Friday, December 29, 2006

a loaded gun won't set you free

Some big gaps in updating again from me that I could blame on the holidays, which would be partially true, and also on the fact that I've enjoyed being lazy the last few days. In my defense, I have accomplished some of things of my winter break to-do list, but not as many as I'd like. Revamping the layout of this site is one of the things I still hope to accomplish in the next few days, but if I don't, the first couple weeks of the quarter should still give me some time to do it.

I'm also working on the 2006 Davie Awards. I'm sure you all just breathed a great sigh of relief after reading that. Rest assured, you can sleep easier knowing you'll get to find out all my favorites from the past year. I know you've just been dying to find out.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

you won't like what you see

That sure didn't look like a team interested in getting into the playoffs. It looked like a team trying to give away their wild card spot. Sure, the Colts game was the one game out of the final four that the Bengals could most afford to lose, but tonight was just pathetic. Nothing was clicking on offense. Not even the running game was that great, all though I had the bad feeling going into the game that after their terrible week against Jacksonville, the Colts' run defense was going to be out for redemption. The main problem went back to the offensive line, who were getting absolutely dominated. Losing Willie Anderson was one of the final nails in the coffin; Whitworth was getting schooled all night by Dwight Freeney on the right, but with Willie out we couldn't count on the right side either. Palmer had no time whatsoever to do anything. He had four fumbles, for crying out loud!

The wide receivers weren't looking too hot themselves either. The number of dropped passes is just inexcusable. And can we just go ahead and cut Chris Henry now? The guy obviously has no interest in playing because he never puts forth any effort. Chalk up another drop in the endzone for him, and how many times did he make a half-hearted, one-handed attempt to catch the ball? He seems to think he has better things to do, so let's not hold him up.

Some terrible coaching tonight too. Why, oh why, did we call a timeout on what was obviously a questionable catch by Chad early in the game?! Even if they needed to take a timeout to sort things out, snap the ball and spike it. It wasn't worth the timeout or all the lost yardage. Granted, I actually think it was a completion and the referee was wrong to reverse it (yes, initially it went through his hands but he caught it against his leg. It still never touched the ground) but it was clear that it was a close call. I couldn't believe we took a timeout and gave Indy all that time to decide on whether or not to challenge.

Plus, I don't know what Marvin was thinking in leaving Palmer in till the end. It was obvious that they'd already conceded the game when they kept punting instead of going for it on fourth down, so why leave your quarterback in to take more shots? He'd been getting pounded all game, and it was a stupid risk to take. In fact, Palmer's fourth fumble came late in the game when Anthony Wright should have been in instead. If you're going to admit defeat, don't take unnecessary risks.

Lastly, Chuck Bresnahan should publicly apologize for that defensive gameplan. Apparently he thought it would be a good idea to give the Colts a free 10 yards on every play. Just as long as we didn't give up a pass of 20 or more yards, it doesn't matter how many times they catch it short and run for extra yards. It was maybe a nice idea to start off, but we should have abandoned it after Manning had his way with us on short passes. I don't know how many times I saw the linebackers or safeties running away from the running back coming out of the backfield because they were afraid of a deep pass, only to have Manning dump it off and the back runs for a first down. The pass coverage was pathetic.

We can clinch a playoff spot with a win at Denver next week and losses from Buffalo and the Jets or Buffalo and Jacksonville. But more likely, we'll have to win at Denver next week and at home against Pittsburgh. We're going to need major adjustments.

Monday, December 18, 2006

like a halo in reverse

I have now been on break for over a week and I've still been too busy to post anything till now. Okay, either too busy or too lazy. Part of the reason I've been busy is that Jason Burkee dropped in to stay with us for a few days while he's back in the States. It was great to catch up with him and hear about how things are going in the Army. Thankfully he's out of Iraq and shouldn't have to go back again if everything goes the way it should. Now he's back in Germany for the 14 months he has left. The four or five days he was here went by too fast, but I'm really glad he gave up some time with his family in Denver to visit us.

While he was here we saw Stranger Than Fiction, which was fantastic. It's the best kind of comedy; it's funny, sincere, and has a deeper message at the same time. Will Farrell really showed how great of an actor he can be when given a part that demands it. He's a perfect blend of funny and emotional, and it was a refreshing change from his usual roles in movies like Talladega Nights or Anchorman.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

from ethers tragic i am born again

I can understand why a lot of people would not like The Fountain. I can see why the idea of three parallel storylines involving a Spanish conquistador searching for the Tree of Life in order to save his queen, a brain surgeon trying to cure his dying wife's cancer, and a monk or Zen master floating with a tree in some sort of space-worthy bubble on a journey across the cosmos several hundred years or so in the future would not appeal to many individuals. By the way, the conquistador, brain surgeon, and Zen astronaut are all the same person. Or are they? (don't worry, this all becomes apparent in the first 10 minutes of the movie, so it isn't really a spoiler) Does that sound pretentious to you? Well that's because it is; it's a Darren Aronofsky film and he's all about being ambitious and pretentious. The answer to whether or not you should see the movie is if the pretentiousness of the plot intrigues you or turns you off. Personally, I'll take the pretentiousness of The Fountain over something like Apocalypto. But I'm not too surprised that it's doing poorly at the box office.

Almost all of the special effects were done without the aid of CGI, and the result is fantastic. The images of the space odyssey are some of the best I've seen in a movie. Clint Mansell's score is fantastic. I think he must be one of the most under-appreciated film composers today.

Monday, December 04, 2006

see us together chasing the moonlight

Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis on Saturday issued his thanks to Cincinnati fans for their support during Thursday’s victory over Baltimore at Paul Brown Stadium.

“On behalf of everyone in our organization, I want to say how incredible our crowd was at the Ravens game,” Lewis said. “The noise was particularly outstanding. A number of our defensive players commented to me about it, so I know it gave Baltimore’s offense a difficult situation to deal with.

“The fans came out in great numbers,” Lewis continued, “even though it was a very wet night with the threat of storms in the area. They stood up for our team and came out and gave us the atmosphere we always strive to have in The Jungle. I want them to know how much it’s appreciated and how we look forward to the same level of support for our last two regular-season games against the Raiders and the Steelers.”

Nice to know my screaming-till-my-throat-was-raw was appreciated. I thought we were a great crowd too, and it was a huge win. Seven scoreless quarters in a row? Both sides of the ball are picking up steam at a crucial time. The Bengals need to keep this momentum rolling to win at least three of the next four, especially the game in Denver.