Monthly Archives: September 2011

Before Reality Television

Before Cops and The Real World, there were news reels and home videos.  It could be a mere case of semantics, but this footage of Robert W. Woodruff reminds me much more of 21st century reality television than any decade’s evening news segment.*

The beginning of the clip reads:

16MM Home Movies Shot By Robert W. Woodruff And His Friends

Woodruff’s associates as The Coca-Cola Company gave him a camera in 1925 on the eve of his first trip to Europe.

The gift was accompanied by a note that read:

“It is with no idea that we could possibly keep check on you in Europe that we give you a motion picture outfit, but were are merely prompted in this gift by the knowledge, gleaned from past experience with you, that no ‘still’ camera could keep up with you.”

How brilliant.  The man himself knew that the most effective way of capturing the world through his eyes is with moving pictures.

For me, “reality television” might as well be called “tagging along.”  Whether or not the words spoken and spectacle aired are edited out of context is irrelevant.  When I watch these shows featuring people I never knew existed, I feel like I’ve been permitted to sit in the back seat and witness their highs, lows, and periods of stagnation.

* This interview with Coco Chanel, for instance, is more journalistic to me.

NFL 2011: The Buccaneers out-danced the Falcons

The Atlanta Falcons rose up above the Philadelphia Eagles last week.  Would the Tampa Bay Buccaneers fall as well?  More importantly, would the Falcons be able to beat the Bucs in Tampa Bay?

What: Game 4
Who: The Atlanta Falcons and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Where: Raymond James Stadium
When: Sunday September 25, 2011

First $0.25:
– Just when it seemed the Bucs would begin the game with guns blazing (after Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan fumbled the ball), safety Thomas DeCoud intercepted Tampa Bay QB Josh Freeman.  No score resulted from this turnover.  Neither team scored until the bottom of the quarter – Tampa Bay field goal.

– Score: 3 Tampa Bay and 0 Atlanta

Second $0.25:
–  The Falcons tied the score with a FG in the top of the quarter.
–  Bucs wide receiver Ernest Graham nearly made a touchdown towards the bottom of the quarter.  A play later, Josh Freeman broke the plane. After another Falcons turnover, the Bucs increased their numbers with a FG. Any chance the Falcons would have to at least get a FG was quashed with yet another turnover.

– Score 13 Tampa Bay and 3 Atlanta.

Third $0.25:
– The Bucs were on a cinnamon bun with another FG in the middle of the quarter.

– Score: 16 Tampa Bay and 3 Atlanta.

Fourth $0.25:
–  Would the momentum shift in the top of the quarter be enough for the Falcons? (Safety William Moore intercepted Josh Freeman).  Not at first.  After an incredible forty-nine yard catch by running back Julio Jones, Matt Ryan and tight end Tony Gonzalez connected in the end zone.  With four minutes left to play, the Falcons went for a FG.
–  And in the bottom of the quarter? Niet.  So close and yet so far.

Final score: 16 Tampa Bay and 13 Atlanta.

Miscellaneous Observations:

1. Commentary provided by Brian Billick and Thom Brennaman on Fox.

2. I wasYT’ing Josie Bissett and came cross this commercial she was in for Soft and Dri deodorant.  I miss this kind of mise-en-scene from the 90s.

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

the Creator, the Trickster, the Philosopher in Cement

I saw le Dieu, le Diable, et Buddha in the cement from a staircase yesterday afternoon.  Well, I saw le Dieu first–at the very least something from Biblical times.  It wasn’t until I resized the image that I saw other characters.

Behold, Picture 0 (See the original minus cropping here):



After some kaleidoscope fun,



I started to see other shapes, including:



A Goat (or Cow, probably more so a Cow, given the nose)!


Buddha (or some other wandering philosopher)!


A face in the middle!


A Cow on top and a philosopher on the bottom!

NFL 2011: Falcons gobble up the Eagles

The last time the Atlanta Falcons and the Philadelphia Eagles stood eye-to-eye was in October 2010.   The Eagles won 31 to 17.  After a lukewarm performance against the Chicago Bears last week, would the Falcons be able to demonstrate the physical skills we fans know they possess on Sunday Night Football on NBC?


What: Game 3
Who: The Atlanta Falcons and the Philadelphia Eagles
Where: The Georgia Dome
When: Sunday September 18, 2011

First $0.25:
– The game clock twiddle down eleven minutes before any numbers went on the board.  Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan threw a touchdown pass to wide receiver Roddy White, who caught the ball in the back of the end zone.

– Score: 7 Atlanta and Philadelphia 0.
Second $0.25:
– The top of quarter saw the Eagles tying the score with a TD by wide receiver Jeremy Maclin.  Michael Vick sent the ball flying his way; he caught it and then took a couple steps into the end zone.  Another drive towards the Falcons’ end zone was downsized to a field goal.
– The Eagles’ next go at a TD failed as Falcons defensive tackle Peria Jerry caused Vick to fumble the ball and Falcons defensive end Ray Edwards recovered it.  He ran the ball back to the Eagles 20 yard line.
– Did the TD pass to Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez count in the final minute of the quarter?  The ruling on the field said it was a TD.  The booth review confirmed it.
– The Eagles had enough time to get down the field for field goal position, but Michael Vick lost control of the ball.  Falcons defensive end John Abraham recovered the ball.  DESPERATELY SEEKING LEEKS AND LENTILS!  The Eagles got the ball back by intercepting Matt Ryan.   Eagles kicker Alex Henery’s 60-some-odd yard FG was no good.

– Score: 14 Atlanta and 10 Philadelphia.

Third $0.25
– Michael Vick threw an interception at the top of the quarter.  Falcons cornerback Kelvin Hayden scooped up the ball.  A couple plays later Tony Gonzalez made another TD.
– The Eagles responded a possession later with a Jeremy Maclin thirty-six yard TD.
– Matt Ryan threw an interception when they got the ball – Eagles cornerback Asante Samuel made the pluck.  Falcons head coach Mike Smith challenged the call.  Smith claimed the point of the ball hit the turf.  The booth review did not over-turn the call.
– Eagles running back LeSean McCoy then swung the game momentum in his team’s direction with a TD.  McCoy would do it again in the bottom of the quarter.
– Michael Vick had to step off the field in the bottom of the third quarter due to a neck injury.  Mike Kafka stepped in as QB for the Eagles.

Score: 31 Philadelphia and 21 Atlanta.

Fourth $0.25:
– Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones made an incredible catch at the top of the quarter.  An Eagle on either side, he leaped into the air and cradled the ball.  A few plays later, Matt Ryan tossed the ball into the end zone and into Falcons fullback Ovie Mughelli’s hands.
– Falcons running back Michael Turner made a fantastic 60+ yard run down the field in the middle of the quarter.   Running back Jacquizz Rodgers displayed his rushing chops by getting the ball within the red zone.  One play later, Michael Turner ran the ball into the end zone.

Final Score: 35 Atlanta and 31 Philadelphia.

Miscellaneous Observations:
1.  Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth were the commentators.

2.  The National Anthem was performed by Samuel L. Jackson?!  Not quite.  But he was on the field with his “Rise Up” backup singers.  He probably did something during commercial break.

3.  Conversation I had with a friend earlier today:
Friend: big news. syracuse and pittsburgh are joining the ACC.
Me: What?! What were they before?

Friend: i know. big east.
Me: Did/does the Big East encompass most of the New England schools?  What’s Boston College & Boston University?

Friend: it did. boston college used to be in the big east too. but in 2005, they came to the ACC.  the Big East hates the ACC because the ACC keeps stealing the Big East’s members and they are left scrambling for replacements after this latest round of expansion, the ACC has five former Big East members (virginia tech, boston college, miami, syracuse, pitt).

Me: me: Wow…VA Tech.  How does the NCAA agree to the expansions?
Friend: they don’t.

Me: And yet it still happens…
Friend: college football is moving towards four 16-team “super conferences” and those conferences appear to be the ACC, SEC, Big Ten, and Pac-16. the major conferences that are hit hard will be the Big 12 and the Big East. the ACC has 14 teams now… i think they will add UConn and Rutgers to round it out.

Me: Pac-16…that does not have a nice ring it.  “Pac 10” sounds better.
Friend: the pac-10 no longer exists; it’s officially the pac-12 today … and looking to become the pac-16.

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

Read more about Syracuse and Pittsburgh joining the ACC here.