Tuesday’s Den: Some thoughts about movies…….

It is 3am, I don’t feel like going to bed, so I’m going to rattle on about movies for a while.

These are my opinions, so they’re neither right/wrong, just what I think. Make your own lists, it was fun to clear out the cobwebs in my mind and think of some old stuff.

13) Movies I think I’ve seen the most (wish I had an official count)

— Moneyball- Hey, I’m an A’s fam
— Rounders- Great movie.
— A Star is Born- First hour is great, second hour very sad.
— Last Vegas- An epic cast.
— Blue Chips- My all-time favorite basketball movie.

Guys who played basketball in Blue Chips who later became coaches:
— Anfernee Hardaway
— Bobby Hurley
— Rex Walters
— Matt Painter

I am unusual (you call it odd, I say unusual) in that I see movies I like dozens of times, maybe more, but I’ve never seen Star Wars and I only saw the Godfather for first time couple years ago.

12) Other movies I’ve seen an awful lot
— Major League- Bob Uecker should’ve won an Oscar for his role.
— Molly’s Game- True story about a woman who ran underground poker games.
— Begin Again- If you like music, this is a good one to see.
— Dave- Kevin Kline becomes a stand-in for the US President.
— For Love of the Game- A 40-year pitcher makes his last game his best one.

As soon as these lists get posted, I’m going to think of 3-4 movies I forgot, and I’m going to be so annoyed at myself.

11) This all started when someone on Twitter posted a thing: “Name the five movies you’ve seen the most” which started my mind running and also a lot of other people. The thread is fun to go through; people like so many different things, it is what makes our country so interesting, we live in the same place but like totally different things.

10) When I was a teenager, I was a big fan of stand-up comics and my favorite was Steve Martin. I have one of his comedy albums (Let’s Get Small) but he also became a really good actor. My three favorite Steve Martin movies:
— Leap of Faith
— Shopgirl
— Roxanne

The scene in Roxanne where he makes up 20 jokes about his nose (actually 26, count them!!!) makes my list of favorite movie scenes ever.

9) The first time I saw Caddyshack was with friends from college; it was the first time I realized that some people watch the same movies over and over, and drink when certain key words are spoken. My friends were avid golfers; they freakin’ loved Caddyshack.

8) Good movies that wound up being pretty sad:
— Less than Zero- Three high school friends have very different experiences after they graduate from high school.
— A Star is Born- Movie has been made four different times, dating back to the 1930’s.
— Beaches- When I saw this movie in the theater with my future ex-wife, when it ended, you could hear dozens and dozens of people openly sobbing. The right sleeve of my short sleeve shirt was soaked from her crying and wiping her eyes with my shirt. Oy.

7) My favorite basketball movies:
— Blue Chips— The scene with Bob Cousy/Nick Nolte shooting foul shots in an empty gym is my all-time favorite movie scene.
— The Way Back— Relatively new movie has Ben Affleck playing a high school coach with a drinking problem. The basketball scenes are really well done.
— Fast Break— Gabe Kaplan quits his job running a deli in New York City to become a college basketball coach in Nevada.
— Hoosiers— Gene Hackman was a terrible coach, but Jimmy Chitwood played, so they always won. I mean, even the drunk assistant coach knew Jimmy should shoot just about all the time.
— He Got Game— Underrated movie about a hot-shot high school recruit and what people will do to get the kid to play for their college. Jim Brown, Denzel Washington, Ned Beatty, a really good cast, plus Ray Allen/Rick Fox have big rules.
— One on One— Robby Benson is a hotshot basketball recruit who falls out of favor with his new coach.

Guy who was only in one scene was John Turturro, who played Joey Knish in Rounders; he plays the coach at Big State, a college recruiting Ray Allen’s character (Jesus Shuttlesworth)

6) On my bucket list of life is to watch the movie Let It Ride with my cousin KL Wheat, who likes to wager on the ponies. Richard Dreyfuss plays a degenerate gambler who has one really great day at the racetrack. Very funny movie.

Jennifer Tilly is in this movie; she wound up being a big-time poker player; her boyfriend is/was Phil Laak, a pro poker player known as the Unabomber.

5) My favorite football movies:
— Any Given Sunday— Al Pacino delivers two great speeches
—The Replacements— Daniel Snyder should rename his NFL team the Sentinels.
— Brian’s Song— True story about two friends who played for the Bears.
— Necessary Roughness— Movie about the Texas State Armadillos; tremendous!!!
— Heaven Can Wait— Not really a football film, but the Rams win the Super Bowl in the movie, and it is possible I still have a movie poster from the theater here in my house.

4) I’ve spent way too much time trying to decide which movie I like better; Major League or Bull Durham? Both really good, but for different reasons. Ask me on Monday, I’ll give you an answer, but ask me three days later, and I’ve probably changed my mind.

3) If you like music……..
— Begin Again— A down on his luck music exec finds a young talent in a Manhattan bar.
— A Star Is Born— The new version with Lady Gaga is lot different than the 1976 one with Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson.
— The Bodyguard— Whitney Houston was a great talent; didn’t realize she was only 48 when she passed away.

2) Gambling related movies:
— Rounders— Matt Damon has to decide between law school and playing poker.
— Lucky You— Lot of real-life poker stars in this one, which is set in Las Vegas. Robert Duvall plays the Doyle Brunson-type character.
— Let It Ride— We’ve already talked about this one.
— Molly’s Game— This movie is actually a continuation of the book Molly Bloom wrote.

1) Favorite baseball movies:
— Moneyball— I’m an A’s fan, what did you expect?
— The Rookie— Dennis Quaid was in this and Any Given Sunday
— Major League/Bull Durham
— For Love of the Game
— Bad News Bears— Walter Matthau as a Little League coach was classic.
— Little Big League— The mom in this movie? In real life, her son was the Mets’ first round draft pick last summer.
— The Natural— When a guy on the Texas Rangers hits a home run, they play the song from the end of this movie, when Roy Hobbs sends everyone home happy.

Make your own list of movies, see what you come up with. 

Monday’s Den: Hard to believe its been 20 years already. Happy Armadillo Day

Hard to believe, but 20 years ago today, this website got its start; time flies when you’re having fun, and this has (mostly) been fun.

I’d like to thank all of you for reading this space (I’m hoping someone is out there reading)

I’ve had the pleasure of learning from a lot of smart people over the years; hopefully I’ve passed some of that knowledge on to you. Lot of what is posted here is trivial, but trivia can be fun. If it makes you smile or makes you think, then it is useful trivia.

— Random joke from comedian Rip Taylor: “The economy is so bad, even the price of down is up”

— A coach rips into one of his players, who dislikes the coach: “You’re playing lousy because you’re ignorant and apathetic!!!!” Kid looks at the coach, shrugs and says, “I don’t know and I don’t care.”

Someday I’ll do a big thing thanking everyone who has helped me, but right now it is really late and I would leave someone out and that would make me sick, so I’ll do it another day. Just know that I appreciate what I’ve learned from those of you who I’ve met.

One of the things I believe is that certain people come into our lives for a reason; we may not know it at the time, but eventually we do. They may even be cruddy people, but we learn from them too and we use that knowledge to make ourselves better.

I’ve made several new friends because of this site; you never have enough good friends.

So much has happened since 2001; now isn’t the time to look back, its time to look ahead, to try and figure out what’s going to be happening in the coming months.

— Baseball is going to look a lot different next year. Will be lot of new rules; eventually, they will add two expansion teams, maybe the A’s/Rays will also move.

Hopefully, everyone will use the DH next year, and 7-inning doubleheaders will go away; I’m not too opinionated on the other potential rule changes— oh yeah, no robot umps either.

— NFL teams will play 17 games this season for the first time; eventually, they’ll play 18, with the Super Bowl on Presidents Day weekend.

— College football will expand to an 8-team or 12-team playoff; too much money involved for them to say no to that.

— College basketball is undergoing a huge change right now, not necessarily for the better. I am hoping that soon kids can go right from high school to the NBA, which might reduce the amount of roster-hopping that is happening at a ridiculously high pace right now.

Random odd stat: NFL went to the 16-game schedule in 1978. Since, the QB who has started all 16 games for his team and thrown the fewest TD passes?

In 1995, Trent Dilfer started 16 games for Tampa Bay, but threw only four TD passes all season for the 7-9 Buccaneers, who were 5-2 in games decided by 7 or fewer points. Five years later, Dilfer won the Super Bowl starting for the Baltimore Ravens. Go figure.

Suns 125, Nuggets 118— Phoenix is in playoffs for first time in a decade; they sweep Denver here, advance to the Western Conference final.

Bucks 107, Nets 96— Kyrie Irving hurt his ankle, Bucks evened series 2-2.

— Guy named Garrick Higgo (played college golf at UNLV) was six shots down when he began play Sunday, but the leaders stumbled, and Higgo won his first PGA Tour event, in only his second try. He’s also won twice on the European Tour in the Canary Islands. Higgo is only 22 years old; he is a lefty golfer from South Africa.

— Former Colorado QB Sam Noyer, a 2nd-team Pac-12 guy last year, is transferring to Oregon State, because every QB who doesn’t start seems to transfer to somewhere where he will start. Unusual for a QB to transfer within the conference, though.

Toronto 18, Boston 4— Blue Jays hit eight home runs.

If the playoffs started today (they don’t):
NL: Mets/Cubs or Brewers/Giants. Wild Card: Chi/Mil @ Dodgers
AL: Rays, White Sox, A’s. Wild Card: Houston @ Boston

Today we start the next 20 years, hopefully filled with laughter and good health for everyone. Thanks again for reading.

Happy Armadillo Day, and happy birthday to my friend Big Dawg, who celebrates a birthday today. He is a smart, funny man; don’t believe me?

Before my ill-fated marriage way back in 1992, Big Dawg comes up to me at work, and in front of several other people says: “Don’t spend too much time with her. Remember, she’s only your first wife.”

Then he walks away. Oy. Happy birthday, Big Dawg!!!!