Thursday, February 08, 2007

Snow Day = Slow Day

Slow day for FitzFacts writing that is. Yes, actual snow fell from the sky on Tuesday night. And despite the fact that Tony Montana had more snow on his desk at the end of Scarface than I had on my front lawn yesterday morning, the county schools were closed. So the boys slept in and ate a late breakfast and then demanded that I take them to their school ... because that's where the good sledding hills are, of course. We arrived to find that most of the inch-and-a-half layer had blown away and one trip down the hill pretty much cleared away the rest. But they were happy to slide bumpily and muddily for about an hour before deciding that the hour of the hot cocoa was upon us. And so we went home.

Now, today, it's still cold, but the school bus arrived on schedule, so I should have time for a quick spin 'round the old blogosphere. Just hang on a second while I make sure I've got everything I need. Steel mallet, pepper spray, hunting knife, rubber tubing, adult diapers, okay, I think we're good to go. Alright, alright, I only have two questions about this whole astronaut thing ("Paging New Order, New Order to the stage please"). First, can we stop comparing her
NASA publicity photo to her mug shot? Yes, in her arrest photo, she looks like a cross between Heidi Fleiss and the Runaway Bride, but does anybody look good in a mug shot (I mean, besides Tom DeLay)? Second question, if you are going to drive 900 miles to confront a romantic rival without stopping for bathroom breaks, what music do you choose for the road? What, you don't have a Freakishly Organized Homicidal Rage playlist on your iPod? Actually, I think she went with one song over and over again, like, I don't know, Life is a Highway. And not the new Rascal Flatts version, but the original from Tom Cochrane's aptly-titled 1991 album, Mad Mad World? Either that or some Dr. Phil Self-Empowerment tapes.

Next in the news, former Penn State and NBA player John Amaechi has apparently decided to speak publicly about his homosexuality on an upcoming edition of ESPN's Outside the Lines. You know, I am not surprised by this. I remember watching him in college and thinking to myself, "
He's so articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy." Alright, seriously, good for him and good for the NBA. Having spent plenty of time in sports team locker rooms, I think this is something that will take a long time for some people to get used to, and maybe some of them never will, but if someone is willing to talk about it, at least there is an opportunity for the rest of us to show some support, and already I have seen some interesting comments.

For instance, yesterday, I heard Loyola College basketball coach Jimmy Patsos reply to a hypothetical question about how having a homosexual player on his team might affect recruiting. His reply went along the lines of, "Well, how good is he?" The radio host snickered, but Patsos went on, saying something like, "If Michael Jordan was gay, I don't think that would be a problem for his team or his coach." Exactly. Judge your teammates by their performance on the court. And for all of you concerned about who might be watching you in the shower, listen up. People play a sport for a lot of reasons, but I'd be willing to bet that checking out your hot teammates has got to be pretty low on the list. For well-reasoned, thoughtful analysis of this issue (and everything else related to the NBA) listen to the wisdom of Henry at

Okay, what else? I guess I should apologize to Antawn Jamison. I've questioned his defensive ability in the past and argued that the Wizards should trade him for a more athletic rebounder and defender, but his current stint on the injured list shows just how important he is, and not just to Washington's offense. Since Jamison went down against Detroit, the Wiz have lost three of four and surrendered about 116 points per game, 10 higher than their season average. The best-case spin of this situation is that it's an opportunity for Andray Blatche to develop with some quality minutes, and first place in the Eastern Conference might not be so desirable anyway, with Miami making a drive for the playoffs behind a healthy Shaq and DWade. Should be fun to watch teams try to dodge that bullet down the stretch of the regular season.

I really tried to watch the Wiz last night, but somebody turned back the Spurs' clock a couple years and Parker, Duncan and Ginobili put the wood to Washington in a way that recently-deceased Texan Molly Ivins would certainly have appreciated. And then I was sort of enjoying UNC's win at Duke (not as much as Bog Poll voter Robert Lintott, who had this gem of a pithy comment, "Every time Duke loses an angel gets its wings... thank you UVA"), but what grabbed my attention and my remote control was American Movie Classics' showing of Starman. What an underrated 80s gem this movie is. Alien crashes into earth and assumes the form of the dead husband of a woman who helps him get back to his planet. Yes, it's heavy on the evil government scenario and there's much unsubtle Jesus imagery, but Jeff Bridges always makes me laugh and Karen Allen, well, you loved her in Animal House, you loved her in Raiders of the Lost Ark and you'll love her in Starman because she gets wonderful treatment from director John Carpenter. It would be tough to make this movie now, what with GPS and cell phones, and the idea that a state trooper would take orders from some antiauthoritarian science geek might be more implausible than the whole concept of alien visitation, but by that point in the movie, you are willing to see it through. I've never been tempted to pick it up at Blockbuster, but it's definitely worth a stop when it pops up onscreen.

I didn't watch much of the Idol this week, but I am told by my sons that my slam dunk pick Sarah Krueger has some competition in one Bailey Brown. When I asked them to make their own pick, my older boy wisely said, "It's too early."

And, finally, the Colonials, who followed up a nice win at Rhode Island with losses on the road to Dayton and St. Louis last week. They were in both games late in the second half but couldn't get the defensive stop or the crucial bucket when they had to have it. Diehards are clinging to a wisp of hope for an at-large NCAA bid, but first GW has to win on at home on Saturday against Xavier. The Musketeers have also lost three conference games on the road, so don't count on seeing the Colonials' 24-game home win streak in A-10 play come to an end this weekend.

Alright, that's all I got today. Can only imagine what tomorrow will bring.

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