Friday, November 16, 2007

"Nicotine + caffeine = protein"

Let's get the weekend started right with some great radio. No, I'm not talking about Aubrey Huff and Bubba the Love Sponge; I think the reaction to that appearance has been much more amusing than the show itself, though. Golfer John Daly has a new book out, and his 20-minute appearance on NPR's Fresh Air yesterday was highly entertaining. Biggest surprise: notorious hotel room-trasher Daly is a neat freak, a recovering compulsive bedmaker. Best line of the interview (about his diet regimen): "Nicotine and caffeine equal protein." I might just put this book on my Christmas list.

Hoops, hoops, hoops
Maryland wins their second straight squeaker at home against a theoretically inferior opponent. Northeastern went one better than Hampton and took the Terps to overtime, but free throws doomed the Huskies as they missed the front end of two one-and-ones with less than four minutes in regulation and could only convert one of three when trailing by three with five seconds left in overtime. And of course it was Greivis Vasquez who committed the foul on the attempted trey that sent Northeastern to the line. Vasquez made up for poor shooting (2-10) with 10 assists, two turnovers and six rebounds but he still makes some questionable choices at important moments in a game. James Gist was a stud on offense with 27 points, but Bambale Osby was the hero with 16 points, 13 boards, and six blocks. Anchoring the press, Osby forced the Huskies to back off of several two-on-one fast break opportunities in the second half. The Terps had better get their full-court pressure in gear by the time ACC season comes around because those guys will be able to finish breaks better than the Huskies.

Doesn't sound like I missed much by not seeing Georgetown's easy 74-52 win over Michigan last night. Anybody else think a football game between these two would be a little closer than that?

By the time I post this, VCU will likely be underway against Miami. Both teams are 2-0, but for some reason Glenn Consor called VCU's win over Houston an upset akin to Mercer beating USC and Gardner Webb over Kentucky. I guess Glenn missed the Rams' win over Duke in the NCAAs last year and is not aware that Eric Maynor is as good as any guard in the ACC. Get thee to a Bog Poll, Glenn!

In other Bog Poll team previews, I'm betting Virginia's two-game streak of scoring at least 90 points comes to an end at Arizona. Just like real estate sales, the key to George Mason staying undefeated when they host Dayton tomorrow night is location, location, location; visitors to Dayton generally attempt about half as many free throws as the Flyers. With Towson and Hampton losing this week, UMBC could move up if the Retrievers can continue their road rampage through the bottom of the A-10 tomorrow at Richmond. Virginia Tech is shakily standing pat on a win over Elon, but Old Dominion could very well knock them out if the Monarchs take out Toledo.

Switching quickly to the NBA, the Wizards look to win their third game in a row tonight against Minnesota after starting the season 0-5. Agent Zero went 3-8 from three-point range and 9-11 from the line in the team's last game; if he is rounding into form, the Wiz have a good chance to get back over .500 soon. Washington's next three opponents have a combined record of 11-15, and two of the three are home games.

Looks like a tough weekend for movies inspired by great novels. Robert Zemeckis, the innovator who brought us Back to the Future, Forrest Gump and Who Framed Roger Rabbit, has apparently missed the mark in applying the latest digital animation techniques to the 1300-year old story of Beowulf. I haven't seen it, but when you have a cast that includes John Malkovich, Anthony Hopkins, Angelina Jolie, Crispin Glover (brilliantly cast as Grendel the evil troll), and Robin Wright Penn, you might want to reconsider going the cartoon route. Then again, it can't be any worse than what Disney did to the Hunchback of Notre Dame.

Also falling short of its literary inspiration is Love in the Time of Cholera, from the acclaimed novel by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Not that I was rushing out to see this one anyway; I never could get through the book. Besides, if it's an erotic tour de force set in revolutionary-era Colombia, how can it hope to be successful with neither Salma Hayek nor Penelope Cruz on the screen?

I would rush to see No Country for Old Men (you know, were I not blessed with two wonderful children and all the delightful obligations thereof). The collaboration of Cormac McCarthy and the Coen Brothers has Baltimore Sun reviewer Michael Sragow invoking Sam Peckinpah and Norman Mailer. In a good way. Just don't expect to feel hopeful for the future of mankind after seeing this one.

Barry Bonds. If he's guilty, and I believe he is, it's a shame that he broke the home run record, but I don't think they should take it away from him. I think he should go to jail, but only because his personal trainer served time for contempt because he refused to testify. So Bonds should serve the same sentence and then go free. That seems like an appropriate punishment for lying to a grand jury about steroids. I mean, we're not talking about national security or murder here. Ground him and take away his iPhone for a month, but I don't see how a long jail sentence makes any sense.

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