Tennessee Fans vs Georgia Fans

In the midst of Tennessee’s five year losing streak to Georgia, I’d forgotten how miserable fans of the Bulldogs can be.  They’re disgruntled and rude if they win, they’re even more disgruntled and rude if they lose.   Part of me would love to chalk this up to that minority of every fan base that doesn’t reflect well on the overall fan-base.   But in the case of Georgia fans, I’m afraid that polite fans are in the minority (I’ve actually met two who are quite nice and good natured).

This feeling has only been enhanced in the past twenty-four hours following Tennessee’s come-from-behind victory over Georgia yesterday.  Observing the things being thrown the way of Volunteer fans on Twitter and other social media outlets has led me to make the following list of the differences between UGA fans and just about every other fan base in college football.  For the sake of this post and because I’m a Volunteer fan, I’ll put this out there as the differences between UT fans and Georgia fans.  (You can laugh, because I’m trying to be funny here!)

  • Tennessee fans wear their orange and white at home and on the road.   Georgia fans are offended that orange and white is allowed in Neyland Stadium.
  • Tennessee fans try to make Georgia fans feel welcome at Neyland. Georgia fans threaten to physically assault Tennessee fans before, during and after a game at Neyland Stadium.
  • Tennessee fans applaud players from both teams if they’re forced to be helped off the field due to injury. When a UGA player is injured, Tennesee fans show concern and offer prayers and good wishes via social media.   Georgia fans believe there are elaborate conspiracies to injure their star players.
  • Tennessee fans don’t like seeing highlights of negative plays our team commits, but understands they have to be shown on ESPN. Georgia fans think ESPN should stop showing highlights that show Georgia surrendering a lead or losing a game.
  • Tennessee fans support their team and coaching staff in thick and thin.  Georgia fans want to fire Mark Richt because they didn’t win by a large enough margin.
  • Tennessee fans love our legends and history.  Georgia fans think that stats should have stopped counting when Herschel Walker won the Heisman.
  • Tennessee fans got to listen to games called by one a broadcast legend, John Ward.  Georgia fans got to listen to Larry Munsen, arguably the worst play by play broadcaster in any medium ever.

Just remember this is supposed to be in the spirit of fun and good natured rivalry.

Yeah, we’ll see how that goes.

“The Flash:” The Man in the Yellow Suit

yellowsuitI don’t know what Arrow or Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD have up their sleeve, but it’s going to be VERY hard for them to top The Flash‘s mid-season finale.

“The Man in the Yellow Suit” hit just about every button of what has made The Flash my favorite new show of the season.  And I couldn’t help but thinking as I watched the hour unfold that whoever is in charge of the DC movie empire might want to call up the writers from The Flash for some pointers on how to do a DC superhero movie right.    Quite frankly, this single hour of The Flash was far more entertaining and compelling that the last couple of DC related superhero movies I’ve seen (really much of anything outside the Nolan-verse Batman films) — especially Green Lantern and Man of Steel.   I’ll also have to admit it makes me less enthusiastic to see the big-screen version of The Flash simply because I’m loving what this show is doing with the character and universe here.

Call me a fan-boy if you want, but I love this show.

And “The Man in the Yellow Suit” delivered on just about every level, answering just enough questions while raising a few more.    (more…)

TV Round-Up: The Flash — Going Rogue

goingrogueThere were moments of “Going Rogue” that reminded me of the first season of Lois and Clark.   This puts The Flash in good company since I’ve got a lot of affection for the first season of Lois and Clark.

Opening with Barry testing his abilities by dashing between three games felt like a montage from those early episodes of Lois and Clark, when Clark would do accomplish ordinary tasks in extraordinary times and ways using his powers.   The scene of the three games and pushing Barry’s limits both physically and mentally worked very well in the episode and it also underscored the theme of the episode — that being the Flash is more than just about zipping around from place to place quickly.  It’s about being part of a team.

Barry will need to remember that later in the episode when it turns out the latest super villain he’s facing isn’t one of the storm’s creation but instead one created by a member of his own team.  In the early days before Cisco knew if Barry would be a force for good or evil, Cisco created a freeze ray to thwart Barry.   Now said weapon has been stolen from Star Labs and put into the hands of a criminal who, at first, wants nothing more than to steal a very large diamond.   It was interesting to see Leonard Snart start as an average, run of the mill criminal who soon gets greater aspirations when he realizes the true power he wields.

Of course, it was hard to separate out previous “freeze ray” comic book tv show plots from what was unfolding here.  I kept expecting the diamond to somehow be a component of the freeze gun or a larger freeze gun that Captain Cold decides to experiment with.   Not that it couldn’t still happen, of course.  It’s also hard not to be reminded of the superlative Batman: The Animated Series episode, “Heart of Ice” featuring Mr. Freeze — especially since it feels like the cold ray looks and feels like something from that animated project brought into the live action world of The Flash. (more…)

Doctor Who: Mummy on the Orient Express, Flatline

Since I’m behind on my Doctor Who reviewing, I’m offering commentary on “Mummy on the Orient Express” and “Flatline” in one post.  It’s two posts for the price of one!

Mummy on the Orient Express

mummy_orientIn the 80’s, the production team wanted to introduce audiences to a more alien, less likeable Doctor who would slowly mellow over time and become more and more liked by the audience.  The result was the sixth Doctor and the plan didn’t exactly go, well, as planned.  Colin Baker’s era was one of the most polarizing in the classic series run and led to the show becoming the target of a great deal in internal criticism at the BBC and the show going on hiatus for eighteen months.

With the Peter Capaldi era, I feel like that in addition to destructing the character of the Doctor, Steven Moffat has taken on that task of giving us a more alien, less likeable Doctor and is showing us how it could have and should have been done.   With “Mummy” we look into the question of just how the Doctor goes about solving the problem or defeating the alien threat facing him in each story.   Do the ends justify the means?

In this case, it’s a high body count (nothing new, just watch any story by Robert Holmes) that piles up before the Doctor can come up with a way to stop the Mummy from killing everyone on the train.    Does the Doctor have the right to ask each of these various people to sacrifice themselves in the interest of obtaining data on how to defeat the Mummy and Gus, who has lured the Doctor into this particular trap (interestingly, the Doctor has turned down multiple invitations to come on board and solve this until Clara threatens to leave him.  More on this later).   The Doctor realizes there is a way to stop the Mummy, but it takes data (in this case the death of innocent people) to give him the pieces he needs to solve the puzzle.

Of the stories we’ve seen this year, this one feels like it comes closest to the classic Who model of the “base under siege” story.  In fact, I’d say it felt a great deal like the Tom Baker era story “The Robots of Death” with people trapped in an isolated, locked-room location and a force coming to kill everyone on board.    Having the Doctor chose to take Clara into what can be summed up as “the most typical of classic Who models” for what she wants to be her last hurrah in the TARDIS is interesting.   The Doctor doesn’t give her a tour of the marvels of the universe and all the beauty within it, but instead a classic battle against the forces of evil that he faces.   And in doing so, he gives her a bit of insight into who he is now and just how alien he truly he is.  He also feeds her addiction to traveling with him — the excitement of the discovery and just how these various monsters are defeated. (more…)

The Jake Locker Era Is Over

6858710A couple of years ago, I entered an on-line contest to predict the Titans’ first pick in the NFL draft.  After listening to some debate on local sports radio, I decided that Jake Locker was the guy and entered the contest.

Days later, the Titans picked Locker and my name was randomly selected from the correct predictions for the grand prize — tickets to a Titans game and the chance to go out to camp and meet Locker.   Due to the NFL lockout, the opportunity to head out to camp instead turned into pre-season tickets and the chance for Locker to autograph a jersey for me during a pre-game ceremony.

I’ve kept that autographed jersey hanging up in my closet since that time, waiting to see if Locker would become the next big thing and it might be worth framing the jersey and putting it on display.

Three years later, I feel like I should have just worn or it sold it on E-Bay immediately to cash in while Jake Locker’s stock was high.

Today we got news that the Titans have decided that Zach Mettenberger is their starter for not only Sunday’s contest against the Texans (who we can only hope they give us two minutes like they did to the Steelers on Monday night) but for the rest of the season.    It’s a clear signal that barring an injury the Jake Locker era in Tennessee is over.   And it’s also a clear indication that the Titans are throwing in the towel in the season and evaluating what needs they will have to address in free agency and the draft (in short: a lot!).

So, for the rest of the season, we’ll be treated to the offensive equivalent of pre-season games as the Titans try to figure out where they go from here.   I’m sure there will be some great moments in there and I’m sure there will be some so full of futility that I’ll thank the geniuses who created NFL Redzone for coming up with such a brilliant idea and then bringing it into my home each week.

The Locker era is done.  I wanted it to work out and there were some flashes of what could have been.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go wash my jersey and get it ready to wear….

TV Round-Up: “The Flash,” Things You Can’t Outrun

thingyoucantoutrunThe first two installments of The Flash were focused on establishing Barry and his newly found super powers.   With the third episode, the series expands the focus a bit and begins to give us some development of the other characters who are part of the Flash’s crusade against meta-humans.

In this case, we get a bit of expansion of Caitlin’s character, including a well done use of flashbacks to the night that everything went wrong at Star Labs.   As displeased as I was last week with the flashbacks, feeling them to be the weakest part of another wise solid outing of the show, this week I felt like the flashbacks were better connected to the character and storyline.  I also like the concept that the flashbacks don’t necessarily have to center on Barry’s past each week, but can instead be used like the ones on Lost were — to give us some details and insights into the character.

In this case, it’s Caitlin and her fiance Ronnie, who wasn’t supposed to be at the start-up of the particle accelerator the night it went up.  An engineer she met working on the project, Ronnie throws himself into the fray when things start to go sideways and ends up apparently getting killed in the process.  I say apparently here because given what we’ve seen about Wells and his ulterior agenda (more on that later) and that we never see a body for Ronnie,  I fully expect him to be back at some point, quite possibly as the biggest meta-human the Flash has faced up to that point.  In fact, I can fully see him returning for the mid-season or possibly season-ending cliffhanger to the show.  (more…)

Doctor Who: Kill the Moon

killthemoonThere must be something about the Doctor using a Scottish accent that makes him go dark, alien and manipulative.

As I’ve said all season, it feels like Stephen Moffat is deconstructing the character of the Doctor to answer the question, “Am I a good man.”   I have a feeling after the events of “Into the Moon” that Clara’s answer would be slightly different than the one she gave a few weeks ago.   She’s probably gone from uncertain to convinced that this new Doctor isn’t really a good man after all, but instead a dark, manipulative character.

It’s interesting to imagine how this story might have played out with other modern Doctors.  It’s easy to see the David Tennant or Matt Smith Doctor figuring out a way to save the alien creature that is hatching from the moon.  In fact, I felt like there were call backs to Matt Smith’s second episode and the space whale with the Doctor’s speech about finding a new name after he’s forced to kill the space whale because that isn’t what the Doctor is or does.    Contrast that with Peter Capaldi’s Doctor who is initially enthusiastic about the discovery but then takes a hands-off approach on the decision on whether or not the young alien hatchling will live or die.  It even gets to the point that the Doctor abandons Clara and Courtney, leaving them to make a momentous decision without his advice or wisdom.

In some ways, “Kill the Moon” felt a bit like Torchwood’s “Children of Earth” in that we are presented with a situation to which there is no right solution — just varying degrees of wrong.  Seeing the Earth people be of one mind to kill the creature rather than risk the possible destruction of Earth was a chilling one.   Coupled with Clara’s conflict over what should be done (I almost wish there had been one single light left on to give us some hope) and her impulsive decision to save the creature, there were moments in the final few minutes that almost felt suffocating.

And yet, unlike “Children of Earth,” the Doctor arrives in the end to say that everything worked out as it should.   Humanity has its moment to look upward and be awed by the universe again.  This story sets into motion the future Earth empire that we’ve seen in other stories with humanity spreading out to the stars.

Of course, it does bring up the question of what did the Doctor know and when did he know it.  Citing a grey area and certain points in history that can’t be altered ,the Doctor refuses to give Clara the assurance that everything will work out, regardless of what her decision is.   It brings up the interesting question of whether or not he’s testing Clara, knowing full well how everything works out.  Or if he’d have come in to save the creature had Clara chosen not to abort the countdown.

It leads to a final scene in the TARDIS that echoes Ace’s anger at the Doctor in “The Curse of Fenric.”  In both cases, the Doctor is keeping details from his companions and allowing them to make decisions, observing them and possibly testing them.  And in both cases, the companions figure this out and blow up at the Doctor, demanding answers.  And while Ace demands answers mid-story, Clara’s wrath comes in the form of rejecting the Doctor and telling him not to come back.    Whether or not she’s truly done with the Doctor remains to be seen.  Danny believes she isn’t because he can still make her angry.    And I have a feeling that the Doctor may try to win Clara back — or at least have her parting with him be under better circumstances.

It should be an interesting ride to the end of the season.