ARE WE THERE YET?

Pardon the lack of posts this week, but I’ve been working on a few things non-RTGD.

That, and I’m pretty apathetic about the writing topics that have been presented lately. Most people don’t come to RTGD for musings on life, and even though I write about movies, the Minnesota Twins, and personal things probably too often, I didn’t feel like beating you all over the head with more ramblings about trivial college football matters that have been making the rounds lately.

I’ve been mulling over a post about the Tim Tebow virginity thing, but want to go a little deeper into the question, the writer, and the reaction to the whole thing.

Consider me taking the weekend off to attend a wedding, and when I come back I’ll officially be charged up for the college football and NFL season.

FAVRE STAYS RETIRED… (THANK GOD)

Brett Favre is staying retired.

Favre CryingGoodbye Brett… Goodbye.

The Minnesota Vikings will win or lose with Sage Rosenfels or Tavaris Jackson, and the people of Green Bay and Minnesota won’t have to deal with the serious psychological effects of having to watch their savior/archenemy sleep with the enemy.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune is reporting that Brett Favre spoke with Vikings head coach Brad Childress and told him that he was going to stay retired.

“I just think it was a rare opportunity to explore a Hall of Fame quarterback who had background in the NFC and in this division,” Childress said. “He knows our system inside and out… This doesn’t change anything about how I feel about our football team.”

I will lose no sleep over this, and instead will try to guess how many days ESPN will continue to talk about the decision. The only person more upset with this “developing story” is Ed Werder, who got scooped by the fine journalists of the Twin Cities.

LOU HOLTZ PEP TALK

Derek Curry, the former Notre Dame linebacker, strapped up the football pads one more time for the inaugural Notre Dame Japan Bowl.

Curry, who played under both Bob Davie and Tyrone Willingham while on the Fighting Irish, had a chance to play for his third ND head coach this past weekend, when Lou Holtz led the Irish Legends to a 19-3 victory.

As much as some people can’t stand watching Lou on ESPN or think that he’s a terrible homer and schlub, I think he’s an incredibly fascinating guy, and a terrific motivator.

Here’s the video Curry shot of Holtz when he spoke to his troops a week before the game in Tokyo.

RAMBLING WEEKEND THOUGHTS

Just because I didn’t want the hundreds dozens of readers that check in on Monday not to have anything to read, here are a few thoughts gathered over the past week.

SPORTS

Tiger Woods is taking a beating for his performance at the British Open. Not for missing the cut, but for tossing a club and dropping an F bomb or two. ESPN’s million-dollar essayist, Rick Reilly, called out Tiger for being a poor sport.

It’s disrespectful to the game, disrespectful to those he plays with and disrespectful to the great players who built the game before him. Ever remember Jack Nicklaus doing it? Arnold Palmer? When Tom Watson was getting guillotined in that playoff to Stewart Cink, did you see him so much as spit? Only one great player ever threw clubs as a pro — Bobby Jones — and he stopped in his 20s when he realized how spoiled he looked.

Did they ever have two boom mics hovering over Jack and Arnie while they walked the course? Did they ever keep multiple camera crews on them for every pre-shot routine, green read, and walk down the fairway? I’m getting quite tired of the idea that athletes in the olden days didn’t do anything wrong, that they were just American heroes that played the game the right way. While I can’t speak about the guys that Reilly mentions, I can tell you that for as long as golf has been played competitively, and as long as there have been wayward tee shots, and missed birdie putts, clubs have been thrown. There just haven’t been millions of people to see them or million dollar writers getting paid to dissect them.

It’s not as if Tiger was chucking his 7-iron into a forest and dropping a nuclear holocaust of F-bombs on TV. I’d have been a little frustrated too, when thousands of people in the gallery, a dozen HD cameras, and millions of viewers at home watch my drive sail right into some thick rough and nobody can find it. Maybe Reilly was just pissed Tiger turned down his offer to be on his lame interview show Homecoming

MOVIES

Quite a movie binge this past week, and I was very pleased with two in particular. Disney-Pixar’s Up was an incredible film. For a company that makes movies aimed at kids, there isn’t a more consistent performer in entertainment. With the exception of maybe Cars, I don’t have a single complaint about any of the movies that Pixar has made. Even more impressively, they’ve taken concepts that I initially was skeptical about and just knocked them out of the park. Ratatouille? Wall-E? Monsters, Inc? These guys are just masters at what they do.

upwallpaper4qq1You don’t need to have kids to see this movie…

Up is an incredible heart-warming and sometimes sad tale that will be nominated for Best Picture when Oscar season rolls around again. It’s ability to tell a complete life story and frame it in an utterly original way really captivated me. As a writer, watching them structure their story, advance time and plot, and still have a driving narrative is something that is really, really, really impressive. You could call this movie a cartoon, or you could call it a better version of Gran Torino. Worth the ten bucks, and the visual effects on the big screen are pretty incredible.

(500) Days of Summer should go on the mandatory list as well. The movie bills itself as “not another romantic comedy,” and it succeeds putting a wonderful twist on a very played out concept. Zooey Deschanel is enchanting and Joseph Gordon-Leavitt was very solid as a male lead. He even made me forget how much I hated 3rd Rock from the Sun.

500summerLike a Cameron Crowe movie that isn’t Elizabethtown… You know, a good one.

With a tagline “Boy Meets Girl. Boy Falls in Love. Girl Doesnt,” this movie succeeds at being very “Coming of Age-y,” and navigates the very dangerous waters of love, being a grown up, and all the other stuff that either goes the way of Lloyd Dobler and excellent or the way of just about every movie the entire cast of Grey’s Anatomy has made — with the exception of Knocked Up and Old School. More impressively, the director, whose best credit was some music video stuff did a great job, and the composition of the script, by two young guys who are going to be making some serious dough for the next few years, was really, really cool… almost a modern, revised, dark twist on the vignettes that When Harry Met Sally used so effectively.

Final point: Transformers 2. How can anyone with a functioning brain like these movies? Two-and-a-half hours of CGI visual effects and a plot that’s dumber than most porno movies. I’ve got friends that just love this crap and it really makes me question their sanity. In Transformers 2, not only do cars turn into transformers, so do household appliances and just about anything else people can think of. What an epic waste of time…

THE WEDDING VIDEO

I can’t get enough of this thing.I’ve probably watched it a dozen times and every time I feel like a 13-year-old girl.  I’m sure by this point, most of America has seen this, but it’s just so unbelievable that I recognize and sorta-kinda know some of these people, though I’m not sure that it makes it more interesting. The Today Show did an excellent piece on why people enjoy the video so much and they hit on something pertinent. The unbridled joy that’s taking place just puts a smile on your face, and the video does such an unbelievable job of clarifying the type of excitement, happiness, and future that relationships should have when people walk down the aisle, and this video does such a great job of expressing that.

FINALLY

Can you believe that NFL Training Camps open this week? If Favre-mania strikes Vikings Nation, this could be one of the more ridiculous seasons ever. As someone who like the Purple, and as someone who’s still trying to be a Notre Dame football fan, this year has the potential to be the greatest autumn ever, or one of the most depressing of my adult life. Add to the fact that my next birthday puts me into a very unsettling age bracket, and come October, I’m either going to be flying high, or mixing Jack Daniels with my OJ for breakfast.

THE DUMBEST CONTROVERSY EVER

Far be it from me to tell anyone at ESPN how to do their jobs, but since when did preseason awards voting become the controversy to end all controversies? Here is a network that didn’t see it appropriate to discuss a civil lawsuit filed in Nevada court accusing a star NFL quarterback of rape, but it’s willing to turn the preseason All-SEC ballot into a gigantic story?

152202_sec_media_days_footb1Don’t you people have NASCAR races or Obama to get worked up about?

I can’t help but wonder if the controversy has anything to do with ESPN’s new collosal television contract with the SEC, which could lead to the some serious overkill at a network that already holds far too much power in the game of perception, a game that’s crucial in college football. Add to the issue that it was former Gator and fellow Heisman Trophy winner Steve Spurrier, and ESPN is ready to cover this like another year of Who’s NOW.

It’s not as if Tim Tebow wasn’t named to the All-SEC 1st team. It’s that one coach didn’t vote him onto the first team. Outrage! Where was that outrage last year, when Tebow was coming off a much more impressive statistical season, a season where he just so happened to be the first sophomore ever to win the Heisman Trophy?

4482.1-tebow-heismanAnthony Parker was good enough to be unanimous in 2008, but not me?

The whole controversy wreaks of media hype and sheer boredom. Pat Forde, who broke in live during this morning’s SportsCenter to discuss the controversy with friend of RTGD Josh Elliott, did his best to stoke the flames, making Steve Spurrier’s slighting of Tebow on a single ballot yet another sign of the college football apocalypse, and just another example of the BCS system being broken.

“The big problem here, Josh, is that he had his director of football operations, Jamie Speronis, fill out his ballot. And this goes on all the time,” Forde lamented. “Whether its voting for the All-Conference team or voting in the USA Today Coaches Poll, is that generally the votes are not done by the coaches.”

I certainly won’t argue with Forde’s point about the Coaches Poll, but comparing the preseason SEC team with the final vote for the national title game is close to BCS McCarthyism. Beside that point, what’s so wrong with having the opinion that Jevan Snead isn’t deserving of a 1st place vote?

Don’t get me wrong, I love me some Tebow, but let’s take an objective look at last season. Florida’s lone loss was at home to an Ole Miss team lead by Snead. In his first year starting after sitting out a transfer season, Snead threw for more yards than Tebow, while playing in an offense with nowhere close to the same firepower as the Gators’ attack. And while people will spend the next year debating Tebow’s professional potential, both Mel Kiper and Todd McShay have already anointed Snead as another potential high-end first round draft prospect when it’s his time to move on.

ncf_a_snead1_sw_412Even when I win, Tebow steals my thunder with some stupid post-game speech.

I’m not carrying the Snead torch by any means, but simply pointing out the fact that the entire argument is assinine. We’re talking about PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE TEAMS! I feel like holding a press conference and going all Allen Iverson on people. Don’t worry, Tebow’s letter jacket will still be able to say “First Team” on it, and last I checked there wasn’t a special star or check mark you could sew on the sleeve that signifies unanimous. So before Forde gets another column out of this, we can just rely on what Tebow himself said.

“It’s preseason. It just so doesn’t matter.”