Friday, March 09, 2007

Friday Fill 'Er Up Regular, Please

Oh, where to begin ...

Okay let's start with Idol, hit some college hoops and see what else we have time for.

Big shocker on the elimination show last night and no one was more outraged than Paula Abdul, who was reduced to spluttering incoherence, as opposed to her usual fawning incoherence. Sundance was sent off into the sunset a little earlier than I expected, as were Sabrina and Jared, but none of them were going to win this thing anyway. Neither was Antonella, who also went home last night. As for the huge announcement that American Idol is going to help fight poverty in Africa and in the U.S., well, good for American Idol. My favorite part of the video they showed was when the little boy ran away from Ryan Seacreast; that boy is clearly wise beyond his years. Of course, if you are a sick and twisted individual like I am, when the village children's choir was singing for Simon, you were waiting for him to tell them how "ghaastly" their singing was. "And your outfits are harrible; they look like some sort of dreadful, ill-fitting school uniforms."

But enough of that. Tune in next week, as American Idol voters continue to befuddle the judges and rational people everywhere. By the way, if you think Sanjaya is gone next week, think again. It's Diana Ross Week. Hello, Fabulous!

This is the real March Madness. So few teams have a real shot at winning the national championship, there is so much hype about just getting into the tournament, and when you add in the conference rivalries, you get some real drama. Yesterday, I watched the Terps fall flat on their faces against Miami (again) and after dinner, I saw an overtime ending in the A-10, a double-OT in the Big East, Duke losing in OT, and there were Pac-10 and Big 12 games as well.

And I watched a very ugly 58-48 GW win over St. Joe's. How ugly was it? 41 combined turnovers ugly. 34% combined shooting percentage ugly. St. Joe's got its 11th and final field goal of the game with two minutes to play in the game ugly. Now, that's a great defensive effort by the Colonials, but they almost didn't get enough from their offense to offset such a pathetic total by the Hawks. The Colonials led 33-21 at the start of the second half, scored four points in the next nine minutes and still led by six. It didn't get much better as the half went on. At one point, GW committed four straight turnovers, the last when Damien Hollis swung the ball around the perimeter with a crisply delivered chest pass right to the referee. The Hawks capitalized on this error with a brilliant bounce pass through a teammate's legs and out of bounds. And this wasn't one of those boring, Wisconsin-type games where the teams slow it down and grind it out; the ball was flying up and down the court, just not into the basket, which is still the object of the game.

So tonight the Colonials get St. Louis, whom they lost to on the road in the beginning of February. Like St. Joe, St. Louis likes to pound the ball inside. Last night, GW was able to put enough pressure on the perimeter to keep the Hawks from getting in the lane, and they need to replicate that performance, but they also need a better offensive output.

So here's the ACC question of the week: if Florida State gets to the final, does the ACC get eight bids? I hope not, so I guess Georgia Tech gets bounced. I would love to see Duke get left out, but who's kidding whom?

I mentioned earlier in the week that I took the kids to the movies. We saw Bridge to Terabithia, which was fine for them, so-so for me (salvaged mainly by the delightfully deliquescent Zooey Deschanel who plays the uberhip, Steve Earle-singing music teacher. The school employs her but has no art program at all? Okay, I guess I am nitpicking). I never read the book, so I can't compare - I think it's in that Madeline L'Engle, Ursula Le Guin, Anne McCaffrey sort of canon that never quite appealled to me like the Lord of the Rings or Conan or Piers Anthony did. Anyway, as the movie began, my younger son informed me that his friend told him that one of the female characters dies during the film. As the plot unfolded, we met several female characters, and as each one spoke, he turned to me and said, "I think she dies." Eventually, he was right.

What I really want to do here is provide a public service warning to all parents and tell you about the previews for all the movies that your kids will want to see in the coming months. First, we saw a very brief trailer for Underdog. This looks terrible, but wasn't the original cartoon pretty bad? I get it confused with Hong-Kong Phooey, which I think was much better. If you want Underdog-based entertianlment, take a look at
this. Also, there is an animated Disney-Pixar joint called Meet the Robinsons which you'll be seeing whether you want to or not because the hype machine will be cranking up to DEFCON 1 over the next few weeks. Usually Disney kills off one of its young protagonist's parents, but they are upping the ante on this one and making him an orphan. Ice Cube returns to the screen for Are We Done Yet?, a sequel to Are We There Yet? "Did we see that one?" I asked my sons. "Yeah, it was hilarious." I remain skeptical. In the Cute Widdle Animal category, we have Firehouse Dog, about a superstar Hollywood pooch who is found by a young boy badly in need of some self-esteem. Piece of cake for this canine, who also saves people from burning buildings and solves the global warming crisis. I'm sure there were others, but I may have missed them in the aftermath of a tragic nachos incident.

Enjoy your weekend.

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