Wednesday’s List of 13; Some of my favorite movie scenes……

13) Jack Nicholson as Colonel Jessup on the witness stand in A Few Good Men– “You WANT me on that wall; you NEED me on that wall!!!” Great acting. 

12) In Prince of Tides, when Nick Nolte’s character takes Barbra Streisand’s husband’s Stradivarius violin and dangles it over the edge of the balcony, until he apologizes to his wife for being rude. Then he tosses the million-dollar violin in the air but catches it, then walks out of the dinner party. 

11) In Any Given Sunday, when QB Willie Beamen visits the coach’s house for dinner and a “talk” and coach Tony D’Amato lectures him— “You’re the goddamn quarterback!!!” 

I think this scene is better than the “Game of Inches” speech that Pacino gives near the end of the movie, before the last game. 

10) Rocky II wasn’t a good movie, but the last fight scene, where Rocky Balboa wins the heavyweight title for the first time, is a great fight scene, probably the best scene in all the Rocky movies. 

9) In the movie Heat, there is a scene with Al Pacino (the cop) and Robert Deniro (bank robber) where they actually talk in a diner about how someday, their situation will come to a head and either the arrest will be made, or harm will come to the cop. Deniro and Pacino; a great scene. 

8) Susan Sarandon and James Spader were in a 1990 movie called White Palace; I only saw this movie for the first time in the last year or so. 

There is a scene where a lot of people were at Thanksgiving dinner and they’re talking about politics; the patriarch of the family is Steven Hill (the original DA on Law and Order). 

When a younger person says something Hill’s character sees as uninformed, he snaps at her, “Would it kill you to pick up a newspaper?” Good stuff. 

7) In the true story Invincible, when 30-year old bartender Vince Papale breaks the news to his best friend that he made the Philadelphia Eagles’ roster, despite never having played college football. 

6) In Friday Night Lights, when the coach (Billy Bob Thornton) delivers a halftime speech when his team is getting smoked. He talks about “being perfect” and how giving your all is the most important thing of all. 

Of all the sports movies I’ve seen, I think Thornton’s character in this movie is the best portrayal of a coach that I’ve seen. 

5) In the original Bad News Bears, when the coach is talking to his worst player, ordering him into the championship game- the kid is too nervous to go out and play. 

“Listen, Lupus, you didn’t come into this life just to sit around on a dugout bench, did ya? Now get your ass out there and do the best you can.”

4) In Roxanne, Steve Martin’s character has a very long nose, like Cyrano de Bergerac; guy in a bar insults his long nose, the whole bar shuts down, and Martin mocks the insult. 

“I suppose you could do better?” and Martin proceeds to give 20 jokes (actually 26) that were all funnier than the guy’s insult. 

3) In Rounders, the scene where Mike (Matt Damon) finds his law professor (Martin Landau) in a restaurant and the professor tells him how his parents disowned him because he chose to study the law instead of becoming a rabbi.

2) Oakland A’s 20-game winning streak in Moneyball; at least they showed Miguel Tejada’s walk-off homer in the 18th straight win- they gave him almost no credit in the book/movie for how good the A’s were that year— he was the best shortstop in the game. 

1) Bob Cousy shooting free throws in an empty gym with Nick Nolte in Blue Chips. Cousy was 65 at the time, made 10 in a row while wearing a shirt and tie- they filmed the scene in one take. 

Wednesday’s List of 13: My favorite sports-related movies

1) Moneyball— Beginning isn’t very good, the end sucks, but I’m an A’s fan and this movie is about how the 2003 A’s put together a team that won 20 games in a row, made the playoffs. 

If the next ten weeks go really well, could Moneyball 2 be in the works? 

Only really bad thing about this movie is they made skipper Art Howe look like a bad manager, and he was anything but— you don’t win 20 games in a row by accident. 

2) Blue Chips— Nick Nolte is a college basketball coach who used to win a lot; in order to start winning again, he has to decide whether to break the recruiting rules or not. 

Bob Cousy is the AD; Shaquille O’Neal, Penny Hardaway are two of the recruits. Lot of cameos from basketball people; Jerry Tarkanian, Jim Boeheim, Rick Pitino, Dick Vitale. 

3) Invincible— True story about Vince Papale, a 30-year old bartender who tries out for the 1976 Philadelphia Eagles and makes the squad as a special teams player. 

4) Fast Break— Gabe Kaplan manages a New York City deli until he applies for a job as a college basketball coach in Nevada. Bernard King, Michael Warren are two of his players; another one is a girl disguised as a guy. 

5) Any Given Sunday— Al Pacino is a pro football coach whose team is struggling; Cameron Diaz is the owner, Dennis Quaid, Jamie Foxx are two of the QB’s. 

Miami Sharks play against four teams in the movie, all coached by NFL Hall of Famers. 

6) For Love of the Game— Kevin Costner is a star pitcher for the Tigers who is at the end of his career; he has flashbacks throughout his last game. 

Detroit’s manager in this movie is JK Simmons, who is a Tigers fan in real life; New York’s manager is the late Augie Garrido, one of the all-time great college baseball coaches. 

7) Friday Night Lights— Billy Bob Thornton is a high school football coach in west Texas, where they take high school football very seriously. 

8) One on One— Robby Benson is a hotshot high school basketball player who gets recruited by a big-time college team, then finds himself in over his head.

9) Bull Durham— Costner is a minor league catcher who is brought in to mentor a hot-shot pitching prospect. Robert Wuhl is the pitching coach, Susan Sarandon mentors the prospect off the field. 

10) Draft Day— Costner does lot of sports movies; he is GM of the Cleveland Browns in this one, Denis Leary is the Browns’ coach. 

The year this movie came out, NFL pushed back the draft so the movie could be promoted more, but Radio City Music Hall wasn’t available for the later date, which is why they started moving the draft around the country. Sometimes great ideas happen by accident. 

11) Major League— Bob Uecker should’ve won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Indians’ radio announcer Harry Doyle.  

12) He Got Game— Underrated film about college basketball recruiting; if you saw this movie, you weren’t surprised by the problems Louisville had the last couple years. 

13) Rocky— The original was a true classic; a journeyman boxer gets a chance to fight for the heavyweight title, and makes the most of it. 40 years later, tourists who come to Philadelphia still pose for pictures near the Rocky statue. 

Tuesday’s List of 13: Some of my favorite (non-sports) movies:

1) Rounders— Movie about a law student/poker player; this movie is credited with helping the poker boom in the late 90’s. 

2) Dave— Kevin Kline is hired to “stand-in” for the President because he looks just like him, but then the President has a stroke, and Kline has a new job. 

3) The Bodyguard— Kevin Costner is a former Secret Service agent hired to protect a famous singer, who has a contract out on her. 

4) Last Vegas— Four senior citizens who are lifelong friends head to Las Vegas for a bachelor party; their 70-year old friend is marrying a 30-year old. Morgan Freeman wins $87K playing blackjack, because, doesn’t everyone win in Vegas? 

5) Begin Again— Down and out music producer discovers a talented young singer; together they produce an album, using New York City as the background. 

6) Good Will Hunting— Robin Williams is a counselor who tries to help a young delinquent (who is also a Math genius) find his way. 

7) The Verdict— Paul Newman is a down-on-his-luck lawyer who has a chance to win a big case and rehabilitate his career. 

There is a scene in this movie that would never fly today; Newman’s character has a girlfriend in the movie- turns out she is a double-agent, working for the opposing lawyer to gain intel on the big case. 

When Newman finds out, he meets the girlfriend in the lounge of a bar and decks her with one punch. Ouch. 

8) Leap of Faith— Steve Martin runs amok as a traveling preacher; Debra Winger is his partner, Liam Neeson is the local sheriff trying to shut his act down. Meat Loaf is part of the music group that travels with the preacher. 

9) Let It Ride— Richard Dreyfuss is a degenerate gambler who has one big day at the racetrack. 

10) This Is Where I Leave You— After their father dies, four grown siblings return to their childhood home and live under the same roof together for a week. 

11) Lincoln Lawyer— Matthew McConaughey plays a lawyer whose office is the back seat of his Lincoln Continental. 

12) Prince of Tides— Nick Nolte is a high school football coach from South Carolina who travels to New York and falls for his sister’s therapist (Barbra Streisand). 

13) One More Time— Christopher Walken is a past-his-prime lounge singer trying for one last comeback.

Friday’s List of 13: Happy Friday the 13th, everyone!!!

13) Oakland A’s are 19-5 in their last 24 games, going 5-2 on this Cleveland/Houston road trip that just ended- they’re a contender for the Wild Card right now. A’s next six games are a pair of three-game series with their cross-bay rivals, the Giants. Interesting times. 

12) Former NBA star Charles Oakley was arrested Sunday by the Nevada Gaming Control Board Enforcement Agents at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas. 

TMZ reported that he is suspected of pulling back a $100 chip after he realized he was going to lose his wager; that is a Class B felony. Not good. 

11) Milwaukee’s Jesus Aguilar, Seattle’s Juan Segura won the Final Vote and will be in Washington for next week’s All-Star Game. 

Milwaukee is the smallest market in the major leagues; good for their fans for voting one of their guys into the Mid-Summer Classic. 

10) Will Yoenis Cespedes return to the Mets as a first baseman? There are reports on the Interweb that Cespedes has suggested the position change to Mets brass. 

Cespedes hasn’t played since May 13, by the way. People have come back from broken legs faster than this guy, and I’m not a Met fan nor is he on my fantasy team. 

9) Mets have had nine games this season that were 0-0 after five innings; five of the nine were Jacob deGrom starts. 

8) There are rumors the Manny Machado trade may be delayed util after the All-Star Game because Orioles’ brass doesn’t want Machado playing in the All-Star Game in Washington next week wearing another team’s uniform, which would also leave the Orioles without an All-Star. 

7) Baseball oddity: Babe Ruth started his career as a pitcher for the Red Sox; the night he got his first win as a pitcher, he was actually pinch-hit for in the 7th inning. 

Wonder how many times he was pinch-hit for in his entire career? 

6) Arizona OF Daniel Descalso pitched in the 4th inning Wednesday night in Denver, the earliest any position player has pitched in a game since the Brewers’ Sal Bando on August 29, 1979 (also the 4th inning). 

Descalso allowed a HR to Rockies pitcher German Marquez. It’s just the 2nd time in the last 50 years that a pitcher homered off a position player. 

The other: June 23, 1986 – Giants’ Mike LaCoss homered off San Diego’s Dane Iorg.

5) Alex Bregman is only American Leaguer in Home Run Derby Monday night; unusual. MLB cannot be very happy that Trout, Judge, Stanton, Goldschmidt are not participating. 

4) There’s a sportsbook opening Saturday at Meadowlands Racetrack in New Jersey, next to Giants Stadium. Maybe the jackass politicians in New York can figure out a way to have legalized wagering in our state- why was New Jersey so far ahead of them????

3) Baseball doings:
— Red Sox 3B Rafael Devers goes on DL with left shoulder inflammation.
— Angels’ P Garrett Richards (elbow) hopes to return in 2020.
— Twins put 1B Logan Morrison (hip) on the DL

2) FOX is apparently in negotiations with Jeff Fisher to hire the former Titans/Rams coach as an NFL commentator. You never know how good guys will be behind the mike, but I’ll be curious to hear what he has to say. 

1) Even a former White House stenographer named Beck Dorey-Stein has written a book about her time working in the White House. The current political climate has been good for bookstores, if not for the rest of us.  

Saturday’s List of 13: NFL knowledge for a summer Saturday

13) Seven new head coaches in the NFL this coming season, 17 new offensive coordinators— over half the teams in the NFL changed OC’s after last year. 13 teams have new defensive coordinators. 

12) There are only three offensive coordinators in the NFL who’ve been in that job with the same team for more than three years; Scott Linehan (Dallas), Pete Carmichael (NO, though Sean Payton is the real OC there) and Josh McDaniels (NE). 

Only six defensive coordinators have been in their current job with the same team for 4+ years. 

11) Pete Carroll is going into his 9th season in Seattle, but he’ll have two new coordinators this season; Mike McCarthy has been in Green Bay for a dozen years, but he’ll have two new coordinators this season, too.

10) Over was 13-3 in Falcon games in 2016, 2-13-1 last year. Over is 21-11 in Washington games the last two years. 

9) Baltimore Ravens went 9-7 LY, missing playoffs for 3rd year in row when their defense gagged at end of a 31-27 home loss to Cincinnati in Week 17, giving up a 49-yard TD pass in the last minute. 

When an NFL team is +17 in turnovers, +14 in sacks, scores eight TD’s on defense/special teams (T1 in NFL) and doesn’t make the playoffs, that not good. 

8) Vikings, Patriots had similar profiles last year; they both won despite not forcing many turnovers (Minn 19, NE 18), but rarely turning ball over themselves (Minn 14, NE 12). 

7) Teams who turned ball over the most LY: Browns 41, Broncos 34, Dolphins 29.

Teams who turned ball over the least: Chiefs 11, Patriots 12, Vikings/Raiders 14. 

6) Teams with the most takeaways LY: Ravens 34, Jaguars 33, Lions 32, Eagles 31. 

Teams with the least takeaways LY: Browns 13, Bengals/Raiders 14, Dolphins 15

5) Jets, Raiders were only NFL teams LY to not score a TD on defense or special teams.

4) Carolina Panthers were 11-5 LY, 8-1 in games decided by 8 or fewer points, 4-0 in games decided by 3 or fewer points. 

Norv Turner as the Panthers’ new OC will be fascinating, how he utilizes Cam Newton.

3) Chargers went 9-7 LY, but were 1-4 in games decided by 3 or fewer points, losing three of those games during their 0-4 start, when the Bolts’ kickers screwed up in key spots. Chargers used four different kickers last year. 

2) Dak Prescott loses his top two red zone targets from LY, Dez Bryant and Jason Witten. Dallas has only three players on its team who are 30+ years old. 

1) Alex Smith is a QB who doesn’t take as many chances as most QB’s, so his teams don’t turn the ball over as much- they had 11 turnovers LY, least in league. but Smith is in Washington now, and rookie QB Mahomes (1 start LY) is the Chiefs’ QB.

Its not inconceivable that their giveaway total could double this season; 19 of 32 NFL teams turned the ball over 22+ times LY.