Leatherheads – A Movie Review

 Culture, Movies  Comments Off on Leatherheads – A Movie Review
Nov 232008

Leatherheads Movie PosterIn 1925, Dodge Connelly is a charming, brash football hero who is determined to guide his team from bar brawls to packed stadiums. But after the players lose their sponsor and the entire league faces certain collapse, Dodge convinces a college football star to join his ragtag ranks. The captain hopes his latest move will help the struggling sport finally capture the country’s attention. Welcome to the team Carter Rutherford, America’s favorite son. A golden-boy war hero who single-handedly forced multiple German soldiers to surrender in WWI, Carter has dashing good looks and unparalleled speed on the field. This new champ is almost too good to be true, and Lexie Littleton aims to prove that’s the case. A cub journalist playing in the big leagues, Lexie is a spitfire newswoman who suspects there are holes in Carter’s war story. But while she digs, the two teammates start to become serious off-field rivals for her fickle affections. As the new game of pro-football becomes less like the freewheeling sport he knew and loved, Dodge must both fight to keep his guys together and to get the girl of his dreams. Finding that love and football have a surprisingly similar playbook, however, he has one maneuver he will save just for the fourth quarter.

Genres: Comedy and Sports; Running Time: 1 hr. 53 min.; Release Date: April 4th, 2008 (wide); MPAA Rating: PG-13 for brief strong language.

Starring: George Clooney, Renee Zellweger, John Krasinski, Wayne Duvall, Jonathan Pryce

Directed by: George Clooney

Lay and I watched this movie on TV Saturday evening as an Amazon.com download. There was great chemistry between Clooney and Zellweger. The movie had some funny moments, and would be OK for a family to see. That gags were reasonably funny. Clooney did  a great job recreating what I take to be the period.

A Long Winter's Nap

 Culture, Friends, Fun Stuff, Holidays, Places, Tampa  Comments Off on A Long Winter's Nap
Jan 012007

Happy New Year to everyone! – 2007

Today, it’s cool and overcast. We’ve had rain for a good bit of the morning. I was up at 8:30 so I could give our friends Mike and Jeff (and Jeff’s sister and lover) a ride to the Tampa Stadium. They are attending the Outback Bowl. Jeff was not at all interested in going to begin with, but the weather really made him want to stay home.

I needed to mow the lawn, but have had to cancel that plan. I went to the grocery store, but that’s been about it so far. Right now I’m sitting here watching the Outback Bowl. I should take down the Christmas tree today, but I don’t know if I will be that motivated or not. I foresee a nice afternoon nap.

I do have to do some meeting preparation, as I have to fly to D.C. tomorrow for a meeting in Maryland Wednesday. I wound up having to pay some attention to some work related things this past week while I was “on vacation,” so I’m going to make that up by taking off this coming Friday.

Whatever happened to the USFL?

 Culture, Fun Stuff, General  Comments Off on Whatever happened to the USFL?
Jun 032006

The United States Football League is one of history’s more interesting failures. It was founded by entrepreneur David Dixon in 1982, and lasted three seasons before fading into history. However, despite its short tenure, the league is still remembered by many.Originally, the USFL aimed to capitalize on the National Football League‘s hiatus in the spring and summer months. Dixon believed fans wanted football year round, and he was right — many did. In 1983, the league’s first year, attendance was robust and television ratings were solid. With Heisman Trophy winner Herschel Walker leading the charge, the league expanded from 12 to 16 teams in 1984.

Unfortunately, despite the expansion and the league’s knack for signing big names like Walker, Steve Young, and Doug Flutie, profits remained elusive. According to this site dedicated to the defunct league, by 1985, it was the beginning of the end. The USFL filed a $1.5 billion antitrust suit against the NFL. Clearly, trouble was brewing.

The lawsuit eventually came to a head and the USFL won. Well, sort of. The league was awarded $1 in damages. Not $1 billion. Not $1 million. $1. Mired in debt, the league shut down in 1986.

While the league wasn’t around long, it had a lasting effect. Many future NFL stars got their start in the USFL, and some of the league’s rules (like the two-point conversion) were later implemented in the NFL.

Fond Memories Of My Favorite Season

 General, Weather  Comments Off on Fond Memories Of My Favorite Season
Oct 092005

Autumn has officially arrived. As usual it’s a little hard to tell here in Tampa. However, we got a couple of overcast rainy days this past week. That made it a little cooler, and made me think of Fall.

I think autumn is my favorite time of year. Coming from the western part of North Carolina, and having gone to college at Appalachian State University in the northwest corner of the corner, I have seen some beautiful shows of fall colors. I have literally had my breath taken away while driving up the mountains to Boone and Blowing Rock returning to school, or looking off some of the overlooks on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

As stunning as the colors are, I think its much of the other things about this time of year that appeal to me. My mom was the school system nurse for thirty plus years in my home town, and at one point in my life, I worked for a few years as a representative for a yearbook publishing company. So for many years, that “school schedule” was an important part of life. It is a time of settling in and getting back to routine.

My granddaddy was a cotton farmer, so the cotton would be coming in, and my mom and grandmother would be “putting up” corn, green beans, and vegetable soup. I remember a few early Saturday mornings going with Granddaddy to the cotton gin. I’d dig a hole in the cotton in the front corner of the trailer, and off we’d go with the big red Farmall tractor chugging along down the road. And that old cotton gin was an amazing place for me. I especially love the big vacuum tube that sucked the cotton out of the trailer.

Even now I feel like the business environment changes around this time of year. People sort of get serious again, and start paying more attention. Vacations are over, budget time starts, and you’re in the last quarter of the year.

The days start getting shorter and the mornings a bit cooler (even here in Florida sometimes). Back in my hometown you’d step out in the evenings and often catch the smell of burning leaves. People outside the city limits raked their leaves to the side of the road, and burned them. Football season goes into full swing. I was in the band, so each Friday night was a big deal during high school. And there’s nothing more beautiful than the big mountain covered with hardwoods rising above the end of the stadium at ASU draped in Fall colors.

Even when I was in college I was a resident assistant in a freshman dormitory, so not only was it a time for me to start back to school, it was the time to help thirty plus freshmen get off to a good start at college, and experience all the excitement of meeting new people.

So fall is a time that brings back lots of nice memories for me. Part is that agrarian attitude of brining in the crops and preparing for winter; part is that getting back to school with friends and routine; and a lot is the beauty that I know is so much a part of fall in North Carolina. I can see it in my mind, even here in Tampa.