Monday, July 28, 2014

NFL Camps Open!

All NFL training camps are now open!  The first preseason game is Sunday!  I could not be happier!  The NFL is easily my favorite sport, and it's really not even close.  Even better?  This season Super Bowl XLIX will be in Phoenix!  That should be fun couple of weeks here in Phoenix.  Being a Minnesota native now living in Arizona, I pull for both the Vikings and the Cardinals (although if I had to choose, I'd favor the Vikings).   I'm excited for both these teams, I think that we'll see improvement from both of them.

The Vikings can't help but be better than last year, they were an absolutely miserable team to watch last year.  Their coaching staff was seemingly outmatched every week, their offensive and defensive philosophies were relic's of the past, their QB play was woefully insufficient and their defense couldn't stop anyone.  Honestly, I don't think the problem last year was talent, I think most of it was the coaching.  Leslie Frazier is a good man but he is not equipped to be an NFL head coach.  I love the hiring of Mike Zimmer, he's a no nonsense, all business football guy, he's worked a long time to get this opportunity.  I liken his hiring to the Bruce Arians hiring in Arizona last year, both were long time, well respected no-nonsense assistant coaches, both favor an aggressive attacking defenses, both want to stretch the field offensively, hopefully this hiring turns out as well as the Arians hiring did for the Cardinals.  The Vikings desperately needed to ditch that cover-2 defense of Leslie Frazier, team's had figured out how to beat that years ago, in the games that the Vikings played less of it, they did play better.  On the offensive side, Zimmer hired Norv Turner as his offensive coordinator, while Turner has struggled as a head coach, he is one of the great offensive coordinators in NFL history, I have tons of confidence that he will turn the Vikings offense around.  As mentioned earlier, Turner favors an offense that stretches the field and gets the ball down the field, that's welcome news to me, I had grown tired of Bill Musgrave and his conservative play calling (which lead to teams continually stacking the box against the Vikings to stop Adrian Peterson).  In Musgrave's defense, he was hamstrung with Christian Ponder as his QB, that didn't help matters.  Speaking of Ponder, IMO he was the worst starting QB in the NFL last year, he really hasn't progressed much at all in his short time in the NFL.  Where do I start with Ponder, he is a smart guy but it hasn't translated to the field, he holds onto the ball too long, often missing out on open receivers in the process, he also fails to keep his eyes downfield, and when he does look downfield he too often locks in on just his primary receiver, then when that primary receiver isn't open he is real quick to just dump the ball to his checkdown receiver or just tucked the ball in and run with it, his lack of arm strength was also a bit troubling, it was all just a recipe for disaster.  The Vikings looked much better in games that Matt Cassel started last year and despite what Ron Jaworski says about him, I do think that he's a decent fit in Norv Turner's offense (at least for this upcoming season, as Teddy Bridgewater is obviously the QB of the future).  Needless to say, I'm looking forward to this Vikings season more so than I have been in quite some time.

As for the Cardinals?  I loved what I saw from Bruce Arians and the Cardinals last year.  They were clearly the best team that didn't make the playoffs last year and they were playing their best football late in the season (let us not forget, they beat the eventual Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks on the road last year to close their season).   I can only imagine that after a full year in Arians system, and a full year of practice and OTA's, they should be an even stronger team this year.  Carson Palmer is a key for them again this coming season, he started last season really slow but as the season progressed, and he became more familiar with the offense and his receivers, things really clicked for him, if he can play this season like the did at the end of last season, the Cardinals could make some noise this season.  Another key for Cardinals this upcoming season is the Linebacker position, Karlos Dansby left via free agency (signing with the Cleveland Browns) and Darryl Washington has been suspended for the upcoming season, those two were probably the Cardinals best defensive players last year, they will not be easily replaced.  Kevin Minter is going to need to step up his game in his second season and they're going to have to hope that they can squeeze some additional life out of veterans Larry Foote & Ernie Sims.   The last key I'll mention for the Cardinals is their OL, on paper, it should be the best the Cardinals have fielded in quite some time, especially if free agent signing Jared Veldheer lives up to his hype and if last years number 1 draft pick Jonathan Cooper can regain the form that made him a top 10 draft pick last year, keep an eye on this group.  To summarize, I fully expect at least 10 wins and a playoff appearance out this Cardinals team.  Bring it on!  

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Olbermann on Ray Rice

Keith Olbermann righfully nails the NFL for their 2 game suspension of Ray Rice.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Favorite Movie Characters

TPSG Top 10 Favorite Movie Characters
  1. Matthew McConaughey as David Wooderson in "Dazed and Confused"
  2. Bill Murray as Carl Spackler in "Caddyshack"
  3. Sean Penn as Jeff Spicoli in "Fast Times at Ridgemont High"
  4. Randy Quaid as 'Cousin Eddie' Johnson in "Vacation"
  5. Will Ferrell as Frank "TheTank" Ricard in "Old School" 
  6. Mike Myers as Dr Evil in "Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery" 
  7. John Belushi as John 'Bluto' Blutarkski in "Animal House"
  8. Seann William Scott as Steve Stifler in "American Pie" 
  9. Bill Murray as Eddie McCracken in "Kingpin" 
  10. Tom Green as Barry Manilow in "Road Trip" 
Please note, I used the term character, all of these guys were true characters.  Also note, none of these characters were the lead role in any of these films, they all went really far in making the movies as memorable as they were though.  

Friday, July 25, 2014

GOP Union Busting

Is this really the direction we want to be heading?

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

AZ Tidbits

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

John Oliver on America's Prison System

John Oliver nails the broken American prison system.  We can do better!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

TPSG Top 10 Movies of 1992

Continuing with my look at the best movies of years gone by.

Top 10 Movies of 1992:
  1. Unforgiven - Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman
  2. A Few Good Men - Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson
  3. Reservoir Dogs - Harvey Keitel, Michael Madsen
  4. My Cousin Vinny - Joe Pesci, Marisa Tomei
  5. Wayne's World - Mike Myers, Dana Carvey
  6. Glengarry Glen Ross - Jack Lemmon, Al Pacino
  7. White Men Can't Jump - Woody Harrelson, Wesley Snipes
  8. Bob Roberts - Tim Robbins, Giancarlo Esposito 
  9. A League of Their Own - Gena Davis, Tom Hanks
  10. Basic Instinct - Michael Douglas, Sharon Stone
"Unforgiven" is my favorite western movie ever.  That "You can't handle the truth!" line from "A Few Good Men" is one of the best movie lines ever.  "Reservoir Dogs" is early Quentin Tarantino at his finest.  I absolutely loved the way Joe Pesci and Marisa Tomei played off each other in "My Cousin Vinny".  It's not easy turning a SNL skit into a full length movie, but Mike Myers & Dana Carvey hit a home run with "Wayne's World", it's hella funny.  "Glengarry Glen Rose" had a terrific cast and a great story, I loved it. "White Men Can't Jump" is one of the better basketball films you'll find.  "Bob Roberts" is a truly great political satire, and I loved the ending.  "A League of Their Own" is a highly entertaining baseball movie with the twist being that it's about a woman's baseball team, great cast, lots of fun and that "there's no crying in baseball" line was an instant classic.  That Sharon Stone interrogation scene in "Basic Instinct" is still etched into my mind.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Nastik Kitsan

Are you familiar with Nastik Kitsan?  You probably should be.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

POTpourri

Friday, July 18, 2014

Worst.Socialist.Ever

That would be President Obama.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes - starring Jason Clarke & Andy Serkis.  Having enjoyed "Rise of Planet of the Apes" in 2011, I was very much looking forward to "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes", and I wasn't disappointed, I enjoyed this one quite a bit.  In fact, I think that this may be my favorite movie so far in 2014.  This one takes place 10 years after "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" ended, the human population has been decimated by the Simian Flu and the apes have built up a civilization in the hills outside of San Francisco.  There is a remaining group of humans though and in a desperate search for a power source they head up to the hills where they run into the Apes.  That's when all hell breaks lose, soon it's human vs ape, and then ape vs ape.  The action and CGI is well done, the story moves at a fast pace, the direction and editing are top notch.  While no Charlton Heston, Jason Clarke was very good in this one as the chief protagonist, he's really building a solid resume.  Andy Serkis also does an amazing job once again as Caesar, the leader of the apes, while he didn't have much dialogue, he had the ape motions and gestures down pat.  Gary Oldman and Keri Russell were also solid in supporting roles.  Good movie, check it out!!

I will give it 4 out of 5 stars (*****).


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Edge of Tomorrow

Edge of Tomorrow - starring Tom Cruise & Emily Blunt.  This was a pretty good film, I rather enjoyed it.  It's sort of a cross between "Groundhog Day" and "War of the Worlds", I know that sounds like an odd combination but it worked.  Cruise plays Major William Cage an Army public relations expert who inexplicably get's thrown into a combat position fighting the dreaded alien creatures called the Mimics, it's a position that he is in no way equipped or trained to handle and he is rather quickly killed in battle.  Here's where the twist comes though as after dying he wakes up the next day to the exact same day, it happens again and again, with him dying every time, it's a power that was transferred to him by the Mimics in order for them to get a better read on their enemy, as time proceeds Cage adopts his behavior to what he learns on the battlefield.  It's all quite enthralling, the action is top notch, the special effects are terrific, Cruise and Blunt make for great leads, the direction by Doug Liman is terrific.  I highly recommend, give it a watch.

I will give it 4 out of 5 stars (*****).


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

AZ Tidbits

Cool Pics!

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Monday, July 14, 2014

POTpourri