WELL, THAT WAS FUN: For the last, what, two months ESPN, ABC and various other sporting outlets were trying to lure me into watching the World Cup. Well, I caught a few minutes of the United State's game with the Czech Republic and came away with the same attitude that I brought into it....it sucked. Sorry, I'm not a soccer fan. I'm not a track and field fan, either....but I will watch when our national reputation is on the line [read: Olympics]. Well, that's gone now. The soccer experts inform me that when a team loses it's first match in Group Play....they usually don't advance. Those same experts inform me that the USA can't beat a European team in Europe. Their next match is against Italy.
This sorta has that feel like when you put your money in one of those crane things at the arcade. You know it's a rip-off...but for some reason you think there may be a chance you get something. Then, nope....the claw closes and that stuffed animal sits there as if it mocks you.
"CARS": My wife and I took her 3-yr old cousin to see the new Pixar movie "Cars" on Saturday. For sports fans, it has a take off of the Nextel Cup [though the film must have been started during the "Winston Cup" days since their trophy is the "Piston Cup"] and includes Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt Jr and Darrell Waltrip. It also has Michael Schumacher and Mario Andretti in cameos.
The movie has several plot/moral tales in there. The cocky rookie, Lightning McQueen [voiced by Owen Wilson], finishes a race in a three-way tie with The King [Petty] and Chick Hicks [Michael Keaton]. There will be a special race held the next weekend in California where those three cars will compete forthe Cup championship. The King is old and retiring....with his sponsorship most likely to side with the winner of the race.
The cocky little McQueen, on his way to Cali, gets stuck in a po-dunk town on old Route 66. Paul Newman, Bonnie Hunt, Cheech, George Carlin and others play cars who have businesses that are struggling in this once bustling town. Larry the Cable Guy [who I normally loathe, but he works perfectly here] voices the tow truck, Mater, who befriends McQueen. McQueen is sentenced to fix the main road in the town which he destroyed....and he can leave when he completes his task.
From there, without giving away much more than that setup, it is typical Pixar magic. Friends made, lessons learned and the computer animation is even more amazing than the aquatic world of Finding Nemo. The attention to detail in the huge race crowds and the amazing race sequences stunned me. If you got a kid around [especially boys], they should love this. And if you like these kind of Pixar flicks....find a kid and take 'em!
"GLORY ROAD": Also, this week, I watched Glory Road on DVD. I liked it...which surprised me since I heard many other sports fans rip the movie. Yes, there are things that I can rip it for. The fact that there weren't as many games as I'd like to see....and their tournament run included just a few games. In the championship game against Kentucky, you'd swear that the Wildcats' Pat Riley [who helped get the film made] was the Michael Jordan of his time. Also, there was so many "main characters" in the movie....and really none of them were greatly developed. Other than that....it was a good film. Not as good as Hoosiers...but not as bad as Blue Chips. But, I love any movie that depicts Adolph Rupp, coach of UKKK, in that light. Classic scene is when a black Texas Western player dives for a loose ball and falls onto Coach Rupp.
CAROLINA IS ONE WIN AWAY: The Canes won a hard foughtgame over the Oilers in a bubbling Edmonton. Now Carolina goes back to Raleigh to try to close the series out [they have a 3-1 lead]. My favorite comment: "The Cup is coming back where it belongs.....the South". Funny, until you realize that if the Canes do close it out....that makes two straight Cups won by southern teams over Canadian....heck, Alberta....teams. The Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Calgary Flames in the 2004 Cup Finals.
GRIMSLEY SUSPENDED 50 GAMES: Well, he'll never have a job in baseball again, anyways.
MIAMI IS STILL IN THIS THING: Miami is in trouble. Miami must win Game 3. But Miami isn't dead at all. If they win Game 3, they are down 2-1 against Dallas and have two more at home. They win Game 4, too....it's a tied series. If they win Game 5 [Miami is 8-1 at home in these playoffs], then they leave Miami with a 3-2 lead and a chance to eliminate the Mavs. I think Miami wins Game 3....and then they split with Dallas games 4 and 5....setting up a Dallas clinching win in Game 6.
OH THOSE REDS: After winning 8 straight games....and me writing about it here....the Cincinnati Reds have lost 4 straight. After beating the Astros and Cardinals three times each....on the road...they've lost to the Cubs and Brewers. Ah, to be a Reds fan!