Tag Archives: NFL

Bon Voyage, Monsieur Ryan

Don’t cough, what bright spotlight through this here window pane.
It is the tweet and Matt Ryan is no longer the sun.
Go fly, fair son, and be still with the plentifully stunned.

Go forth, go forth, wherever you will,
Unwind stiff muscles and refute all the shame
Or if now be not a good time to peel off game gloves
Then I’ll no longer dream of playing for an ornithologist.

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The Atlanta Falcons have announced that their quarterback for more than a decade is stripping off the humidity of the south’s red, black, and white for mid-western climes in hues of white and blue.  No longer a predatory bird will Matt Ryan be; instead, he shall become a mammal — a colt.  Even though his football days, weeks, months, and years in Atlanta can coldly be summarized as a refrain of so-close-and-yet-so-far, and it was often painful to watch the Falcons play in the last several years, the good times were really good, weren’t they?

I’ll treasure always the picture of the pig he drew me when he was a rookie.

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PS. Yes, there is a reason why the opening of the entry sounds familiar.

Edible Architect Candyman

are some tragedies too dense,
too loud in their seasoning?
always simmering
in some kind of broth
and too much salt
in the veins?

do we all need a vessel
for retribution,
an avenger who can
be plucked forth
from the ether
by repeating his name
but only
in dire circumstances
and not as a game?

because it’s a 50-50 toss-up
whether he will climb
through the wall,
flash in to the here and now
reflected in
your foolish daring or fear,
to rescue you or
to make you squeal
and spray a crescent of liquid red
as a painted rainbow
fanned above your head?
— yiqi 19 February 2022 11:00 pm

This poem was inspired by a Candyman double-feature I watched because I felt like it.  I’d seen the 1992 version (Bernard Rose) many years ago and I’ve read the short story The Forbidden by Clive Barker on which it was based (in the fifth volume of his Books of Blood) and remember it being unsettling in atmosphere and action.

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I’m much more of a Hellraiser kind of gal, so I wasn’t particularly interested in seeing Nia Dacosta‘s 2021 version, but when I was running errands today, I came across a two-DVD combo pack and figured, “Oh, why the hell not?”

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I like both renditions of Candyman.  I might like the 1992 one slightly more simply because it functions better as a companion piece to the source material (Barker was an executive producer).  DaCosta’s film is less of an adaptation of The Forbidden and more of a conversation with Rose’s film.  You could watch each film as separate texts and enjoy them for what they are independent of intertextuality or you could consider them pieces of self-introspection in dialogue with each other.  Regardless of how Candyman (2021) was officially marketed, the audience gets to decide if what it just saw was a remake, a sequel, or a reinterpretation.  While the 1992 version necessarily examines the role of urban legends through the characters of Helen (Virginia Madsen) and Trevor (Xander Berkeley), specifically in the scene near the beginning of the film where he teaches his class that “They are the un-self-conscious reflection of the fears of urban society,” the 2021 version already knows that oral tradition is powerful.

Yahya-Abdul Mateen II does an excellent job at portraying a painter whose life holds a certain purpose that only reveals itself after he gets stung by a bee and he steadily becomes unhinged.  If Jordan Peele and Nia DaCosta ever wanted to make a movie exploring a contemporary Faustian bargain with the devil, Yahya should be Faust…or the devil.  Not that I think Stephen King‘s novel Misery needs to be adapted into a movie again, but, if it were given a TV mini-series treatment, he could be the James Caan or the Kathy Bates.
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I loved the sections with the silhouette animation, which were incorporated into the film whenever someone was telling a story of the past.
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According to one of the making-of featurettes on the DVD, Nia DaCosta cited David Cronenberg‘s The Fly (1986) as inspiration for how to get the right look for body horror.

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What do either Candyman have to do with “Edible Architect”? Nothing.  It’s in this Bad Lip Reading video and if you need a good laugh, look no further.

Original pic creds: IMDB

Suspense Pastoral

I’ve been watching the Atlanta Braves and the Houston Astros swing it out in the World Series and noticed an element of baseball game play that I’d never before contemplated.  Compared to other team sports, the rhythm and suspense of baseball game play in relation to scoring is that no matter which team you root for, you can be more hopeful that your team can keep the lead or shrink the score gap.  There are nine innings after all.  Ninety-five minutes into a baseball game and you’re not even at the fifth inning yet.  There’s a more fluid stop-and-go of “plays” that lessens the sense of fiendish urgency to score points (in contrast to football, which consists of a much more blatant stop-and-go of plays and feeds into the o-m-g-we-are-losing energy).

Moreover, unlike the rapidly changing points in basketball, baseball’s scoring fluctuates in moderation (nevermind that the Astros took quite the lead against the Braves in Game 5 of the World Series and in a short period of time).  Though the game play is slower than that of futbol and hockey, the players have an easier time hitting balls, running bases, and making homeruns.  In other words, watch a baseball game for forty-five minutes and both teams would likely have at least one or two runs.  Watch a futbol or hockey game for the same amount of time and you’re lucky if one team made one point.

It’s easier to passively watch baseball too.  One can mute the game and knit a pair of gloves without feeling as though one is missing anything that cannot be seen on the screen.  Although I have muted Falcons’ games in the past (and other football games), there’s inevitably a part of me that wonders if something illuminating is being imparted by the commentators in relation to a play or a penalty.  Speaking of the Atlanta Falcons, they did not beat the Carolina Panthers on Halloween.  They lost 19 to 13, aka, three field goals or one touch down.  After skimming the scoring summary, it turns out that the Falcons missed a field goal in the bottom of the third quarter.  Even if they’d made that field goal, they would still be down by three points going into the end of the fourth quarter.  So, unless someone pulled a TD out of their elbow before the two-minute warning, they wouldn’t have won anyway.

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

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Pic cred: Lesly Juarez, unsplash

Would You Wear the Green Sash?

Envision yourself on a quest where you must arrive at a specific location by Christmas and follow through with a promise you made the previous year.  If you keep your word, you will lose your head…literally.  A woman offers you a green sash (or is it more of a large ribbon? belt?) that as long as you keep it tied around your body, you will never die (or at least never be mortally wounded).  Do you accept?

Of course you accept…and to wonder anything more would be to venture into spoiler territory, which I shan’t do.

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Since the start of the year, I’ve only vaguely kept up with what movies would be playing in theatres in my city.  I still have not been to a movie theatre since I watched Tenet a year ago.  Among other films, I skipped The Green Knight (David Lowery, 2021) when it came to town.  As the months went by, I was no longer sure I would see it at all…and then it came out on DVD.

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Passively waiting until it was available on DVD was the right choice in the end.  I got to enjoy the subtitles and a few making-of featurettes, which really contributed to my positive regard for the film.  In one evening, I viewed the film nearly twice from start to to finish with a few repeat-watches of specific segments.  I wasn’t expecting to see a fox companion…that eventually talked [somewhat like the one from Lars von Trier‘s Antichrist (2007) but minus the ridiculous delivery].

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Not long after Gawain (Dev Patel) encounters the fox, he sees giant entities traversing across the landscape before him.  On the one hand, it shifts abruptly the viewer’s perception of the time-and-place and even genre of the film, but on the other hand, Gawain did just unknowingly eat some fungus that isn’t meant for dietary consumption.

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I really like The Green Knight and I don’t know why.  Perhaps it is due to the film’s fairy-tale tone and story.

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In sports headlines, the Atlanta Braves may bring competitive glory to this here city once again (in general but also for themselves and longtime Braves fans).  I remember the 90s Braves and watching them win the World Series in 1995 against Cleveland on TV.

This moment…the pile-up at the end:

Now that I think back on the last decade before the turn of the 21st century, there was a period of time when I watched a lot of televised baseball and so many of the games were of the Braves.  Why?  Now that decades have passed, I realize fully that it was because of Fred McGriff (who played first base) and Javier Lopez (the catcher).

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While we’re at this juncture in the corner of reminiscence, check out these videos:

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Et plus, the Atlanta Falcons beat the Miami Dolphins 30 to 28 (via 3 touchdowns and 3 field goals).  Get game summary, stats, and play-by-play here.

Pic creds: IMDB

We Mustn’t Build It or They Will Come

But build it we did and the enemy did come.

As many individuals who served in the American military believed, building an outpost at the bottom of a valley in Afghanistan was an absurd and terrible idea.  Even when respectful apprehension at the plan was met with agreement, the commands from higher pay grades and ranks superseded all forms of reconsideration.  Jake Tapper’s book The Outpost opens with the lunacy of building an outpost in a valley and not atop a mountain when he relates a conversation between “a young intelligence analyst named Jacob Whittaker” and his “superior officer, Second Lieutenant Ryan Lockner” in the “summer of 2006” (3).  Lockner gave Whittaker an assignment to create a visual aid for a morning presentation detailing the location of a new outpost.  After verifying that he had the correct information for its exact location, Whittaker confirmed that he could make the requested Power Point, “But sir…that is a really awful place for a base…it’s located at the base of a mountain peak…and flanked by a river on the west and another river to the north?”

Lockner added, “And there’s no good road to get to it — they’re still building that…”

To which Whittaker responded, “And it’s an eternity away by helicopter if something goes wrong..Sir, this is a really bad idea…A. Really. Bad. Idea. Anyone we drop off there is going to die.”

Jake Tapper’s summary of the exchange between Whittaker and Lockner includes more information on the topography on the area that Camp Kamdesh (eventually renamed Camp Outpost Keating) would be built no matter how tactically nonsensical.  Orders were orders after all.

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I finished reading Jake Tapper’s book recently and loved it.  I experienced a substantial pang of sadness and “what the hell?!” afterwards because of current events.  So many lives lost, so many dollars poured into plans, projects, and good intentions that evaporated just like that.

I had wanted to write a blog entry about it after I’d rewatched the The Outpost (Rod Lurie, 2019) and re-read some of the passages in Clinton Romesha‘s account of being at Camp Outpost Keating when it was breached by the enemy….but, I didn’t feel like waiting any more.

If you’ve not seen the film nor read either of the books but would like to plunge into the triumvirate of texts, I recommend you watch the movie first, then read Red Platoon, and then read The Outpost.  Most of the book consists of establishing geo-political and historical contexts that preceded, facilitated, exacerbated what happened at COP Keating.  If you have seen the movie and read Clinton Romesha’s book (or have consumed just one of them) and you want a more compare-and-contrast reading experience of Jake Tapper’s book, then I suggest you read the final section, Book Three entitled “Enemy in the Wire: The End of Combat Outpost Keating”).

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I do want to re-watch the movie soon and organize my notes and thoughts for a blog post.

And, the Atlanta Falcons were in merry ole London over the weekend for gridiron action against the New York Jets.  The Falcons moistened the Jets’ towelettes 27 to 20.  Final score.  Get game summary, stats, and play-by-play here.