Thursday, July 10, 2008

Dr Who

When you grow up with a TV series like Dr Who, have vague recollections of Jon Pertwee in the titular role, but discover the true joy with the jelly baby-eating, long scarf style of Tom Baker, it's hard to watch a dip into disappointment perpetrated by the series writers with Sylvester "clueless" McCoy at the helm. So when Russell Davis takes over for a reinvigoration, the scepticism remains. Christopher Ecclestone was just too, well, northern for the role (and that comes from a Yorkshireman). David Tennant, however, has nailed it. Backed by scripts that are invariably good, occasionally weak (Agatha Christie and giant wasps? Puh-lease), but frequently sensational (Journey's End) Tennant has become THE Doctor. And that is some praise.

Even if you didn't get the cool back-references to Sarah Jane's past encounters with Davros, the fill out of the backstory has been handled with superb care to the legacy. Davis now leaves with Steve Moffat in charge, a year to conjure up new plots (surely a return of The Master, the Cybermen, and others from the past), but it will be hard living up to the standard set by the season four finale. It's showing on the Sci-fi channel about four weeks behind England (where it's now over), but any sci-fi fan should do themselves a favor and get sucked in by the brilliant character development and stylish plots. Let's face it, the Daleks are one of the all-time great sci-fi villains, and it never gets old seeing them or beating them.

Austin - Hot!

Just back from Austin, and it reminds me, despite the consistency of the raving reviews from its inhabitants, that Texas is not a place for me. Hot. Hot. Hotter. And humid. And sure, who doesn't like barbeque every now and again, but it's hardly a culinary specialty on which cultural reputations should be built. Every time I step foot outside the Bay Area it reminds me that there is, quite simply, no better place to live.

Oh, and with the All-Star break on the horizon, a few days off beckoning for most Giants players, they prove in the last couple of days against the Mets that they've been flattering to deceive with their fiesty young gun approach. Bring back Bonds. Bring back Bonds. Etc.

Monday, July 7, 2008

World Series of Poker

Day one (all four of them) are done, and today was a day off, so the action begins again tomorrow with over $9 million up for grabs for the winner. Nice pay day. So apparently the economy is in the crapper but that didn't stop 500 more players than last year ponying up the $10k entry (plenty through online events and satellites, of course).

So who will win? Best guess is someone even regular followers of the poker scene have never heard of.

BTW, being fortunate enough to watch all of the Wimbledon final yesterday reminded me of other out-of-left-field-but-incredible sporting moments I got to witness as they happened, largely by accident:
San Jose Sharks quadruple overtime loss (to the Stars?) in this year's play-offs. I don't watch hockey. Ever. Yet somehow witnessed that incredible game.
Boise State's Statue of Liberty play against Oklahoma (well, the entire game)... why would I be watching Boise freakin' State? I couldn't even point to it on a map. But incredible from beginning to end.
Barry Zito getting a win for the Giants this past weekend!
San Jose Earthquakes spectacular come-from-behind victory over the LA Galaxy to win 5-4 on aggregate (in 2005, I think)
Tiger Woods chip in on the 16th at Augusta in the Masters.

Not on purpose, but a little something for everyone.


Yup, here's the real attempt to do this properly. For realsies.

Wimbledon tennis final (men's)
Tennis, apparently, has been under the cosh; its future questioned as a viable sport. Just watch this final, particularly the fourth set and its tie-breaker, and if after that you consider tennis dull and pointless, well, don't ever watch again, but also don't ever comment on the game.

I'm actually proud of the fact that at 6.30am PST the cat (hereafter known as Phoebe, or Feebs, or Fibbers, or should the mood dictate "that damn cat") woke me, and remembering I'd set the Tivo the night before, hopped out of bed to go watch the start.

Seven hours later I'm still sat on the couch; through rain delays and honey-dos the final wouldn't end, and tennis fans didn't want it to. Hailed by John McEnroe (and the obsequious gang leaving their slimy trail behind in the ESPN studio) as the greatest match ever played, it's really hard to argue for pure entertainment value.

I was yelling for Federer, largely due to that British trait of hoping to retain a sense of history (and the status quo), but have to hand it to Nadal who throughout the match was outstanding. Tennis is still kicking, and producing its defining moment on the grass at Wimbledon is oh so much sweeter than on the plodding surface at the U.S. or French Opens.

Congrats Nadal... you made seven hours of my life sat on the couch easily explainable to 'er indoors!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

It feels like apathy, but still I care

Bristol City 2 Sheffield United 0

Approximately 12 months ago I sat on my couch, 5,000 miles from the action at beautiful downtown Bramall Lane and leathered every ball, lunged for every tackle, and strained my neck at every dreadfully delivered cross (Rob Hulse opening day, Danny Webber at Newcastle notwithstanding). Live, courtesy of Sky Sports and my $15 a month Setanta Sports subscription through DirecTV, the Bristol City game was one of very few opportunities this year to see teh Red And White Wizaaaaards in their natural habitat. Didn't realize that habitat would be a sewer.

With less than 30 seconds on the clock a James Beattie flick from the only quality cross of they day was superbly saved by the City keeper. One Alan Quinn bobbled shot off the post just before the half was the only other chance at goal worth the name "effort." The remainder of the 90 minutes was inept. Not in core quality -- these Sheffield United 'stars' have skills sufficient to compete -- if not survive -- in the Premiership. So given the addition of Beattie, Sharp (for two whole minutes), Carney, Cahill, Hendrie, and anyone I've forgetting clearly isn't worthy of mention, who is to blame?

Harping on managers is crass, but with the evidence where can you point? Robson simply has to go. He got us Beattie, now let a manager capable of providing a game plan and passion actually deliver the on-field product.

It was pointless to rate every player from Saturday's performance. None deserved anything beyond a 5.

Robson Out. Now. Before it's too late, and all hope of play-offs is gone, and we're looking over our shoulders the other way for realsies.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Back in the saddle

Okay, going to try this again, try to keep some semblance of regularity.

So the Blades stay down. The tribunal says "tough tittie, fools, shoulda got a draw at home against Wigan on the last day of the season then you wouldn't be in this mess, would ya?"

And let's face it, who can blame them. It definitely took a while to get over the shock -- despite having company, after the game was over at 9am my time I went straight back to bed and didn't move. Wife? Not happy. Didn't understand, and all that nonsense. She got over it...

Short, that's the way to stay enthusiastic about this blog...