Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Passing of Larry H. Miller

I have been known to be critical of the owner of the Utah Jazz. I have challenged his business practices, his spending, and his apparent shrewdness as an NBA owner. Larry H. Miller died this last Friday after a battle with diabetes. If it were not for him, the Utah Jazz would not exist.

His story is quite fascinating. I believe he started by working in the parts department of an auto dealership. He worked his way up and eventually bought his first dealership, a Toyota dealership in Murray.

He then owned another and another until his empire grew to over 30 dealerships cover more than three states. He purchased half of the Utah Jazz back in 1985 then a year later bought the second half of the Jazz. The Jazz were planning on moving to Minnesota when he purchased the team. He prevented that move.

He then found a way to build the Delta Center in 1992 and the rest is history. Stockton and Malone led the Jazz to two NBA Finals in 1997 and 1998. Growing up, the Jazz meant almost everything to me, and for his sacrifices of keeping the team here, I don’t think I would be the sports fan I am today.

I have criticized him and he has criticized his own players that he pays, but that is part of the passion for the game. He was just an average Joe, who risked his entire fortune to own a team. I think any average Joe fan with just enough money to do that would take the same risk. I know I would. Owning a sports franchise is a fantasy of mine and just about any average Joe out there.

I think that is why so many people can relate to Larry and why so many people will show up to his funeral on Saturday at Energy Solutions Arena.

Larry, thank you. We are all grateful for you passion for the game and this great state of Utah.

Friday, February 13, 2009

One Date at a Time

My editor-in-chief Jon recently informed me that my blog has been getting a lot of hits lately. Not for anything spectacular that I have written of course, but for my Valentine’s Day blog from last year. Sadly, it wasn’t content, but just for a silly photo that he put in the blog that received a ton of hits this week thanks to the Lovers' Holiday. Talk about cliché!

But WE DID OUR BEST, BUT OUR BEST WASN’T GOOD ENOUGH. Sometimes you have to THROW AWAY YOUR GAME PLAN. Even in dating, sometimes it feels like I AM IN THE MIDDLE OF A SLUMP. But then sometimes it feels like THE HOOP IS AS WIDE AS AN OCEAN. I mean, I recently went on a date expecting to KNOCK IT OUT OF THE PARK, but sometimes I realize the GOAL IS A MARATHON AND NOT A SPRINT.

I think I NEED TO TURN IT UP A NOTCH. I’ve been AT THE 20, and now I’m AT THE 30, and I definitely wanna get tackled before I'm AT THE 40. I’VE BEEN THROWING UP BRICKS. I gotta stop YO-YOing at the TOP OF THE KEY, and STEP UP TO THE PLATE. I CAN’T HOLD ANYTHING BACK. I feel like NOBODY BELIEVES IN US. I feel like I have TREMENDOUS UPSIDE. My BEST YEARS ARE AHEAD OF ME. Unlike Cougar football, I JUST NEED TO EXECUTE.

I know… DON'T QUIT, DON’T EVEN QUIT. WE PLAY TO WIN THE GAME. I’ve been living FROM DOWNTOWN for too long. I gotta BRING MY A-GAME. I usually give a girl a-THREE STRIKES AND YOU’RE OUT-policy. I feel that RULES ARE RULES and REFS DIDN’T COST US THE GAME. I mean, ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE. Eventually a gap BIG ENOUGH TO DRIVE A MACK TRUCK through will open up, and all I’ll have to do is TAP, TAP, TAP IT IN. I mean, IT’S 90% MENTAL AND 50% PHYSICAL. I know that one day HE COULD. GO. ALL. THE. WAY. Why not? DO YOU BELIEVE IN MIRACLES?

Monday, February 2, 2009

Super Bowl and Movie Reviews

Last year, I never wrote a follow up after the Super Bowl about the amazing finish between the Giants and the Patriots with The Helmet Catch.

Yesterday, the nation received another treat with yet another amazing finish in the Super Bowl once again (including WR Larry Fitzgerald’s amazing performance). Although this 4th quarter may have been more exciting, it wasn’t as iconic as last years win with a perfect season on the line.

Although I was rooting for Kurt Warner and the underdog Arizona Cardinals, the better team won last night. I thought the drama was extremely high at the end, but I also thought that officiating was terrible throughout the entire game beginning in the 1st quarter with the Cardinals having to overturn a few key calls. The refs were way too relevant and overshadowing of the drama on the field, and that is the sign of bad officiating.

Great finish, wrong result! (For us underdog fans, because let’s be honest, there is no such thing as a Cardinal fan. Not even in Arizona.)

And of course in this day of internet reporting/blogging and ESPN’s monopoly, everybody already wants to deem this the best Super Bowl ever, even though they said the same thing after last year's game.

To try and remedy this constant of people always giving way too much credit to the present, I will try to give you my five best and worst Super Bowls ever.

Five Worst Super Bowls: (I won’t use Roman Numerals because I have no idea why the NFL stubbornly keeps using these.)

5. Super Bowl 35: Ravens 34 Giants 7 – Although I am a Ravens fan, this Super Bowl was a snoozer because the Ravens the beat down that Ray Lewis and company put on Kerry Collins and the Giants.

4. Super Bowl 28: Dallas 30 Buffalo 13 – This was a boring game because it was a rematch of a blowout from the previous season. This game provided no drama. People wanted to see Buffalo finally win one, but Dallas dominated.

3. Super Bowl 37: Tampa Bay 48 Oakland 21 – Although this game was high scoring, did anybody in America care about a single player on either of these rosters beside a washed up Jerry Rice?

2. Super Bowl 11: Oakland 32 Minnesota 7 – The Vikings lose their 4th Big game.

1. Super Bowl 22: Washington 42 Denver 10 – This game was over in the 2nd quarter, and there were no stars out on the field, unless you count a young loser in John Elway. People forgot about Doug Williams way too quickly, oh wait, he was forgettable.

Five Best Super Bowls:

Wildcard: Super Bowl 43: Pittsburgh 27 Arizona 23 – This game provided tons of big plays, weird scoring, and game-ending drama yet was soured by poor officiating.

5. Super Bowl 42: New York Giants 17 New England 14 – The Helmet Catch, Brady and the Pats finished 18-1. This game would be higher if the first three quarters weren’t snoozers.

4. Super Bowl 23: San Francisco 20 Cincinnati 16 – Joe Montana drove the 49ers 92-yards in the final two minutes with a touchdown to John Taylor to cement his legacy.

3. Super Bowl 25: New York Giants 20 Buffalo 19 – The closest Super Bowl ever that came down to the final play with Scott Norwood’s 47-yard field goal try going wide left.

2. Super Bowl 34: St. Louis 23 Tennessee 16 – This game came down to the final play and the final yard as Kevin Dyson was tackled just short of the game-tying touchdown as time expired. Who writes this stuff, anyway?

1. Super Bowl 32: Denver 31 Green Bay 24 – Extremely underrated. Most people forget how back and forth this game was from start to finish, until Brett Favre’s luck finally ran out on 4th down of the final drive. You never felt like one team was in control the entire game.

And now, with no segue, let’s get to some movie reviews:

I recently saw the movies “The Wrestler” and “Defiance” along with watching “The Dark Knight” in IMAX that was re-released just in time for the Academy Awards coming up in three weeks.

All three of these movies were absolutely amazing and should have been up for some Best Picture considerations. I do thing that Mickey Rourke deserves to win the Oscar for Best Actor. Heath Ledgler deserves the win for Best Supporting Actor, not just because he passed away, but because of his brilliant performance in creating a dark a twisted character in The Joker. You don’t even recognize it is the guy from “Ten Things I Hate About You” with some splotchy makeup except for maybe one or two seconds the entire movie, and that my friends is some great acting!

I can’t begin to tell you how the Nolan brothers created an amazing cop drama script and added characters from comic books fill the voids of a great movie. The Dark Knight delivered in so many ways that it should be up for best picture instead of “The Curious Case of Three Snoozer Hours.”

And here are my movies lists with the Academy Awards looming.

Five Worst Movies of 2008

Honorable Mention: Twilight: Ok, I admit I never actually saw this movie, but this seems about right.

5. Never Back Down: Although this movie was so bad, it was pretty sweet, yet it was still so bad.

4. Tropic Thunder: The comedy in this movie was way too in-your-face as Mr. Not-Funny Ben Stiller’s fingerprints were all over it. I rarely laughed while the jokes were shoved in my face. The Three Amigos had the same plot and will withstand the test of time much better than this crapfest ever will.

3. Eagle Eye: Wow, this movie was bad. It just felt like I had already seen this bad action movie a thousand times before. They sprinkled in a few car crashes to try and make it exciting, but it didn’t work.

2. Mama Mia: I don’t know where to begin, but yikes. But hey, it made a ton of money!

1. Four Christmases: I don’t think I laughed once. My main criteria for any movie making the bad list are if the movie made me angry after I watched it. This one left a bad taste in my system for about four days after I regretfully watched it.

Five Best Movies of 2008

Wild Card: Defiance. Great movie, but I don’t know exactly if it was released in 2008 or 2009. It is a really good war drama.

5. Wall-E: Jon, I actually never saw the ending of this movie, and it left me in a bad mood because I wanted to finish it so bad. But just a wonderful journey of a movie, and it still brings kids along for the ride without all the usual kid movie tricks.

4. Iron Man: Robert Downey Jr. finally gives us something that Toby Maguire, Christian Bale, and whoever played the new Superman never did: A superhero that we actually like when not in costume. Very entertaining!

3. Role Models: This movie was by far the funniest movie of the year. It’s totally politically incorrect in the right way. In fact, it was so wrong that it ended up so right. The only thing missing was a cameo by new funny man Danny McBride, but Paul Rudd filled his void quite amply. Dear Judd Apatow: Please learn from this film instead of putting your name on boring flicks like “Drillbit Taylor”.

2. Slumdog Millionaire: This movie snuck up out of nowhere and won the hearts of moviegoers everywhere. You get absolutely absorbed in the movie and when the ride is over, you leave the theatre feeling happy and telling all your friends to go and see it before wasting their $8 on any other movie.

1. The Dark Knight: The reason this one is ahead of Slumdog is because it absolutely delivered after all of the hype. All the main characters in this movie were interesting, except for Maggie (and they even fixed that in killing her off). Great script, great acting, and I still got chills after the 5th viewing.