Thursday, November 29, 2007

Best Sports Movies (Part III)

10.) Seabiscuit (2003)
Tagline: A long shot becomes a legend.

video

Another great movie. It had it all. Maybe too much. You got the rich owner (Jeff Bridges) who has his son die and is pretty much depressed until this horse comes along. You got the mysterious "horse-whisperer" (Chris Cooper). You got the jockey (Toby Maguire) who not only is hard working, never give up figure, but also has a physical handicap. And you got the horse itself who everyone has given up on and can't race and can't tame. And you got the rich guys new young happy-go-lucky-don't-stop believin' wife and William H. Macy. Wow. Loaded. And the best part is the Depression back drop and the fact that Seabiscuit actually gave hope to the common people. That's why I included the historical footage clip. Pretty cool.


9.) Remember the Titans (2000)
Tagline: They came together when their classmates and loved ones would not.

A pretty lame tagline I must admit, but a great film. Again a movie that has it all, but this time it all fits together perfectly and does not overwhelm. You got the high sports theme and the racism theme. When put together.....golden. You got the racist small town hating on the new coach Denzel. You got the racist player getting kicked off the team. You back the backup, hippie California quarterback having to come in after an injury to the starter. You got one guy switching from offense to defense. You got the racist girlfriend. You got the racist administration. You got the two captains- one black, one white, one offense, one defense- bringing their team together and becoming friends. You got the muddy games, the cold games, the close games, the little used players stepping up. You got the star player getting into a major car accident after win getting them to state. You got the community and the team coming together in the end winning with the injured guy listening in the hospital. And on top of it all, it is all told in flashback years later at the funeral of the injured Ray.
PLUS you have a young Hayden Panettiere as the high school football loving daughter of the assistant coach. This girl LOVES the shit out of some high-school football. If you've seen the movie you know what I'm talking about. She's like 10, but knows everything about the team. Hilarious. I would have mentioned it whether she grew up to be a pretty banging 18 year old Hero or not.

Yeah, this movie has got pretty much everything. And after watching it, everyone really will Remember the Titans.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Best Sports Movies (Part II)

Alright, here's the continuation of the countdown. Sorry about that crazy font in yesterday's post that got progressively larger. Don't know what was up with that.
Back to the countdown.
13. Chariots of Fire (1981)
Tagline: This is the story of two men who run...not to run...but to prove something to the world. They will sacrifice anything to achieve their goals...Except their honor.


video

Pretty much a classice again and you can't think of it without the Vangelis song in the background. Oh, and the story is great too with the whole Jew/Christian dynamic and the not selling out for your sport. Pretty nice. Another one I want to see again.


12. Million Dollar Baby (2004)
Tagline: Beyond his silence, there is a past. Beyond her dreams, there is a feeling. Beyond hope, there is memory. Beyond their journey, there is love.

Awesome movie- winner of best picture, best director, best actress and best supporting actor. I think I saw this on a plane home from England after reading an SI article about it in the airport on my way to England. Really shows incredible determination and guts from Maggie and has the old, cynical, grizzled coach in Clint Eastwood. It is a chance for redemdtion for both, to right wrongs for Eastwood and make something of herself for Maggie. The scenes with her family were absolutely disgusting. Man. Oh, I did see Hilary Shwank in an issue of Esquire (this time purchased in an airport on my way back from Philly- travel really facilitates sports movies, I guess) and she is pretty hot.
An amazingly powerful movie. But also the most depressing movie I have ever seen.


11. Mean Machine (2001)
Tagline: Not your usual suspects

Probably the least recognized film on the list, but I had to put in a soccer movie. Think The Longest Yard, but British. Vinnie Jones does a great job. All the soccer is hilarious, and the whole guards vs. inmates works well, but the center piece of the film is the character just called Monk played by Jason Statham and in the video below. He is totally crazy, or an absolute nutter, as they would say in England. REALLY FUNNY. I suggest you check it out.
I pretty much had to have a soccer movie this high as it is by far my favorite sport. The Big Green was quite up to the snuff to make the list.


video




Sunday, November 25, 2007

Best Sports Movies (Part I)

I've decided to create a countdown list of the best sports movies ever, well, maybe a better title would be My Top 20 Sports Movies, because this is pretty much just a list of the sports movies I like best. Some will coincide with critics picks, some will be movies only I like.
Also, I will have to have seen the entire unedited version of the film, so movies like
North Dallas Forty, Requim, Bang the Drum Slowly, The Natural, Bull Durham, Pride of the Yankees and newer ones like Glory Road, We are Marshall, Invincible- will not be on the list. I think that's enough explanation. So without further ado, here are the Top 20 Sports Movies of All-Time (according to Tony Brown.)


Honorable Mention:
Searching For Bobby Fisher, The Air Up There, The Sandlot, Happy Gilmore, Cool Runnings "Feel the Rhythm, Feel the Ride, Get on down, It's Bobsled time!", Over the Top- it's all about turning the hat backwards, Fever Pitch (soccer one), Best in Show- maybe not sports, but real funny, Wild Hearts Can't be Broken- horse-jumping-into-a- small-pool-of- water is a sport!- this was a channel 24 Saturday afternoon favorite, Mighty Ducks, Bend it Like Beckham- I admit I liked it, Air Bud: World Pup, Air Bud:Seventh Inning Fetch, Air Bud: Golden Receiver, Air Bud: Spikes Back, Bring it On- I like cheerleaders, Spellbound- maybe not a sport by definition, but intense as hell- has the preperation, training, competion, nervousness- maybe I'm saying that because of my Quiz Bowl background- but a great film, You Got Served- no explanation necessary


20. The Cutting Edge (1992)
Tagline: The King of the Rink is about to meet America's Ice Queen

video
A tender way to start the countdown. Figure Skating? Yes. And I know the Christina Aguilera song in the video doesn't help. But a solid film. Funny at times. DB Sweeny is a good fit and Moira Kelly is just hot enough to overlook the bitchiness of her character and understand the connection of the two- great chemistry. And when they nail the triple Pamchenko, I was pretty excited.
I understand there is a Cutting Edge 2, with the story of the daughter the two have. I might have to check it out.
Okay, now that the romantic comedy is out of the way on to...


19. Rounders (1998)
Tagline: You've got to play the hand you're dealt.

I really debated about putting this on the list, but with characters like Eddie KGB and Grandma, how could I exclude it?
I think this movie was one of the key componets of the blow-up in the popularity in poker over the last few years, especially Hold 'em.
I was really pissed when Worm caused them to get the shit kicked out of them. Good ending.


18. White Men Can't Jump (1992)
Tagline: It ain't easy being this good.

A nice one for all us white kids out there. We can hoop. And wear ridiculous outfits while doing so. I think this was the first ever rated R movie I saw in the theatre.
The scene where Billy first beats Sidney is great and so too are all the scenes where they hustle other people, especially when the dude brings a gun out and the Jeopardy is great too.
The ending, where he finally dunks is a bit corny, but you allow it.
Oh, and Billy Hoyle, what a great white boy name!


17. Rocky IV (1985)
Tagline: He's facing th
e ultimate challenge. And fighting for his life.

video

I think this one is pretty self-explainatory, easily the 2nd best Rocky movie.
Apollo Creed Dies
USA vs. USSR
Ivan Drago
Rocky is too old and could be killed
And the traing montage, priceless- embedded into my mind as a little child.
And in end, the Commie Soviets cheers for all the courage and heart displayed by Rocky. Yes!
And great soundtrack too- Survivor, James Brown, Kenny Loggins- my college roommate used to listen to it before tests to get hype.

16. The Hurricane (1999)
Tagline: His greatest fight was for justice

I believe out of all the films on this list, this has the least amount of actual sport action, less than five minutes I'd say. Most of it is during the opening credits.
Nevertheless, it is a very inspirational film, but the inspiration is drawn from the inner strength of the character and not is outer action in sports. But Denzel is pretty ripped in this movie.
Reuben Carter shows incredible perseverence while in prison. Also shows the racism both in sports and the justice system. Oh, and the great Bob Dylan song.



15. Hoop Dreams (1994)

Absoluntely the ultimate sports documentary
. The story of two poor Chicago youth- William Gates and Arthur Agee- with the basketball skills to hopefully move them to something better.
We see them both mature greatly during the film and see their "dreams" change and grow as well. Shows all the pressure that having talent brings and all the hopes and dreams not only of your own, but all those around you. I haven't seen this movie for a long time, but now want to see it again. Probably even more relevent today with players going to the NBA straight from high school, not all successful, and so much hype surrounding high school sports.



14. Major League (1989)
Tagline: When these three oddballs tr
y to play hardball, the result is totally screwball.

video

Pretty much a classic. Got to love Bob Uecker. Got to love Jobu and Willie Mays Hayes, Pedro Cerrano, Wild Thing. A greatly funny movie. Plus the whole loser turn around thing and the pennant chase. And the greedy owner. Oh, and it was filmed at Milwaukee County Stadium, where I watched many-a-game.
"Up your butt Jobu."
"Hey bartender, I think Jobu needs a refill."
"Let's cut the crap Vaughn. I only got one thing to say to you: Strike this mother fucker out."

Major League II, not bad. Major League 3, horrible.


Check back tomorrow for movies 13-9














Friday, November 23, 2007

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It's pretty much great. A day to give thanks (much to be thankful for), eat tons of food, watch football, sleep, see friends, eat more. Yes! Pretty much the greatness of America.



Which Turkey do you like better?
OR



Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Why is Harry Potter so Good?




















He's just a dorky, sometimes whiny British teenager, so why are the Harry Potter books so good?
The writing is usually very formulaic. So why is it so good?
Many characters are just tropes and stock characters. So why are they so engrossing?

Lots of good questions. I really don't know the answers, but J.K. Rowling really put out something quite cool. I read the first good while in high school and liked it, reading it very quickly, really wanting to know what happened next. And I guess that's the first an most important part- the entertainment, really being hooked by the story no matter how forulaic, outrageous, or improbable. That is why foreshadowing is such a big part of Rowling's formula. Just wanting to know what happens next will keep you reading and eventually lead to some link with the characters. That link, like, or even empathy for the characters is the second thing that makes HP so good for me. Harry is a real person with real reactions and desires. He is not altruistic, but human and this makes his character more identifiable. You want to know whats gonna happen not only against Voldemort, but in quidditch and in his evolving love life. You want to see Hermione and Ron get together. You want to see Neville succeed. You want to see Percy realize what a bitch he is. And then when back stories are glimpsed, it just fuels your fire both to read on and become further attached to the characters. My third reason why Harry Potter is so good is the general subject matter, magic. It is something new to me and very interesting. It's fun to learn what classes Harry will be taking. It's fun to learn all about spells and magically creatures completely foreign to us. All the new things just touched upon you want to be elaborated. You want to know the history of the Black family and learn why Harry can speak like a snake.

Yeah, so I didn't expect to like Harry Potter so much. I'm still not totally sure why, but these were a few of my reasons. Rowling uses an attractive subject matter mixed with good story telling with tons of foreshadowing to hook the reader. And having 7 books helps for the great character development and emergence of back story and new characters. So basically the more you read the more you like it because the long series allows for better writing and character and plot growth. Nothing amazing on the surface, but put it all together and it works wonders.


I think I've reach a whole new level of dorkiness writing an analysis of why I like Harry Potter. My next post might as well be about Dungeons & Dragons.
Actually a future post will be about Harry Potter vs. Lord of the Rings. See? Dorkdom.

P.S. I once told a friend that I think I would have made a good wizard.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Big Dunc



Here's a bit about Big Dunc's off the pitch ability which helps explain why he is the idol of millions everywhere.

1. In 2001, two men tried to rob Dunc's home, and were subsequently confronted by Duncan who put one of them in the hospital for three days.

2. In 2003 Ferguson was again the victum of attempted robbery at his home. He again confronted the individual and detained him until the police arrived. He got him so bad the robber tried to press charges on Big Dunc for assult.

3. Big Dunc has been arrested 4 times for assult, twice for altercations while waiting for taxis, once for a scuffle with a fisherman at a Scottish pub, and once for an on the field incident
headbutting a player and receiving a 3 month jail sentence.

4. He cannot be fucked with on the field, Sami Hyypia and John Terry called him the hardest player to defend they have ever played against.

5. Big Dunc holds the record for most red-cards in a season with 8.

Here are some video links to Big Dunc.
Yes
More
3

Big Dunc, you are my hero.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Duany Duany


The man so nice they named him twice, Duany Duany. He has been imprinted into my mind for some reason. I guess it's his name and his extremely dark skin tone. He wasn't really a great basketball player, pretty much just a role player in Wisconsin's Final Four run in 2000, but I loved him, and still do to this day. I even had this very picture up on my dorm room door my freshman year. And to my disgust and saddness, I one day came home and someone tore Duany's head of the picture. But it did not end up there. Some carefully placed tape saved the day.
So Duany, I will never forget you. You remain in my heart and mind and many others as well.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Miss Brazil



I think the pictures say it all. Miss Brazil is hot, fit, damn sexy, pretty much beyond description. I'd have to say she's the best looking woman on earth. Somehow in the Miss Universe contest she came in second to Miss Japan. Booo!!!
Outrageous.
But real men know what's up. Miss Brazil, Natalia Guimmaraes, there is no equal.
For more info check http://www.missuniverse.com/delegates/2007/files/BR.html
Oh, if anyone think they have someone who can challenge Miss Brazil's hottness, let me know. At let me know who's down for a roadtrip to Brazil.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Fingerblast!!


Fingerbanging seems to be a topic that comes up pretty often among my friends. One of my friends heard some of his co-workers referring to it as fingerblasting. Nice. We thought that was pretty funny, intense, but funny. And upon hearing this one of my friends, pretty well intoxicated at the time, made an outrageous claim. He said, "When I was 13 I was the Jeffrey Dahmer of fingerblasting."

Wow. That was pretty much a great statement.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Your the most corrupt offical in the game....and you can't do that!



This post topic was originally going to be the name of my blog, but it was a bit too long. Still one of my favorite things. For those of you that don't know the reference, it's about Jeff Tarango's tantrum at Wimbledon in 1995. He believed he was getting cheated, and actually stormed off the court and left. Screaming at the chair umpire, "You're the most corrupt official in the game! And you can't do that!" and smashing the two balls in his pocket to the ground. And that was pretty much the highlight of his carrer. Ha. I respect the way he plays, though. Full of Fire and Passion, similar to myself, although I never made it to Wimbledon, or outside of Milwaukee.











Good memories. We can only hope to see excitement like this again someday. Though in the last few months I did heae reports about alleged match fixing and poisoning in tennis. (Both by Russians)

Yesterday I found a giant box of chocolate chips in the walk in cooler where I live. (It's a big lodge with like 15 people living there, but a box of chocolate chips? Yes. It's gotta be like 20 pounds) A good find.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

ME

Drunken Duncan Ferguson


Alright folks, this is my first ever blog. It's the start of something big. Big things poppin'.
I've got a lot to give the world. It'll be by no means as groundbreaking as Creedthoughts, but I'll do what I can.
I'll cover a variety of topics, especially football (soccer) and politics because I just got a job with a great political organization, which shall remain nameless.


Yeah so I have high hopes for this shit. I don't yet have a definite format, but I'll have lots of time on my hands as I just moved to rural Montana. Yeah, Montana. Another reason for writing this blog.

Things I like right now: Big Dunc, Yakubu, Champions League, T.I., Benjani Mwaruwari, Mandy Moore, Harry Potter, having a job, Wi bowling, whiskey, Irish Coffee, college basketball, Steven Colbert, Jeff Probst, Kool-Aid, Milwaukee, Todd Martin

Quite a list. Hopefully all those things will be subjects of future posts.
That's all for now. This is just a TASTE of what's to come. I'll make all this shit rain so hard you'll need an um-brella.
Before signing off, I'd like to thank Big Dunc, the man who has made this all possible.