Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Watch FlashForward

Widely proclaimed as the best new drama of the season, FlashForward sets itself up as a possible filler of LOST's big shoes. In fact, lots and lots of people, most notably me, have noticed a ton of similarities between the two shows.

What's it about? Suppose that everyone on Earth blacked out at the exact same time for the exact same length. If that's not weird enough for you, further suppose that everyone on Earth has a glimpse exactly 6 months into their future. It's an ambitious plot that lends itself to a lot of headaches when you think of the possibilities. Does everyone glimpse the same future? What does it mean if you saw nothing? Can you change the future or are you destined to create it (some characters glimpse happiness while others glimpse misery)? That's a lot of good material and the first episode covered a lot more ground than I thought it would.

Much like LOST, FF starts amidst some chaos. When you think about it, if everyone blacks out for 2 minutes and 16 seconds, that leaves a lot of pilots and drivers shit out of luck. We meet Joe Fiennes upside down in a wrecked vehicle, and he's got to jump to action like Jack Shephard. The opening credits are short and sweet like LOST, the music is similar to LOST, and the scene right after the opening wreckage also has a LOST feel to it. One of the billboards shows an ad for Oceanic Airlines and their perfect safety rating (does that mean 815 won't crash and history is reset?!?!?!?!). A lot of LOSTies even show up in the show. Charlie, Penny, and Sawyer's babymama all have recurring roles. So does Sulu from the new Star Trek and the SONAR guy from Hunt for Red October.

The best part of the first show was the twist ending. Spoilers are ahead, but hopefully you don't feel spoiled and instead feel excited. The FBI is tasked with figuring out what the hell happened. If it's the same future they're glimpsing (it is), can they use it to their advantage? Will the flashes keep happening? Is someone causing it? One FBI agent is looking at security tapes of random places all over the country to verify that everyone drops at the same time for the same length...... EXCEPT........ in Detroit at a Tigers game, with everyone slumped in their chair..... some guy off in the distance in a black coat cooly walks towards the exits while kickass music plays in the background. What "Guys.... where are we?!?" was to LOST is "Who the hell is that? Why are they awake?????" to ABC's new awesome show, FlashForward.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

PEARL JAM: Backspacer Review

New Pearl Jam, much like new LOST, Indy, Batman, or Steeler football, is an event for this site. To commemorate the especially awesome Backspacer, I'm going in-depth to break down this album, song by song.

- the darkhorse. a formidable lead-off song that starts with a kick to the face. It grows on me every time I listen to it. Even though you think it's about a drug fix, supposedly it's about wanting some drugs, but instead you want to see your friend to keep you from doing drugs. Does that make a difference? Hell no. I hate finding out meanings to songs.

Rating: A-
My favorite part: The vocal melody of the hook, the harmonies in the chorus
Makes me want to... Play Twisted Metal 2.

GOT SOME - the heavyweight. See, now this one IS about scoring some drugs, except the drug is a kickass rock n roll song. I promise I'll stop ruining these songs with what they're about. When I heard it live on Conan, I thought "this is how it's supposed to sound; playing it in studio would only kill the momentum." I was definitely wrong.

Rating: A+
My favorite part: Uh, everything? But especially the furious drumming. I kinda figured that Matt Cameron got sick of being apart of underachieving albums and decided to carry them on his back this time around.
Makes me want to... Throw stuff at police cars.

- The flagship. Yeah, it may sound like pop rock, but it's a toe tapper. It loses points only because its blatant optimism and feel-goodness is a direct result of Obamanation.

Rating: A
My favorite part: "I'll dig your grave/We'll dance and sing" What does that even mean? Who cares, cause I'm in. I love the sunny, cheery bridge that transitions back into the intro.
Makes me want to... dance in my jams, then vote Democrat.

JOHNNY GUITAR - the embarassment. Retarded title + weird pacing + lame story = shitty song.

Rating: F
My favorite part: It all sucks. I'm betting EV insists on playing this stinker live...
Makes me want to... beat up some greasers.

JUST BREATHE - the snoozer. This overrated softie is such a phony. It thinks it deserves to be a great love song with its overdone arrangement. This could've been a good song if they didn't reach for the fences...

Rating: C-
My favorite part: The easy-goin finger-pickin.
Makes me want to... have some sort of introspective montage where I regret getting dumped by a high school sweetie.

AMONGST THE WAVES - the typical water song. It seems like every water song they write is more literal than the last. Nonetheless, I'm diggin this song. Ed dominates with his pipes even if some of his lyrics are pretty laughable.

Rating: B
My favorite part: the swell before the chorus. And I think we can all get behind "BETTER LOUD....THAN TOOOOOOO LATE"
Makes me want to... captain a sailboat. if you don't want to do something water-related after listening to this, you're trying too hard.

UNTHOUGHT KNOWN - the surprise. This one came out of nowhere. When ranking the songs, I was a little nervous having it as my number 2 because I figured I would get laughed at. But nope, it's unanimous. This positive gem just keeps building and building until you can't help but feel uplifted.

Rating: A
My favorite part: When Ed kicks the pipes into high gear.
Makes me want to... profess love in the rain.

SUPERSONIC - the face melter. This is another sneaky song that has grown on me. I have no idea what it's about, but I sure like drumming on the steering wheel with it.

Rating: B-
My favorite part: Definitely when it slows down for the badass bridge/solo combo. Then it slams back into the thrashing.
Makes me want to... play pranks on seniors.

SPEED OF SOUND - the creepy snoozer. I'm not sure what mood this song is trying to achieve, but I'm left feeling depressed and irritated.

Rating: D
My favorite part: the end... no, really.
Makes me want to... walk home alone after seeing a shitty movie.

FORCE OF NATURE - the feminist. They can't help but write songs centralized around a vulnerable female character that they empower (most recently Army Reserve, most notably Better Man). This is their latest effort, and all the pieces of this song are strong enough that I can't not like it, cause that would be degrading women... which I hate...

Rating: C+
My favorite part:
the cool intro
Makes me want to... walk in to a bar in s l o w m o t i o n

THE END - the heartbreaker. This is what Just Breathe should've been. The End is a beautiful little song that stays simple all the way through, emphasizing the lonliness and the long goodbye.

My favorite part: the bittersweet lyrics
Makes me want to... slip out in the middle of my birthday party and head off on an adventure like Bilbo.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Emmys Highlights

The Emmys were last night!!! (like you even care...) Back in the day when there was no Comedy Central, FX, or AMC, everyone watched the same big shows on the same big networks. That's why Cosby and Seinfeld were huge hits. Now, I'm ashamed to admit I've never even seen most of the shows that are up for Emmys. I'm a couch potato and can make room for 10 shows, but that's a small percentage. Big Bang Theory? Nope. How I Met Your Mother? Yeah right. Pushing Daisies? Nobody watched it, that's why it's cancelled. Breaking Bad? Two and a Half Men? The Amazing Race? I could go on and on...

There's a reason Sunday Night Football beats the piss out of the Emmys every year. Nobody cares about seeing shows that they don't watch winning awards, it's as simple as that. I'm not even going to list the winners here because I don't care (except Michael Emerson finally won as Ben Linus on LOST!!!!!!). What I will show is two highlights.

Dr. Horrible's Sing-a-long Blog is an awesome 45 minute web movie that took home a creative arts Emmy, and NPH performed a humorous skit in the middle of the show when he "hijacked" the Emmys.

Also, Ricky Gervais is the greatest presenter in awards history. He would be the greatest HOST in awards history if somebody was brave enough to give him a microphone and live audience for 3 hours, but that's a long shot.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Friday, September 18, 2009

Empire's 50 Greatest Movie Sequels

Everyone loves a good list. I saw this Empire effort on IMDB a few weeks ago and thought it was pretty solid, for the most part. There are 50 on the list, so I am not going to go over every single one, but I thought I would highlight those that are noteworthy. Check out the complete list: Empire

50. Shrek 2 - yawn

39. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation - Now we're talking. Easily the best of the vacation movies. It seems like It's a Wonderful Life has run its course, and A Christmas Story is getting a little old, is this now the quintessential Xmas movie? The film is pure comedy with a lot of slapstick and now-famous one-liners. This movie is funnier than anything Adam Sandler or Will Ferrell has ever done.

36. Mission Impossible III - I was never that crazy about it, but it's on TV a lot, and I think it gets better and better with each viewing.

35. Back to the Future Part III - I prefer this to part 2, and I think a lot of people agree with me. The Back to the Future trilogy does not get a lot of buzz when the topic of best trilogies are discussed. That's a shame, because this is good stuff.

26. The Color of Money - A surprise inclusion. Scorsese, Paul Newman, billiards, what can go wrong? O yeah, Tom Cruise, but still a solid film.

25. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade - A lot of people think this is right up there with Raiders. An essential inclusion to this list, and Empire correctly points out that this is probably the funniest and most quotable film of the Indiana Jones franchise. I would say a great conclusion to the Indy story, but Crystal Skull kind of ruined that.

23. Back of the Future Part II - Wow, ahead of part 3. Surprised me a little. Still a good movie.

22. Spider Man II - Pretty big when it came out, not so much anymore. Is Spider Man anyone's number one favorite superhero?

21. Return of the Jedi - Subtract the ewoks and it's close to a perfect movie. The worst of the trilogy, but look what it's up against.

18. The Bourne Ultimatum - Solid sequel. Solid trilogy.

14. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom - Kind of surprising that this is above Crusade and this high for that matter. The darkest of the trilogy. I think as time goes by, it might get more and more popular. It's already a kind of dark, cult classic.

13. Batman Returns - I like the inclusion. This feature, as well as Batman Forever, are slightly underrated in my opinion. Great villains and great performances by Danny DeVito and Michelle Pfeiffer.

11. X2 - I mean, who doesn't like X-Men, or this movie for that matter.

9. Superman II - I was never really into these movies, but those villains in this one were really cool.

7. The Bourne Supremacy - This is really good. You actually like and root for Matt Damon, which can be tough in a lot of his movies. Empire states that this series, and this movie in particular, is responsible for the new direction in the Bond franchise from smooth Pierce Brosnan to hard-ass Daniel Craig.

6. The Empire Strikes Back - Nothing more needs to be said about this movie. The thing I don't get is that it's all the way down on this list. In my opinion, this is the second-best sequel ever and the best movie out of the entire Star Wars franchise. On my personal movie list, I have this as the 5th greatest movie of all-time.

5. The Dark Knight - I think this has been talked about a little bit on this website. I was blown away in the theater but was not ready to proclaim this as the greatest thing in the world. But with each viewing, my opinion keeps swaying to that very proclamation. Easily the best film of 2008 and one of the best movies in the past ten years.

4. Toy Story 2 - WTF, I thought only Dan liked crappy Pixar movies.

3. Terminator 2: Judgment Day - I probably would not put it this high, but I definitely understand why it is.

2. The Godfather Part II - Yeah this better be on the list. Should be first, but I'll definitely settle with it being second. I have talked and written about G2 at length on this website. The best movie of all-time in my opinion.

1. Aliens - A surprise number one pick that is pretty common for these Empire lists. Wasn't Tyler Durden number one in the Empire character list? With that said, this is a great movie that is still under-appreciated. Definitely one of the most suspenseful and heart-pounding movies of all-time. If Avatar is good, will James Cameron enter the Steven Spielberg echelon of directors? Terminator, T2, Aliens, Titanic, Avatar? This probably should be in the 5-10 range. I would probably have the Godfather Part 2 number one, TESB two, and the Dark Knight three.

-no LOTR? Are they considered one big film and not an original with two sequels?

-omissions - The Matrix Reloaded, Revenge of the Sith, Kill Bill Vol. 2, The Godfather Part III (believe me, it's good),

Batman: Arkham Asylum Review

There has never been a good Batman game. Period. He's been the subject of shooting games, racing games, fighting games, but not one of these games have ever captured the true essence of the Dark Knight until now. Arkham Asylum builds not just a complete Batman experience, but an all-around gem of a game.

First, let's talk story. The Joker has lured Batman into a trap at the famous Arkham Asylum. He busts loose and then orchestrates a jail break that Batman must deal with. Along the way there are twists and turns, but it's important to note that the story was written by the guy who was in charge of the awesome Batman: the Animated Series. Mark Hamill is back to perfectly voice the Joker (which is good, because the Joker does a lot of talking), and they also got the voices of Batman and Harley Quinn to return. All of them are pitch perfect and they make the game feel right.

Next, let's talk look. The graphics kick ass, as they should, but the design also nails the atmosphere and mood of Batman. Arkham is spooky and gritty, and Gotham is always looming wonderfully in the background. As the game progresses, Batman starts to feel the wear and tear. You can visibly see cuts in his cape, scratches on his face, dents in his armor, and his facial hair even grows as the night progresses. The music's dark and majestic tone also rules, though it doesn't have the iconic score from the show or movies.

Finally, and most importantly, let's talk about the guts of the game: the mechanics. I would say the gameplay is a cross between Assassin's Creed and Metal Gear Solid. Like Assassin's Creed, you're a superior fighter often forced to face 5, 10, sometimes 15 people in a group. Like AC, it's a lot of fun because your equipped to rip them apart one by one, though it is a challenge. Batman's martial arts are in overdrive as you hear all the punishment he dishes out (hearing bones break is especially sweet). Like Metal Gear Solid, stealth is your best friend. The Dark Knight is no match for guns, so you have to cling to the shadows, walk in grates under the floor, move through vents, and strike from the rafters to dispatch the enemy methodically. Remember in Batman Begins when Bale first becomes Batman and takes out the guys at the dock without being seen? It's just like that. Like I said, the points of attack are different, but so are the methods. You can hang upside down from a gargoyle and snatch a guy from the ground. You can lure enemies away from their post or sneak up behind them. You can knock a guy out, then put exploding gel by his corpse so that when someone else investigates, they get blown up.

What's also cool is the open world feel to the island. It lends itself to plenty of exploration. My only knock against the game is that some of my favorite baddies are missing, but with sales through the roof, you better expect a sequel.

Does this game represent Batman accurately? Yes. He doesn't kill people, he doesn't use guns (just cool gadgets), he utilizes his skills as master fighter, expert hunter, and cunning detective. It captures the psychology of Batman with some trippy levels and hallucinated sequences. And it's pretty dark, as it gives a chilling look at the minds of the criminals.

Like I said, this isn't just an awesome Batman game...


First Week of New TV Shows

The arrival of the fall season doesn't really excite me because some of the better shows (LOST, 24) don't even start until winter, and one of my favorite shows of last year (Castle) was a mid-year replacement. Nevertheless, this week I managed to tune in to 5 premieres, which are ranked as follows.


I don't why I still bother with this show. Nothing can top the high school years, and Season 7 begins with ANOTHER jump forward in time (18 months). So what's new? Without Lucas and Peyton, there's little else left to this show. I thought this would present a golden opportunity to get Dan Scott back on a full-time basis, but the writers would rather add a loser sports agent and a pitiful older sister to the show. And finally, in a show about basketball, they get Jerry Rice to show at Jamie's 7th birthday party. Jerry Rice hasn't been popular in 15 years, and this show jumped the shark after Keith died, and nuked the fridge after Season 4.



Don't let the 4th place finish fool you; I enjoyed Community. The opening bit was hilarious. The jury is still out on Joel McHale. He can handle the comedy just fine, but it looks like they are also aiming for some heavy moments, which was weird. Despite his character being a Van Wilder knockoff, he's surrounded with enough talent (cool teacher Brit John Oliver and oblivious windbag Chevy Chase) that I'll definitely check this out again next week.



Another show way past it's prime, but the season 6 premiere was full of funny. I liked the parkour opening, and despite Jim and Pam's pregnancy and pending marriage, the story was focused on the right guy, Michael Scott. It was an episode about Michael's need to be included (this time in on the gossip), and we learned that Andy is afraid he should be gay, Stanley is having an affair, and that Pam officially looked better in sweaters with her hair pulled up than with makeup and business suits on.



This year starts with the gang's twisted take on the housing market crisis. I don't know what else to say except that it's more of the same.



If you watched It's Always Sunny, then you were hammered with adds promoting some sneak preview of a show they wouldn't even name. I was a little shocked that it turned out to be a cartoon, and even more shocked to see that it was AWESOME!!!! It's more likely you'd find these kind of shows on Adult Swim, but who cares? I take back every bad thing I said about Home Movies, because the guy who voiced Coach McGuirk is the main character (Sterling Archer, secret agent) and he dominates the show.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Review: Extract

Mike Judge is back to work, and everyone immediately wonders if it's the next Office Space. That's a lot of pressure. Many of you, for good reason, don't remember Idiocracy, Judge's directorial follow-up to Office Space, a poorly received cult questionable whose greatest strengths lie in attention to detail (I give it the same grade I gave this movie). While at least I think that attention to minute, comedic detail should be more appreciated in modern comedy with so few writer-directors dedicating their energy to it (and more instead to the Apatow-style, hey-I-can-relate dialogue comedy), the area that often suffers as a result is plot. Extract is a little watered down that way. Judge can no doubt nail the down-on-his-luck, more-than-meets-the-eye middle-ager incredibly well, but it's often the build-up of this character that staggers under that weight. The only attribute that can keep the hero steady is a strong ensemble.

Cult fanboys should delight that Jason Bateman pops up in a very "Michael Bluth" role. Joel suffers from the same googley-eyed delusions as Bluth, shouldering a struggling family business, Reynolds Extract, while enmeshed in personal drama that nearly brings down the struggling food flavoring manufacturer. A freak accident to a reliable Joe Blue Collar — detailed hilariously with a token "Cletus" backwoods name (Step) and a dilapidated living room full of empty Pepsi two-liters juxtaposed by a tank of a big-screen TV (priorities) — addles Joel and the assistant manager, J.K. Simmons with a short temper for the "dinguses" on the factory floor, and the two prepare for the worst amid rumors of a buy-out or a bankruptcy.

Awkward situational humor sputters along. Ben Affleck plays the goofy, shaggy bartender friend whose ill advice comes with a cornucopia of prescription drugs. He sets conflict in motion by dosing Joel with Special K and convincing him he should hire a gigolo to woo his withholding wife (aptly mumbled by Kristen Wiig minus any schtick), so that Joel can be free to engage in an affair of his own. Bateman's played like a fiddle as the geek strung along in a couple of amusing drug escapades.

Brad the gigolo (Dustin Milligan) is a hilarious dim bulb who never stops trying to promote his freelancing, despite fudging his only gig. Joel's lame confrontational skills play out when he can't control the gigolo he foolishly hired or keep his annoying neighbor (the unsettling David Koechner) off his lawn and out of his face.

Mila Kunis as Cindy bobs and weaves through the plot and subplots as "criminal drifter" who preys on her admirers. I spent the greater deal of this movie invested in what I thought her character was going to do next, thinking she was setting up for something big, but she fooled me nearly every time; I wasn't exactly pleasantly surprised, because Cindy lacked the depth of her plunging neckline. Her best scene opens the movie when she wheels and deals with stereotypical Guitar Center dudes, but her worst shows her folding too easily when Joel finally nails a successful confrontation.

Subtle screen gems pop up here and there: a dead-on assembly line of middle-aged lady gripers and possibly legal immigrants, rubber-faced cameos, and a pot dealer musclehead who doesn't know when to let a gag go.

Extract relies too much on a premise so dull it has to be good, but the gamble wasn't worth it, and the movie ends as ambiguously as how I felt about it for the last two days. The stuff of Netflix queues, people.


Monday, September 14, 2009

WEB: Stormtroopers' 9/11

If you try hard enough, you can find parallels between Star Wars and anything. One of the first posts on this blog is me comparing Star Wars to the 2008 Pens playoff run. It's just that easy. That's why I'm not that surprised you could say the Galactic Empire kinda experienced their own 9/11...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Steelers Running Diary - 4th Quarter

10:55 - The Titans are moving in a hurry, and are already at midfield, executing their passing game well. Doesn't it suck that someone like Kerry Collins is easily outdueling Fat Ben right now, and it's not that surprising!?!?

10:58 - Clutch time. Bironas is in for his 3rd FG attempt. He's missed from 37 and was blocked from 31. Now he's trying from 45 yards.....and it's dead on.

10 -7 Titans.

11:00 - With all the new commercials airing during the game, I like the GE commercials with the plane/train workers singing Aaron Neville and Berlin. The Polamalu Head & Shoulders is a close second. The Leno promos are the worst by far. And how great is it that old Favre is doing a sort-of clever commercial for Sears, something that also hasn't been relevant in a long time?

11:04 - Last year, Ruthlessberger led 5 4th-quarter comebacks and now he has to do it again. They've started up the dink and dunk no huddle again. Vincent Fuller is so terrified by it he fakes an injury to stop the clock.

11:10 - The no-huddle continues with my favorite formation, trips bunch. Now the biggest play of the game. 3rd and 12 just outside of FG range.... Ben throws.... FIRST DOWN HOLMES!!! That's how you bounce back after getting decked by Jevon Kearse.

11:12 - Smart throw underneath to Mewelde for 8. Huge Ben is 7/7 for 57 yards on this drive. Now it's the 2nd biggest play of the game. 3rd and 1, and the Steelers have sucked in this situation. They run up the middle..... and they fuckin get stuffed again. HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE!!?!?!? It's ONE GODDAMN YARD and they can't get it!!! I would've been happier with a play-action bootleg. Whatever.

11:14 - Skippy comes in to tie the game. Nails it.

10-10 with 3 minutes left in the game.

11:20 - On the last drive, Collins picked the secondary apart with timing routes to the sidelines, that can't be allowed again since they still have all their timeouts. Steelers force Collins to throw it away on consecutive downs, bringing up a H-UUUUGE third-and-10. Collins to throw again..... and overthrows Justin Gage!!! Let it be known that I was never a doubter. Big Ben will get it back with 2 minutes left and the game on the line. Gee, I wonder what could happen? Sorry Titans, but it's all but over now.

11:25 - The Titans choke by punting it just past midfield for 28 yards. We just need 2 or so first downs and then can run the clock out and kick the FG. We're gonna do this play by play.

11:26 - First down. A 12 yard reception to Santonio, who was foolishly covered by a LB.
11:26 - First down. A 4 yard reception to Hines (that's 10 completions in a row, folks).
11:27 - Second down. A 10 yard reception to Mewelde Moore. Is it really this easy?
11:28 - First down. A BIG CATCH BY HINES INSIDE THE 10--- FUMBLE!!!!!!!

Oh my god. Wines Hard is the goat of the night for not taking a knee. What a blunder.

11:29 - It looks like we might be seeing overtime, here.

11:35 - Tails never fails.... it's HEADS!!! Go Steelers, baby. This is gonna be a quick death.

11:41 - First a completion to Hines, then another to Heath. Big Ben is 14 for his last 15. Mewelde better had gotten the first on this run because my heart can't take another 3rd-and-1. The chain gang comes out and delivers the good news.

11:44 - Here we go again. After two more plays, we have yet another 3rd-and-short. DO NOT RUN THE BALL!!!! PLEASE!!!! Big Ben is 31 of 40. THROW THE BALL!!! Here we go... from the gun... quick throw to Santonio for a new set of downs!!!! Easy choice, right?

11:46 - Ben holds... pumps... holds... down the field to Mike "Braveheart" Wallace!!!! First down!! Field goal range!!!! Skippy heads out to seal the victory!!!!

11:47 - It's going to be from 33 yards to win the game. It's GOOD!!!! GAME OVER!!!

13-10 (OT) Steeler victory!

What a huge 4th quarter/Overtime for Ruthlessberger. He already has a 4th Quarter comeback notch on his belt. If you're the Steelers, you just took on one of the best teams in the AFC, and won the game with fantastic passing, fantastic special teams, and insane defense. It's not often we see a Steeler team win without a strong running game, but we don't need to with Huge Ben under center. Goodnight Steeler fans, and enjoy the first victory of the year.

Steelers Running Diary - 3rd Quarter

10:20 - Polamalu will NOT return to the game. Poop. I take all the blame for the jinx. If that's not enough, the Titan's offense has been able to exploit the team in his absence. Case in point: Johnson dances up field for a big gain. I was worried going into this half. Now I'm flat out scared.

10:24 - FUMBLE!!!!!!!!!! Defending MVP James Harrison forces a fumble by injuring Bo Scaife's knee. Once again, the defense is playing out of their mind. Legendary.

10:29 - But what do the Steelers do with the great field position? Run + Run + Run = 3 and out. Do you think Tomlin regrets making Willie Parker his short yardage back yet?

10:33 - Steeler D manhandled the Titans on this drive, resulting in a quick 3 and out. The Steelers are winning the field position battle, Big Ben just can't take another dumb loss.

10:37 - 13 carries for 19 yards. You know who I'm talking about, and you know I'm upset about it...

10:46 - Steelers and Titans both trade drives that result in nothing. Something big is going to happen before this quarter ends... you'll see...

10:52 - ...wrong again. Mendenhall runs twice for about 3 yards, and Hines catches a ball short of the mark, meaning Sepulveda goes out there for his SIXTH punt of the game. Only 15 minutes remain, and I'm still not sure about this game. Fisher wants to win this one for dead McNair. The Steelers don't have that kind of motivation.

Three down, one to go.

Steelers Running Diary - 2nd Quarter

Normally when I break out the running diary, it's for a huge occasion. Not only that, but it's pretty lucky. LOST episodes are always excellent, and the Pens won a huge Cup game thanks to this blog. So far, the Steelers are ruining the mojo. We'll see if they can turn it around.

9:19 - Even though Ben returned the favor with a pick, Collins returns an earlier favor by giving up a big third down sack to force a punt. That guy running through the middle seemed too fast to be old James Farrior. Definitely impressive, but I still miss Larry Foote, from Detroit Pershing Doughboys.

9:23 - I don't have a box score up, but I can only assume that Willie Parker has run the ball 8 times for 3 yards. I'm too scared to look because I'm probably right...

9:30 - Snooze. Parker still sucks. Another drive stalls.

9:36 - I take back what I said about Levy. That pass interference call was a joke. Now Collinsworth is praising the Steeler's defensive line. I love how so many guys like to say how the D-line is underrated because they do all the work and allow the linebackers to run free. But if analysts continue to say this every week, are they really underrated??? Meanwhile, the Titans continue marching down the field, and Polamalu takes his second personal foul.

9:40 - The Steeler D stands tall in the red zone. On the sidelines, Jeff Fisher's mustache is looking better than ever. BLOCK!!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!! Aaron Smith got his paw up and blocked what should've been an easy kick for Bironas. The defense is doing more than their fair share right now.

9:43 - Woo hoo. The first Peyton Manning commercial of the season, and I'm actually shocked it took this long.

9:44 - Holy fuck. I jinxed Polamalu with that Madden curse comment. Some dolt for Tenneessee landed on his knee and the medical staff is currently checking him out...

9:47 - Time for the patented Big Ben hurry up offense, and it starts with some dink and dunk. HINES WARD!!!! He has been invisible all game, but shows up for a big 30 yard catch. CC points out the pump fake that had two guys biting ---- TOUCHDOWN!!!!!

7-0 Steelers.

And just like that, the Steelers get on the board first. The first touchdown of this season matches the last touchdown of last season, with Big Ben hitting Santonio down the middle of the field for 30-some yards. Chris Hope is biting on every pump fake. Large Ben was probably chuckling as he threw up the sure TD pass. You have to be pissed if you're Jeff Fisher because the Titans have played the Steelers as well as you can play them.

9:55 - With Polamalu in the locker room, Collins throws to Kenny Britt for 50 yards and plenty of time left on the clock for them to tie this thing up. Which they prompty do.


Justin Gage is wide open for a TD. Barf. The Titans will also get the ball to start the 2nd half. The good news is that Polamalu's return is probable.

9:59 - 41 seconds and 2 timeouts left, will the Steelers make a run for some points? 3 straight completions to Miller, Miller again, and then Hines has the Steelers on the cusp of FG range with one timeout and 21 seconds left. And thennnnnnnnnn..... another bad sack. All that's left is a jump ball in the endzone...... which results in an INT almost returned the rest of the way. Shit.

With that, the first half is in the books, and the game is tied at 7-7. Tennessee has all the momentum because they have had success running the ball and they've been able to get after Worthlessberger with ease. For the Steelers, they have to stop taking stupid penalties. They've got 2 personal fouls, a handful of holding calls, some illegal formation crap... that all has to stop. I'm pissed, but I'll be back for the 3rd quarter.

Steelers Running Diary - 1st Quarter

8:30 - Now that's what I've been waiting for. That's a hell of an intro recapping the highlights of the Super Bowl, showcasing the 6 rings, and playing some awesome NFL music. Cut to a fireworks show, a champion's introduction, and the fearless black and gold.

8:33 - All this talk of a high chance of repeating scares me a little bit. Everyone crowned the Pats while they were going 18-1, and we certainly don't need that kind of hype. And for the record, I like Cris Collinsworth. Even though he's incredibly annoying doing commentary in Madden games, I think he's one of the smartest analysts in the game.

8:37 - Harry Connick, Jr. is crooning the anthem, and he thinks he's Sinatra. Let's kick the tires and light the fires, big daddy!

8:39 - Some gems from genius Mike Tomlin (he's looking sharp, by the way):

"Big men in blades of grass. This is a team that is built on the offensive and defensive lines."
"The most violent team is going to win."
"We are trying to build our legacy."

8:41 - Kickoff time. I'm pumped!!!!! BIG RETURN to the 42!!! A legitimate return threat would be icing on the cake for this team. I'm smelling an opening drive touchdown here.

8:43 - Forget that. Fat Ben underthrows Mike Wallace on a long ball and the drive is dead. Sepulveda comes up with a huge punt down inside the 5. You know how in Madden, it kind of sucks playing defense and you really just look forward to the offense. Well, these past couple years, that hasn't been the case for the Steeler D. I LOVE watching them eat up opposing offenses, and look forward to them hitting the field---- POLAMALU!!! He just sprinted to the backfield and took out Chris Johnson. Can anyone else do that?!?!?!? Holy shit. Suck that, Ed Reed.

8:47 - Huge Ben takes over in enemy territory, and gets a first down with a well-designed wheel screen. This just in: Roethlisberger still holds on to the ball too long. After avoiding a sack, he dances around like an idiot, takes a 19 yard loss, and kisses an easy FG goodbye. Ugh....

8:55 - Yikes. Chris Johnson shows everyone why he's worth a first round fantasy pick by reversing the field and running 30-some yards, and then gets 15 more thanks the season's first late hit (Polamalu). Speaking of Polamalu, he is all over the field, making a tackle then breaking up a third down pass.

8:59 - He hooked it!!! The usually rocksteady Rob Bironas pushes a gimme FG wide right, which is huge. The Steelers need to draw first blood to maintain control of this game.

9:02 - The bad news: Ben goes down again for another 3-and-out. The good news: Sepulveda is punting like a man tonight...

9:06 - Nothing much happening on Tennessee's drive, so I'll take this moment to mention that Bill Levy is my favorite referee.... not sure why.

9:09 - POLLLLLLLLAAAAAAAMMMMMAAAALLLLUUUU!!! This is officially his game, as he just fucked the Madden curse with a leaping one-handed interception. He's also got something like 5 tackles.... in the FIRST QUARTER! Amazing.

9:12 - I pity anyone who drafted Fat Ben as their starter in fantasy football. He's done nothing in the air, taken big sacks, and just threw his first pick of the season. With that, the first quarter is over, and I'm stunned that the game is still tied. The Titans have only made two mistakes so far (missed FG, interception), but the Steelers are averaging two mistakes every possession. I'll see you in the second quarter...

Steelers Running Diary - Pregame

Title Defense officially starts after a couple horrible excuses for musicians get off the stage. Seriously, how is Fergie famous? She sounds like a drunk karaoke singer.

In fact, this is really the worst pregame I've ever seen, and I'm used to seeing Gretchen Wilson butchering the MNF opening credits and Faith Hill warbling the NBC intro. How crazy is it that I actually expected to sit down at 8 and see something relevant to football?

Oh well, watch this to get excited, because NBC sure isn't getting the job done.


There are few things that can distract me on Steeler football days, but oh boy is this one of them. A&E is airing a Steven Seagal documentary about his other career. Apparently, for the past TWENTY years, when not making shitty (and at the same time, awesome) movies, he works as a sheriff's deputy in some hayseed town. Watch the video and try not getting excited while laughing at his goofy glasses.

This has the potential to be awesome. However, if we don't see one scene of Seagal disarming some thug with some sweet Akido moves, I say it's a failure.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Pic of the Week

1UP—I mean, 7UP please.

Vid of the Week: HELP ME UP!