Monthly Archives: February 2010

Welcome Year of the Tiger

Makers and sellers of chocolate, greeting cards, flowers, and jewelry love today, I’m sure.  I’m not going to express in depth my non-affinity for it, especially since I don’t like flowers much and abhor diamonds, pearls, and gold.  I am, however, going to wish anyone of Asian descent who happens across this entry a very Happy Lunar New Year!

Growl for ming.  It’s the Year of the Tiger.

Can you guess where I went today?

NFL News: Michael Vick’s bottom line

Or performance of a passing C or B- shrouded in acing tests with little to no homework, but at least he showed up to class?

I was making my rounds this morning on the interwebs and came across this headline on Yahoo Sports:

Vick’s confession another blow to Atlanta.

Curious, I was, very much, and so I clicked on the story.  Yahoo Sports blogger MJD refers to a recent radio interview with 790 The Zone where the former Atlanta Falcons quarterback said:

There was a lot more I could have done off the field and in the film room that could have elevated my game to a different level…I was complacent at the time, somewhat lazy, and I settled for mediocrity. I thought what I was doing was enough…..Just imagine what I could have been doing if I really would have been applying myself. That’s a regret I have.

While MJD is validly bewildered as to why the fan support before, during, and after Vick’s tango with the law didn’t diminish as greatly as one might believe, MJD’s wording suggests that the entire city of Atlanta held strong in the belief that Vick deserves and receives unanimous unconditional love.  I haven’t done any lunchtime polls, but surely the number of his fans and their resolve was never so uniform nor as persevering as this Yahoo Sports blogger’s diction conveys.

The first televised Falcons game footage I have any memory of watching was from their 2002 and 2004 season recaps.  The first actual Falcons game I saw live (as in broadcast) was the 2006 season.  Perhaps I was too new to the sights and sounds of football game-play, but even on those NFL Films DVDs of Michael Vick’s contributions in the early 21st century, I was never that in awe of his athleticism.  Even when his career in the NFL turned from questionable to on indefinite hiatus, I remained mostly indifferent to him as a person.  What he did in the eyes of the law was terrible.  I wonder, though, if his radio remark could be considered an equally, if not worse, ideological crime.

I read the quote that MJD cites in his blog entry in different ways.  Nuance is key.  The most straightforward interpretation of Vick’s words is that he consciously knew that he could’ve put more effort into performing to the maximum levels of his talent and skill, yet chose not to apply himself beyond the basics–a passing C.  He committed himself 75% to his duties as a quarterback.  Or, he applied himself 92-100% to one duty–he may or may not have the best attendance record, but he aces all the tests.  Wouldn’t his peers and coaches tolerate passing C or shows-up-just-to-take-the-tests if his game-day performance at least met their standards and expectations?  Or, if he didn’t, then his peers and coaches would definitely say something about it?

Furthermore, Vick’s words clearly indicate he’s disappointed with himself…and even deluding himself.  Hmm, if I had gone beyond my own expectations, maybe I could’ve taken my team to the Super Bowl and won it and not fallen as hard as I did.

But that’s just silly.  If Vick had applied himself 110% all the time and taken the Falcons to a Super Bowl victory and then still had to deal with his dogfighting seeing the legal light? Aigo.  He would’ve fallen a lot harder, a lot more profoundly, and possibly at the same rate.  Hitting the ground would’ve hurt much, much more.  The higher your throne sits, the farther you fall.

What might have been expressed in sincerity and honesty has been transmogrified into something much more foul-smelling.  If you’ve never thought word choice was important, well, now you know.  It’s all about how you say what you say.

Vick could’ve said, “I’m grateful the League and Philly have given me a second chance at football, sometimes I don’t think I deserve it, but over the last season, getting myself back into shape…I never thought I could push myself this hard and do more than I thought I could have.  I wished I had pushed myself harder when I was at Atlanta.  I believed what I did there was all I could do, but uh, maybe it wasn’t.  I regret not even trying.”

Might those words be less memorable, and thus less likely to have caught MJD’s eyes?

Image cred: google image search. Read the rest of MJD’s piece here.

~!~

In less philosophical news, Atlanta’s future and big sports events.

If You said Yes, jump to page 99

Before I get to the heart of the matter, check out my blogging friend’s entry on the Super Bowl.  He watched the game in New Orleans.

Now back to the 99 non-Luft Balloons.  A couple of years ago, I was looking up information on a book called Interred With Their Bones and found this blog post that discussed something called The Page 99 Test where the ninety-ninth page of a given book could summarize its essence.  I had intended to go through each and every one of my books (non-fiction and fiction alike) but never got around to starting..until tonight.

I started with my Neil Gaiman books, followed by one Bret Easton Ellis number.

From American Gods:

From Good Omens:

From Neverwhere:

From Sandman Book of Dreams:

From Smoke and Mirrors:

I think each of these Gaiman books’ 99th page touches on the pertinent themes either of the specific novel or of the author’s overall flavorings.

~!~

The 99th from American Psycho:

Click here for the Leatherface rendition of the book cover, here for the Michael Myers, and here for the young John Wayne.

Super Bowl XLIV: the Saints gallop over the Colts

Prologue:

I care not to weep for lost armadillos,
their snouts infected with green
green for envy
green for myth
green for suffocation
of a backyard abscess

How coolly they stare,
whiskered blinks and underbellies,
affixed to boulders swept by the sap
of white registries,
carnation and teardrop themes

I dare not weep for the costs of adversaries
their proud pamphlets injected with heat
heat for blood
heat for scythes
heat for premeditation
of a fractured printing press

How duly they prepare,
checkered chiefs and sponsorships,
addressed to soldiers kept by the map,
of night hatcheries,
extermination and blasting screams

–yiqi Super Bowl Sunday 2010 12:54 PM

The Indianapolis Colts and the New Orleans Saints have been eyeing the same gal for several days.  Forty-four years old and in Miami for one night, she has a history with the Indy but none with Nawlins.

Televised by CBS, the Saints were only down by one touchdown by the top of the second quarter.  Indianapolis 10 and New Orleans 3.  The bottom of the second quarter could’ve resulted in the Saints tying the score (or getting another field goal), but head coach Sean Payton decided to go for the end zone.  Unsuccessful this attempt was as Colts linebacker Gary Brackett ground that try to the turf.  The first half ended with Saints kicker Garrett Hartley making a  forty-four yard field goal.  Indianapolis 10 and New Orleans 6.

The third quarter sprang off to the chaos of onside kick and question of ball possession.  The referee’s official word was that the Saints recovered the loosened ball.  The end of that possession produced a touchdown by Saints running back Pierre Thomas.  New Orleans 13 and Indianapolis 10.  The Colts got back on top after their next go at the ball thanks to a touchdown by running back Joseph Addai.  Garrrett Hartley’s appendages helped his team bring their score deficit to just one with a forty-seven yard FG at the bottom of the quarter.  Indianapolis 17 and New Orleans 16.

The fourth quarter started with a failed fifty-one yard field goal by Colts kicker Matt Stover.  The Saints hopped on top with a Jeremy Shockey TD with six minutes left in the game.  A two-point conversion was nearly successful.  Wide receiver Lance Moore could not hold on to the ball as he rolled across the goal line (backwards going out of the end zone).  The Saints challenged the incomplete pass ruling–and the Saints won the challenge.  New Orleans 24 and the Indianapolis 17.  With about three minutes left to play, Colts quarterback threw an interception straight into the bosom of Saints corner back Tracy Porter, who then ran the ball seventy-four yards for a TD.  New Orleans 31 and Indianapolis 17.   Final score.  The Saints have won Super Bowl XLIV.

Observations & Miscellania:

1.  I missed the first quarter and the first couple minutes of the second quarter.  I got distracted by William Fichtner as a Sheriff invaded by alien parts.  我 真的 以為 球賽 8點鐘 才 開始.  Ce n’est pas grave.  C’est bizarre… mais, 誰贏誰敗 我不在乎.  Je prefere les Colts, mais vraiment…我 真的 不管.

2.  Thus, I had no idea who sang the National Anthem nor if the performance was any good.

3.  Jim Nantz and Phil Simms were the commentators.  They both wore dark suit jackets.  Nantz had on a very light colored button-down shirt and a bright orange tie (possibly patterned).  Simms wore a lavender button-down shirt and a purple striped tie.

4.  The Who performed during the halftime show.  They performed portions from “Pinball Wizard,” “Baba O’Riley” (which some of you may know as the theme of CSI: New York), “Who Are You,” “Save Me, Feel Me, Touch Me,” and “Won’t Get Fooled Again” (theme of CSI: Miami).  Impressive vocals and lighting display.

5.  A couple of plays after the Saints’ offensive go at the top of the third quarter, the camera went to Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney sitting on the bench and having a foot wrapped (or socked).  The telecast then cut to a medium shot of Peyton Manning look very discontent on the sidelines.

6.  It wasn’t until the top of the fourth quarter that I got really into the game and watched with eyes wide.

7.  My favorite commercial of the night: Budweiser’s story of a horse and an ox.

Watch me watching the last few seconds of the second quarter:

Get game summary, stats, and play-by play here.