Monday, April 26, 2010
Growing up as a Philadelphia sports fan, I had a Charles Barkley old school Sixers jersey and the Randall Cunningham Kelly green Eagles jersey. Even my first brush with being a Nuggets fan came with me as a kid designing my own 1980s rainbow styled jersey using a white tank top and entire box of Crayola markers (still my favorite uniforms to this day).
But collecting jerseys of your favorite players on your favorite teams just isn’t as fun as it used to be because your favorite players don’t seem to stay on your favorite teams as long as they used to.
Case in point: as a Christmas present in 2004, my parents got me a Terrell Owens Eagles jersey to wear for the Birds’ impending Super Bowl run (that, as we all know now, ended disastrously). Since T.O. was hurt for the first two playoff games, I didn’t wear the jersey until the Super Bowl, but it was going to be my go-to article of clothing for many seasons to come. Fast forward a few months to the fall out between Owens and the team (that, as we all know now, ended even more disastrously) and I NEVER wore the jersey again.
That’s right, I wore that stupid T.O. Eagles jersey a grand total of one time.
Another case in point: after Denver Broncos wide receiver Brandon Marshall single-handedly led my fantasy football team to a championship a few years ago, he became my new favorite player in the NFL. When I decided to move to Denver a year and a half ago, my then-Girlfriend (now Wife) bought me a Marshall jersey as a “Welcome to Denver” gift. But since I didn’t arrive to the Mile High City until after the 2008 season was over, I only got to wear my Marshall jersey around town this past year while the mercurial receiver and head coach Josh McDaniels were at odds (and then, once again, we all know how that ended).
In this modern era of sports where players change teams so frequently, a fan's jersey can become outdated faster than technology.
And it’s not even the players changing teams that are killing fans in regards to team apparel anymore.
It’s the players changing numbers.
I feel sick every time I go to the Pepsi Center and see the thousands of poor, innocent fans that are stuck walking around with a Kenyon Martin #6 jersey or a Chauncey Billups #7 or a J.R. Smith #1. That’s three players on one team that have changed their uniform number over the past couple of years (Chauncey and J.R. made their switches just this season).
I feel even worse for Cleveland Cavalier fans monitoring the LeBron James situation. He is either going to leave for a new team or even if he stays, he’s decided to switch from wearing #23 to #6. So you’re basically screwed either way if you currently own a Cavs #23 jersey.
Thanks, King James.
This current trend of players switching teams and switching numbers so often has cooled me a bit on throwing down hard earned cash to wear their current incarnation for a limited time. But I still love wearing my team’s colors, so I have been looking for some solutions to this increasing problem.
1. Wear a throwback jersey. There was a time where I would have resisted this because, while I respect the past, I like to live in the present as a fan. But when the present starts changing faster than the prices at your corner gas station, honoring the past quickly becomes an attractive option. My buddy Kevin was the first of our group to do it. He is a fellow Eagles fan and a couple of years ago, he bought a Jerome Brown (R.I.P.) Kelly green Eagles jersey and I remember thinking to myself, “Hmm… that will never become obsolete.” I followed suit last season when my father in-law graciously gave me an adult sized Randall Cunningham throwback. I wore it during every Eagles game this past year and he is still my favorite Eagle.
2. Order a personalized jersey. While I love the Cunningham jersey, I still want to sport the Eagles new colors from time to time and I’ve been leaning heavily towards ordering a custom-made “Mahler” Eagles jersey. I would still have the throwback but I could represent the present with one guy I know will never get traded or leave.
3. Redeem an old jersey. Denver fans are in a very unique situation right now. There are literally thousands of local Broncos fans that got left stranded with an outdated #15 jersey after Marshall got traded (like me). But when the newly drafted Tim Tebow announced that he is going to wear the vacated number as a pro, that provided a very intriguing option to redeem those Marshall jerseys by just changing the name on the back. Now I have no idea what Tebow is going to do as a pro but I just don't want to throw away another obsolete jersey. I’ve done some searching online and of course the NFL doesn’t sell replacement nameplates (and they apparently take legal action on any one that does), but there has to be a way. Even if I have to write Tebow’s name over Marshall’s name with a sharpie, I’m not going to drop another 80 bucks on a jersey with a number that I already own.
Any other suggestions to this issue would be greatly appreciated.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
The less than stellar finish last season coupled with the lack of star power had to be determining factors in the Broncs only getting one primetime game on the 2010 schedule (week 11 at San Diego), but overall, it looks to be a manageable path for a team trying to get back on the right one.
The schedule makers were gracious to Denver as they get the Colts and Jets (at home) out of the way relatively early and while they do have a vicious three game road trip late in the season, Kansas City (a Kurt Warner less) Arizona, and Oakland isn't the worst combination they could have inherited. Besides, they are rewarded with two home games to end the season.
Here is the full Broncos schedule for the 2010 campaign:
12 @ Jacksonville
10/3 @ Tennessee
10/10 @ Baltimore
10/17 NEW YORK JETS
10/31 @ San Francisco (in London)
11/14 KANSAS CITY
11/22 @ San Diego (Monday Night)
11/28 ST. LOUIS
12/5 @ Kansas City
12/12 @ Arizona
12/19 @ Oakland
1/2 SAN DIEGO
Around the rest of the league, here are some of the other noteable games:
- Vikings vs. Saints (Thursday, Sep 9) Rematch of last year's NFC title game to kick off the new year. Let's all hold our breath and wait for Brett Favre to decide if he is going to grace us with his presence.
- Cowboys vs. Redskins (Sunday Night, Sep 12) Donovan McNabb makes his Skins' debut against the rival Cowboys in the first Sunday night game of the season.
- Ravens vs. Jets (Monday Night, Sep 13) New York head coach Rex Ryan faces his old squad in the Jets' first game in their new stadium.
- Giants vs. Colts (Sunday Night, Sep 19) Manning Bowl!
- Redskins vs. Eagles (Sunday, Oct 3) McNabb makes his return to Philly.
- Steelers vs. Saints (Sunday Night, Oct 31) The NFL decides to go head to head with the World Series
- Saints vs. Cowboys (Thursday, Nov 25) One of the better sounding Thanksgiving Day games in recent memories (Patriots vs. Lions is the other offering)
- Bengals vs. Jets (Thursday Night Nov 25) Rematch from the playoffs serves as a quality Thanksgiving nightcap.
Click here for full 2010 NFL schedule
Can't wait for the draft to make it's primetime debut on Thursday night and I'm already looking forward to the new season.
What do you think of the Broncos schedule? Are there any other games from around the league that jump out at you?
Let me know below!
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Andrew was riding high after that ingenious Straight Up performance, but never built upon that through the competition. Instead of coming off cool and hip, he somehow grew nerdier with each week (no offense meant, as I am as nerdy as they get) but you could sense that he was having trouble connecting with any semblance of a demographic.
In all fairness to me, I did note that Katie was my default female leader after Hollywood, only because I hadn't seen Siobhan yet and was all kinds of concerned over Crystal's image issues (which have been solved to an extent). I thought Katie had one of the only "big" voices in the field this season but she never harnessed those vocals nor delivered that epic, power moment.
Had they found themselves as artists earlier (or at all), I still wouldn't have been surprised to see them standing together at the end. But they each lost their way, never found a specific audience to connect with, and here we are.
I've got Crystal maintaining the top spot for the 12 billionth week in a row and I have to imagine that Lee, Siobhan, and Casey will be rounding out the Top 4 for the rest of the run unless someone else gets crazy white hot just at the right time (umm... gulp... Tim? Am I crazy or was he actually somewhat decent this week?).
How good is VoteForTheWorst.com feeling right now, by the way?
I still like Big Mike a lot but it's hard to consider him a legit contender after being up for elimination last week and falling into the Bottom 3 again this week. With Tim (ugh) and Aaron (ugh) starting to gain some traction, it's starting to feel like only a matter of time for Big Mike.
1. Crystal Bowersox (no change from last week)
3. Siobhan Magnus (+1)
4. Casey James (-1)
5. Aaron Kelly (+3)
Monday, April 12, 2010
I've resisted the urge to speculate on the matter for 12 full days now, but just can't wait any longer.
First the facts:
- Everyone thought it was an April Fool's joke (including me) when the story broke from People.com that Sheen was ready to leave the show after this, its seventh season. According to People, "Charlie’s just done," says a set source. "And he’s quietly telling his friends he’s not coming back." The story went on to say that Sheen had very recently turned down an offer from CBS for the eighth season because “He wants to move on,” says a friend of the actor. “Leaving is 100 percent his idea.”
- Men remains one of the highest rated comedies on television, so losing one of the main stars would be a major blow to the series and potentially to CBS and its powerful Monday night programming block (Men has anchored the night from the 9 p.m. EST slot for most of its run). History suggests that a show is doomed when a lead character exits and, ironically enough, one of the best examples is when Sheen himself tried to replace Michael J. Fox on Spin City.
- Everyone (including me) instantly took Sheen's statement as a negotiations ploy since his contract was up at the end of this season. Apparently he has been making somewhere in the ballpark of $800,000+ an episode but reportedly asked for $1.5 million per ep sometime last year (Sheen's people have since said these numbers and demands are false).
- What makes the story all the more interesting is that just last year, CBS picked up the series to run through the 2011-12 season, so in my mind, this still feels like the perfection negotiation tactic. Your contract is up, you know the show can't carry on without you but needs to fulfill its contractual obligations, you say you're leaving and the network suddenly has to throw money at you. Makes sense to me. But Sheen and his representatives have repeatedly disputed this point. “Both parties have known the score for over a year,” Sheen said in a recent statement. “In no way, has this been a hasty or negligent eleventh hour surprise." “A negotiation ploy is something you do to get the best possible deal," Sheen's publicist Stan Rosenfield added. "Charlie told them what he wanted a year ago.”
- Men filmed its season finale this past Friday and according to sources close to the situation, it was "business as usual." Reportedly, Sheen didn't address the studio audience on the subject or make any teary good-bye speeches to the cast and crew (who were supposedly stunned by his recent "decision" to leave the show).
So... where do we go from here?
As much as I would love to believe that Sheen has actually grown a conscience and this could actually be the end of my least favorite show on television, I'm not going buy into any of the posturing until an actual decision is made and Sheen is no longer on the show.
While there may actually be some truth to his desire to move on with his career (to what?), I just can't see him - or anyone for that matter - walking away from the boatload of money I have to believe that CBS is going to throw at him in a few weeks.
Why just a few weeks?
Because the network upfronts are in May. And for those not familiar with the term, the upfronts are the dog and pony show where the networks announce their fall schedules to potential advertisers (it's worth noting Men has been commanding over $220,000 for a 30 second commercial spot. Not bad at all for a half hour sitcom and you can't see CBS wanting to lose that kind of cash).
One rumor that has been floating around that makes the most sense (if he is truly sincere about leaving the show) is to only have Sheen appear in a handful episodes. That way he could get paid more per episode like he wants, the show would be theoretically be able to continue and fulfill its contract, and CBS wouldn't be paying him much more over the course of the season due to his limited appearances.
In the words of Michael Scott, that feels like a win-win-win.
If I was a betting man, however, I would put my money on CBS buckling, giving him the close to the $1.5 mil per ep and him returning for at least one more full season.
I will leave you with one last thought: If CBS thinks it through, they don't necessarily HAVE to buckle in this case. As I've been combing over their potential pilot orders, they actually have some decent sounding comedies in the works that could step right in and help stabilize the CBS Monday night lineup.
Off of the top of my head, they could keep "How I Met Your Mother" at 8 p.m. EST, slide in "Livin' on a Prayer" (from "HIMYM" scribes) at 8:30, move the widely successful "Big Bang Theory" up to 9 p.m., and lead out with William Shatner's new "family" comedy, "Stuff My Dad Says" at 9:30 p.m.
While I can't see them kicking "Men" of the night entirely (regardless if Sheen leaves or returns in limited duty), my point is that if this was NBC, they would have to give in to actor because they don't have any thing in the works to replace a hit.
But CBS does.
They already have more than seven potential comedy pilots being developed for next year. It remains to see how many - if any - actually get promoted to the schedule, but that's a huge number for one network regardless.
My humble advice to the Eye would be to call Sheen's bluff, proceed as if he (and possibly the show) aren't going to be around and wait him out until you are actually walking out on the stage to present your fall lineup to the advertisers.
Maybe he comes running in and takes whatever you're offering, maybe he really is choosing to move on with his life and career. Either way, CBS needs to realize it holds all the cards and they shouldn't give in to yet another potential greedy actor.
Which means they probably will.
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
A couple quick thoughts from the American Idol performance and results shows:
- I personally didn't care for Big Mike's performance on Tuesday night but there was no way I would have put him in the bottom three, let alone had him on the chopping block. Once he was, however, there was no doubt in my mind that the judges were going to save him. So, the moral of the story is that even though the talent this year is less than stellar, at least it seems to be pretty even across the board. Last night's results proved that anyone can head home over the smallest slip-up. Looking forward, you gotta believe Mike returns to form next week - which will only complicate things more now that two contestants will be leaving.
- For some reason, I was really glad Katie didn't fall to the Bottom 3. You can see her improving each week and she may be starting to peak just at the right time (maybe I'm just pulling for her because I had her as the female favorite after Hollywood Week. Whoops!)
- The biggest surprise of the night was that Tim Urban wasn't even in the Bottom 3! While Tuesday night was one of his "better" performances, all of the contestants should be very aware (and alarmed) that he is only gaining steam as the show continues (congrats to VoteForTheWorst.com. This is an epic run for them).
- Hate to say it, but Andrew seemed to take a major step backward after taking a necessary, albeit small step forward last week (I just wanted to use the word, "albeit").
- I was glad to finally see Aaron in the Bottom 3. I didn't think it was possible, but he is actually somehow finding a way to get more boring and generic each week. I flipped the channel and watched the commercials during Lost while he was singing and was way more entertained.
On to the Power Rankings!
1. Crystal Bowersox (no change from last week) - still the most consistent, solid performer of the group. I don't know if she will hang on for the wire-to-wire win but she is the only "professional" singer in the group so far.
2. Lee Dewyze (no change) - despite his Eeyore personality, Lee is getting better every week and has really started to grow on me. I could actually see myself going to one of his concerts someday (as long as the tickets were free).
3. Casey James (+1) - HUGE night for him. It was good to see him stretch himself a bit and prove that he can be a legit singer in addition to a solid entertainer.
4. Siobhan Magnus (-1) - There is nothing technically wrong with Siobhan and I still think she will be a major player down the stretch, but it does seem like maybe she peaked a little too early in the competition as there has been increasing Siobhan backlash on the message boards lately.
5. Katie Stevens (+3) - Best night for her so far this season. I agreed with Simon that her performance had a strong country/Martina McBride-ish element to it (in a good way). She needs to keep picking songs that mean something to her because that's where she is showing to be the strongest.
6. Michael Lynche (-1) - Even though his neck was on the line, I still like Mike to return to form next week and make some more (good sounding) noise down the stretch.
7. Tim Urban (+2) - Tim definitely seems to be gaining steam somehow and he makes it hard to nail down a specific spot for him. Had to move him up a bit this week by virtue of the fact that he finally escaped sweating it out in the Bottom 3.
8. Aaron Kelly (+1) - With his appearance in the Bottom 3, I'm hoping that proves that people are starting to tire of his generic offerings as much as I am. I just don't know if he has the self awareness and experience to know how to turn it around. Hope I'm right.
9. Andrew Garcia (-3) - With two people going home next week I already think Andrew could be in trouble no matter what he does. Hope I'm wrong.
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4335 West 44th Avenue
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Parking: Street parking is plentiful surrounding the theater.
Food and Beverages: Popcorn and beverages will be available for purchase on site.
To learn more about Triabetes, or to view the video trailer for "The Science of Inspiriation", visit Triabetes.
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Thursday, April 1, 2010
By Richard Dresser
For all of you baseball fans that just cannot wait for the regular season to get underway on Sunday (or Monday, depending on your personal rooting interests), let me suggest taking a road trip down to Cripple Creek, Colorado for the Thin Air Theater Company’s presentation of Rounding Third.
Simply, Third is the comedy featuring an odd-couple pairing of fathers who have joined forces (albeit reluctantly) to coach their sons’ little league baseball team. But there is so much more to it than that.
Mel Moser plays Don (never “Donald” ), the gung-ho, win at all costs, experienced coach who runs his team like a military unit. Mickey Burdick takes on the role of Michael (never “Mike” and certainly never “Mikey”), the passive, having fun is all that matters, completely inexperienced assistant coach who is just there to spend some time with his boy.
I’ll be completely honest: since I tend to skew toward Don’s mentality as a die-hard sports fan myself, I was nervous that this was going to turn into a modern era, politically correct story that ultimately waters down the competitive component of sports.
Fortunately I was wrong.
Dresser’s script does a great job of showing that both characters are at times right and at times wrong. More importantly it shows how to deal with those issues in everyday life, even beyond the playing field. The story successfully weaves Don and Michael’s personal problems throughout the course of the little league season and ends with a refreshing, mature perspective on our interactions with others as we travel through life.
I’m always interested/cautious when it comes to a two man show, only because there’s more of a burden on the actors to fill the space and time. Once again, all fears were relieved after watching Moser and Burdick’s individual and collective performances. Both were perfectly cast into their opposite-end-of-the-spectrum roles, yet displayed the necessary depth to grow and change as the story progress. Both roles demanded broad, comedic moments as well as subtle dramatic points and both actors proved capable – a task that could have been a wreck in lesser hands.
If nothing else, since I am still relatively new to Colorado, the show provided an excellent opportunity to get away to a fun, new destination for an evening. I was thoroughly entertained by Rounding Third in the intimate, comfortable setting of the Butte Theater and am now even more excited for Opening Day.
Contains mild adult language. Some material may be inappropriate for Children under 13.
Show times are Thursdays and Fridays at 7 p.m., Saturdays at 1 and 7 p.m., Sundays at 1 p.m. (no show on Easter Sunday, April 4th)
Tickets are $15.75 adults, $13.75 seniors, call for group rates.
The Butte Opera House is located at 139 E. Bennett Ave., Cripple Creek. For information or for reservations, call 719-689-3247 or 719-689-6402.
For more information or to book on line, visit http://www.butteoperahouse.com/
I personally don't think so, so the results really didn't alarm me too much (we will have credibility issues if Tim starts lasting beyond most of the names listed above).
The real issue with Tim is that while he is bad, he's not outrageous-Sanjaya bad. You can understand why little girls and grandmas might vote for him and do not ever rule out his VoteForTheWorst.com following. I can even see him lasting another week (Katie) or two (Andrew) or maybe even three (if Aaron just bombs one week), but I can't see him cracking any of my Top 5 (new rankings listed below!)
Quick thought on Didi: I liked her a lot going into the season (and I still like her a lot as an artist), but she could never fully get control of her emotions, and I have to believe that definitely played a part in her departure this week.
Since I wasn’t able to post yesterday, here is a quick recap of the Tuesday night performance show before we get to the power rankings (written before I watched the results show last night):
For the first time all season, Ms. Magnus came back down to earth with the rest of the pack. She was a little too screechy on a boring song. Just never a good combination.
Have to give Casey James instant brownie points for finding a song that hadn’t been done on Idol before. It seems like he is finally starting to develop the (necessary) star persona to go along with his strong vocals. Thoroughly entertaining performance overall.
I was really looking forward to see what Big Mike was going to do for R&B night so while it was a solid performance, I was disappointed by the song choice. This was a night he needed to dominate and separate from the group, but was completely outdone by Casey before him.
I once compared Did’s inability to manage her emotions on a consistent basis to Donovan F. McNabb’s inability to throw accurately on a consistent basis. Didi let her emotions get the best of her performance and it was exactly like watching Don six-hop a pass to an open receiver on third down.
I respect and appreciate Tim’s positive attitude, but the dude’s gotta go. (*whoops!)
Welcome back to the show, Andrew Garcia. It took me a while to recognize the song and I mean that in the best way possible. It was a fresh take on a song that’s almost become a parody of itself (that youtube wedding video and The Office wedding episode certainly haven't helped). Hope that wasn’t too little too late.
Despite the judges’ praise (save Simon), the song still seemed too big for Katie somehow, which is confusing because she has one of the bigger voices in the competition. That doesn’t even matter because Katie’s main problem is that she still has absolutely no “star” vibe yet.
Lee’s performance was the perfect example of what I was just saying about Katie. At this point in the show, we know they can all sing. Now we need to be entertained. Lee has made one of the larger leaps (if not the largest) in that area so far this season.
I know I talk a lot about the contestants doing some of my favorite songs but Crystal did my absolute all time favorite song so there is no way I’m even going to try to do an objective review. I was actually impressed with Ellen’s thought: it was not only good to see her do something different, but do just as well as she normally does. Great point. I need to move on because I still have goosebumps!
I think I would have enjoyed Aaron’s rendition of “Ain’t No Sunshine” a lot more, if he hadn’t done it just one year after Kris Allen’s epic version. Just felt like a cheap knock-off even though his vocals were strong overall.
My Top 3 of the night: 1. Crystal, 2. Lee, 3. Casey AND Andrew (just because I've been waiting for Andrew to wake up for the past few weeks)
My Bottom 3 of the night: 1. Tim, 2. Katie, 3. Didi
What did you think of soul and R&B night and Usher as the mentor? ALSO, how about that backstage camera? Cool insight to the contestants off the stage or just another annoying TV gimmick?
On to the power rankings!
1. Crystal Bowersox (no change from last week)
2. Lee Dewyze (+2)
3. Siobhan Magnus (-1)
4. Casey James (+1)
5. Michael Lynche (-2)
6. Andrew Garcia (+2)
7. Aaron Kelly (-1)
8. Katie Stevens (+1)
9. Tim Urban (+1 by default of eliminated contestant)
Let me know what YOU think below!