Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The Best Blurbs from Sports Today and a Pet Peeve about Spiderman 3

First, let me say that I quite enjoyed Spiderman 3. The wife and I trekked to Shimoda Mall and checked out the local Japanese cinema (a Toho multiplex), instead of trying to score "special screening" tickets that were being handed out on base (they were free and drew large crowds).

Spiderman 3 is good, but not spectacular. It plods in places, and chimes in at a hefty 2 hours and 20 minutes (at least that's how long we were in our seats from opening to ending credits). The problem: it feels know how certain movies zip right along, or have a pacing that makes you sort of forget how long you've been in the seat? Spiderman 3 does not have that feel. It starts slow and builds.

Now for something that's been bothering me with recent movies. The over-the-top, whirlie-bird, faster-than-the-human-eye-can-discern CGI-enabled action sequences. Spiderman 3 has several, but its really the first one that was annoying. Its the first big sequence, a night battle between Spidey and his best friend Harry (who's taken up his father's mantle as the Green Goblin). I mean it flashes all over the damned screen. My hats off to anyone with the visual acuity to follow the entire sequence....but it strikes me as showing off with the director trying so hard to wow the audience with how he spent the studios millions....look, I'd be a whole lot more impressed if you let me FOLLOW THE DAMN ACTION. These guys are flipping around and changing the visual perspective with their jump cuts so fast, its impossible to actually appreciate the scene. That might appeal to some, but when I've just paid 2,700 Yen (~25 bucks or so) for two tickets to traipse into the theater, I'd kinda like to be able to track what the fuck is happening on the screen. It does improve, the sequences that follow are paced much more thoughtfully, and let viewers take in what's going on. I just see that sorta zip-zap-zoom crap happening more and more, and needed to get that off my chest. Now onto FOOTBALL:

Some of the best/interesting bits about football I ran across today:
A couple of Garry Cobb's articles (no, not the best writing, but he's a former Eagles, who really studies the Birds)
This one whether or not McNabb out to feed in the self-stirring press frenzy about new QB Kolb or continue to quietly rehab his knee. (if you need to ask, you are on the wrong page); and this article that basically says the jig is up for stalwart MLB Jeremiah Trotter.

ESPN's TMQ commenting on Takeo Spikes: "Buffalo: TMQ doesn't understand the trade that sent Takeo Spikes to Philadelphia for Darwin Walker. Walker is a respectable player, but the Eagles were likely to waive him for salary-cap reasons, as they have two recent No. 1 draft picks at his position. The puzzler in the transaction is Spikes, who was the best defensive performer in the NFL in 2004. Then he missed 2005 with a bad injury, and last season he struggled early. Spikes didn't begin to show his old form until the second half of 2006 -- and in that period, the Bills had several big wins while losing to Indianapolis and San Diego, the league's hottest teams, by a combined four points. In the second half of 2006, when you watched the Bills' defense you thought, "Takeo Spikes is back." Now he's been unloaded for a journeyman. Either Spikes' health remains an issue -- in which case why did Philadelphia want him? -- or Spikes has recovered, in which case why in blazes did Buffalo practically give him away?"

and this about our draft: "Philadelphia: TMQ complains ad infinitum (Latin for "by using my AutoText") that the Eagles under Andy Reid simply refuse, as a matter of principle, to build a running game. Year in, year out, Philadelphia lacks a premier power back and does nothing about it. Why should this year be any different? The Eagles did not acquire any of the power backs who changed hands this offseason, and waited till the late third round to tab a tailback."

I like TMQ, but Easterbook is not infallible...two things about his very enjoyable column. I don't think the Eagles were going to cut D. Walker for salary cap reasons. His pay this year was modest. The having-spent-two-high-draft-picks is drive-by logic. It'll make perfect sense to readers who don't have an in-depth understanding of the team. But for us fans, who know better, not so much.

Secondly, young master Gregg, not matter how tastefully named, fails to recognize that the Eagles DID select one of the premier (if not the top) "big backs" in the draft. They had their choice of Tony Hunt, Antonio Pittman and/or Michael Bush with their 3rd round selection (90th overall). They did pass-up an opportunity to select Brian Leonard or Chris Henry, but they did not "fail" to address the position- they waited until Rd 3 and made a good pick. Then they took a flier on Nate "Big Nasti" Ilaoa (scroll down) out of Hawaii in the 7th round (admittedly much more of a longshot). We'll have to see if it works out, but the Eagles could have a punishing ground attack this year.

This is why I love Ray Didinger's writing. He sums up my thought about the Eagles early day 1 "strategy" perfectly:
"If I had been in the Eagles chair, I would have gone in a different direction and tried to address some immediate needs.

First of all, I’m not sure I would have traded out of the No. 26 spot. I would have been content to stay there and take Anthony Spencer...But for the sake of argument, let’s take the trade down to No. 36. At that point, the Eagles had their choice of: Eric Weddle, a safety from Utah; Chris Houston, the best one-on-one cover cornerback in the draft; David Harris, a tough inside linebacker from Michigan, and Brian Leonard, the do-it-all running back from Rutgers. There also were three intriguing wide receivers: Dwayne Jarrett and Steve Smith from Southern Cal and Sidney Rice of South Carolina.

I would have rather seen the Eagles take any of the first four players because they would have played – and helped the team – right away. Weddle would have competed for a starting safety position. Houston would have stepped into Rod Hood’s role as the third cornerback. Harris would have pushed Jeremiah Trotter at middle linebacker and played a major role on special teams. Leonard, with his superb receiving skills, would have been an ideal fit in Reid’s offense.

I’m sure the Eagles will disagree, but I think they could have made that pick at No. 36 and still landed Kolb with their next selection at No. 57. I don’t think any other team would have taken Kolb before the third round, I really don’t. If they did, oh well, life goes on. You still have McNabb, A.J. Feeley and Kelly Holcomb for this season. You can go looking for that next quarterback some other time."

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