to see all season and anyoneís guess as to who will win. The outcomes could also place at least one Black head coach in line to become the first to win a Super Bowl. With wins today, Lovie Smith of the Chicago Bears and Tony Dungy of the Indianapolis Colts, could also make it the first time two Black head football coaches face each other for the championship on February 4.

But in order to do that, they both have to get past two tough competitors. The Bears may be at home for the NFC Championship, where the weather forecast calls for snow showers, 11 mph winds and temps in the 20ís, but that may simply force the New Orleans Saints, who play indoors at the SuperDome, to rely on their running game. Deuce McAllister and Reggie Bush might be able to wear down the undersized Bears defense and if the Saints do go to the air, Drew Brees has had much success finding rookie Marques Colston while Bears defensive backs have been giving up points easily of late.

The Bears have the best record of all the remaining playoff teams because theyíve been able to get just enough from offense, defense and special teams. They rarely win pretty, but win they do. They will need all hands on deck again today and maybe a little assistance from Mother Nature to stop the Saints.

In the AFC game, havenít we seen this before? The matchup between the Colts and Patriots is starting to take on Red Sox vs Yankees proportions, with the Colts in the Red Sox role, typically falling short against their perennial rival. I think weíre all sick of hearing about Peyton Manning vs Tom Brady but until Manning wins the big one and leads his team to a championship, this set of goat horns will continue to hang on his head.

The Colts have proven they can beat New England, they just havenít demonstrated they can then go on to win it all. With that as motivation and a defense that has surprised the so-called experts by stepping up and shutting down the running games of both Kansas City and San Diego the past two weeks, they are capable of beating them again.

But you can never count out New England. They are the class of the NFL, the dominant team that just finds a way to win at this time of year. Personnel-wise, they are different from the teams that won Super Bowls in three out of four years, but still seem to have players making big plays when they need them. The game is in Indianapolis and the man who kicked so many game-winning field goals for the Patriots, Adam Vinatieri, now plays for the home team.

NFL Conference Championships
(My picks in bold; all times are eastern)

Sunday, Jan. 21

NFC Championship
New Orleans at Chicago
3:00 pm
FOX

AFC Championship
New England at Indianapolis
6:30 pm
CBS

Super Bowl XLI — Dolphin Stadium (South Florida)

Sunday, Feb. 4
AFC Champion vs. NFC Champion
6:25 pm
CBS

AFC-NFC Pro Bowl — Aloha Stadium (Honolulu, Hawaii)

Saturday, Feb. 10
NFC vs. AFC
6:00 pm
CBS

ABC Meme…

Well, Iíll be ding-donged. I woke up this morning and found myself tagged by this guy.

Since things have been slow around here, Iíll play along.

A. Available or Single? Single and available actually.
B. Best friend? Iíll get back to you.
C. Cake or pie? In deference to my waistline, Iíve cut back on both, but I make a mean apple pie.
D. Drink of choice? Orange juice.
E. Essential item? My computer.. Canít you tell?
F. Favorite color? I was told once by a spiritualist that golden yellow favors me. I believe her.
G. Gummi bears or worms? Neither.
H. Hometown? Poughkeepsie, NY
I. Indulgence? Edyís Fruit Bars. I eat them all year round, even in winter.
J. January or February? January is my birth month, but February usually spells the beginning of the end of winter. Iíll go with January though.
K. Kids and names? None.
L. Life incomplete without? Friendship and love
M. Marriage date? N/A
N. Number of Siblings? Five brothers (one deceased).
O. Oranges or Apples? As stated before, I love orange juice and apple pie. A toss up.
P. Phobias/fears? Fear of growing old alone.
Q. Favorite Quotation? ďInjustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.Ē Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
R. Reason to smile? When well-behaved little kids innocently act out their curiosity about the world around them.
S. Season? Spring and Fall. Not too hot, not too cold, sunny.
T. Tag three people: Karsh, Shawn and Taylor because I think they might accept it in the spirit of fun in which it was intended.
U. Unknown fact about me: HmmmÖ.there are many I could choose, but how about this one: I once gave Harry Belafonte a ride in my car.
V. Vegetable you hate: I like all vegetables.
W. Worst habit? Procrastination. Iím doing it now!
X. X-rays Iíve had: Dental, chest, back and foot.
Y. Your favorite food? Comfort food, in any cuisine. Big hearty meals eaten by common folk the world over are my favorites.
Z. Zodiac? Capricorn.