Category Archives: Other sports

Matt Damon and Chewing Gum

Matt Damon does a lot of gum-chewing in James Mangold‘s newest film Ford v Ferrari (2019). When he’s not dealing with Josh Lucas‘s nonsense or trying to convince Christian Bale to calm down, Damon is chewing gum. In his portrayal of Carroll Shelby alongside Christian Bale’s Ken Miles, Matt Damon proves that he has come a long way from playing a math genius and a killer secret agent.

I did not know much about the film’s premise beyond it being based on real events. The main cast alone was reason enough for me to want to watch it. It’s definitely worth a movie theatre screening, even though it is 2.5 hours long and actually feels it. The chemistry between Matt Damon and Christian Bale keeps the non-racing scenes engrossing. One of my favorite scenes doesn’t involve racing…nor a car. This scene occurs when Matt Damon is telling Christian Bale about Ford’s intentions to build a race car to compete at Le Mans and that he should go to Ford’s new Mustang unveiling the next day.

The two men are in a diner and contrary to most dialogue pieces that take place in this setting, where the characters have just received their food and talk as they eat, this conversation happens after Christian Bale is already done eating and Matt Damon is picking at the last of his meal. He eats a bite of bread and some potato chips. Minimal risk of continuity errors relating to mastication. There’s another great scene where the two wrestle on a patch of grass.  It’s not a long scene but it’s worth the admission price.

fvf_2

Diner scene; pic cred: IMDB/Twentieth Century Fox

 

In addition to witnessing the strong chemistry between the film’s two leads, I appreciated the way in which Ford v Ferrari presents the speed at which a car can go as both beautiful and destructive.  Outside the context of a proper race, a car that is going too fast is dangerous and not at all desired.  But within the confines of a legitimate race?  Speed is an adrenaline-thumping wonder of physics to behold.

Here’s James Mangold talking about the start of the climactic race.

 

Horse Meat Owens

They called him Horse Meat Owens because when he was a few hits away from knocking out his opponent, his eyes would bulge and his lips would draw back like a frightened horse.  His muscles would tense and blood vessels would rise like ropes underneath his skin.  When Horse Meat Owens came at you with his match-ending fists, you’d best drop before he could hit you.

Not because you wouldn’t be able to get back up or that it would hurt a lot…it’s just that sometimes he didn’t know when to stop.  His body knew the fight was over but his brain wasn’t satiated.  If he was having a bad week, Horse Meat Owens would pound your face in so hard and so fast, you’d be lucky to have a structurally sound nose before the referee could pull him away.

It was just last night that Horse Meat Owens’s opponent didn’t fall quickly enough.  Had he preemptively hit the floor of the ring, his chances at keeping a pretty face would’ve been quite high.  Horse Meat Owens didn’t like to beat excessively guys that knew when to surrender.  If he had been in the military, he would take a peaceful surrender.  Some believe there is no honor in it, but Horse Meat Owens saw no point in wasting bullets or life or limb on principle.  By the time he was done bashing in Hamstring Greyz’s face, there was hardly a nose left to reconstruct.

The referee and the trainers for both fighters pulled Horse Meat Owens off of Hamstring Greyz.  I watched all of it happen from a slit beneath the announcers’ booth.  The scent of sweat, musk, and iron wafted through the air like a misted air freshener.  I didn’t like what I was seeing but I couldn’t stop watching.  There was such determination in the downward whooshing of his gloves — in a different context, he could have been chopping firewood or demolishing drywall.

I was supposed to interview Horse Meat Owens before the match during the press conference but my iguana wouldn’t eat her dinner and then wouldn’t get back into her enclosure so I had to pick her up (which meant two scrapes to my hand that had to be disinfected).  By the time I got to the coliseum, the press conference was over and I found myself underneath the announcers’ booth.

I am not discounting the talents and skills required to be an effective boxer, but where does the inspiration come from?  What reservoir of rage must exist to guide the movements and focus of a successful boxer?  Horse Meat Owens has been on the amateur circuit for just under three years and he hasn’t lost once.  Who pissed him off in a past life that could sustain that kind of intense energy?

And can he teach me how to wield mine?

ville

~!~

The above is entirely fictional.  I felt like writing and the name “Horse Meat Owens” came to me.

Gotta Do It Right Now

I had lunch at Fuego Mundo today; I ordered the yucca fries and chicken with Spanish rice and cucumber salad.

yuccafries2017

coq2017

It was a busy lunch for the two waitresses bringing out orders and the woman clearing tables.  As I was enjoying the delicious yucca, chicken, and rice, I observed the waitress who was ostensibly single-handedly taking orders, giving checks to respective diners, and distributing dine-in and take-out food.  She moved with the smoothness and briskness of a summer breeze.  I wonder how many miles she walks just between the dining area, the beverage counter, the registers, and the kitchen counter (which is visible to the customers).

As far as I could discern, the other diners were patient in their requests for checks, waters, being seated, and readying to give their orders.  In the last ten minutes I was there, waiting for a to-go box, a bag and the check, I watched this woman handle the momentous demands of things that have to happen now.

In my line of work, even when I have ten emails I need to prioritize to read and answer whilst figuring out why an image isn’t appearing correctly on a web page and app as well as looking for a better image to upload for a different web site and app, the sense of urgency to complete these tasks isn’t so heavy that I can’t focus on what really needs to get done “now” vs. within thirty minutes or before the end of business hours.

This woman’s list of “do now” truly means do now.  If that “now” becomes “in a couple of minutes,” most customers would probably understand.  There’s probably a best practice of order of operations.  For instance, seat new diners, get their drinks out, then check with diners who appear to be finished if they want desert or a box or just the check.  Bring out drinks before orders that are ready?  Deliver additional napkins, silverware, straws, or dipping sauces before you take the food orders of the table you know have been ready for the time it took you to seat another party and take their drink orders?

What other jobs or industries consist of a similar air of do now?  Combat soldiers, paramedics, firefighters, airplane pilots, surgeons, school principals, receptionists, bank tellers, plumbers, electricians, hosts of live TV shows, what else?

What’s the worst that would happen in your profession if you didn’t do something “now” or you focused on the “wrong” sequence of things?

Would an athlete participating in a televised game feel any differently than an athlete in a non-televised competition in the matter of “do it now?”  Or, do the rules of the game mitigate legitimate, adrenaline-inducing urges to score already.