Saturday, April 30, 2005

Raiders gather Moss, rookies for weekend mini-camp


Randy Moss says he will go back to being a 'dangerous' football player as the Silver and Black's # 18, the number he wore as a rookie in training camp with Minnesota. Posted by Hello

A year ago, it was Tim Brown, Jerry Rice, Rich Gannon, Tyrone Wheatley and Roland Williams looking to recapture the magic of the 2005 season. Today it's Randy Moss, Jerry Porter, Kerry Collins, Lamont Jordan and Courtney Anderson/Teyo Johshon looking to start over after a combined 9-23 record after the last two years.

As a Raiders fan, I'll take it. The NFL is a year-to-year propostion these days. There is no time to rebuild and "get out of salary cap hell," as the 49ers would like their sad fans to believe.

Al Davis knows this and still pulls rabbits out of his hat every off season, despite having a low revenue stream. Why? The man still has it. Street cred. Gangsta scratch. Whatever you want to call it, he has it, and NFL players want to be a part of it. As Charlie Garner once said "Al Davis? Oh he's a straight gangsta." As Warren Sapp once said "He's as smooth as all of the outdoors, looking lovely in his white suits."

I supposed the Raiders are about one defensive tackle and one impact edge rusher away from being a true force in the league, but for now, Oakland should have enough to compete for a wild card. Then watch Mr. Davis raid the draft and free agent cupboards again next offseason.

To quote the theme song: the Autumn Wind is a Raider ... pillaging just for fun.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Yes! Captain America is finally going to hit the silver screen.



After years of languishing in courts, Marvel Comics secured the rights to mass market Captain America from the estate of his original creators. The rights were sold to Artisan Entertainment, which transferred to Lions Gate Entertainment, a movie studio not known for blockbusters. Now Marvel has said is enough is enough, and optioned the rights to Paramount Pictures. Marvel will pay to produce the movie itself, the way George Lucas does with Fox and Star Wars movies. Fox puts in marketing and distribution money, but Lucafilm foots all production costs and keeps creative control. This is what comic book fans have been waiting for: production control by Marvel itself.

Finally, after lagging behind Spider-Man, the X-Men and even Daredevil, Cap will get his shot. Hope it's not too late after years of Hell Boy, Elektra, the Punisher and other b-list heroes clogging up the attention of movie fans. With Middle East tension still high, this Cap movie ought to be a homerun here in the U.S. of A. The hardest thing about this movie will be casting Steve Rogers (aka. Captain America). My pick is an actor who played a hard-nosed CIA agent on the CBS Show "The Agency," named John O'Mara. I don't think Brad Pitt or Orlando Bloom can pull this one off, sorry ladies.

Here's the official write-up from Variety Magazine:

Paramount has signed a lucrative, exclusive distribution deal with Marvel for films based on the comic book publisher's remaining characters, reports Variety.

According to a Dow Jones report Wednesday night, Marvel has already amassed a half-billion-dollar war chest to make a slate of movies with budgets as high as $180 million, drawing on its remaining 5,000 comic-book characters.

Among the first of its superheroes headed for the silver screen: Captain America and Nick Fury.

Marvel has never produced a movie on its own until now. To fund its slate Marvel arranged a seven-year $525 million revolving credit facility with Merrill Lynch Commercial Finance Corp., secured against the movie rights to 10 comic-book characters, including Captain America, says the trade.

Paramount isn't putting up any production money; it will receive a fee for marketing and distributing an initial 10 movies, the first of which is expected to hit theaters in two years. To ensure the maximum possible audience, none of the movies will be R-rated.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Comcast is back in my good graces with a DVR that works ... and it works wonders



After a horrible 5-day experience with this machine when it was first rolled out, I am in heaven with this dual-tuner DVR with on-Demand and HDTV. I can record and watch other stuff at the same time, holy moly, I knew it was a great concept, but damn is it awesome in action. We got the HBO package with its 10 HBO channels and we're loving "Curb Your Enthusiasm" as well as the other HBO series available whenever we want with on-Demand.

The NFL Network rules! The top 50 college draft prospects broken down in 5-minute highlight packages available through NFL Network on-Demand? Are you kidding me?

I would write more, but I have to go and catch up on "Battlestar Galactica" and "Spider-man and his Amazing Friends" that the machine recorded while I was away at the new job.

If you can, go out and order your own digital cable/DVR/on-Demand/HDTV tuner. It now comes with component cables for even better quality. You will never want to leave the house, I swear it.

Friday, April 22, 2005

New superman costume



Here it is: Brandon Routh is the new Superman. The short-shorts are a little much, but I like the darker color scheme for sure. Hopefully Captain America gets a darker, more adult look when he finally hits the big screen too.

Post your thoughts, true believers.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

My softball team is like the Bad News Bears, but with 5 o'clock shadows



After getting to a .500 record at 1-1, things were looking good against our old rivals, Jo Bu's Rum. We got up 10-0 in the bottom of the first. Then came the comedy of errors in the top of the second - the result was a 17-10 deficit that should've been a 10-2 lead. Now we're 1-2 and still on top of the world. Why? Good friends = good times. In the words of Frank the Tank, we keep on truckin'

It hurt to lose that bad. One guy struck out looking. Another guy made every kind of error you can make in the outfied short of a Canseco "off the head" homer. Another guy tried a half-ass swing for a bunt and was called out. Normally I'm good for an error or a weak pop-up too, so no one on the team has any room to point fingers.

All in all, we had a good time. We always have a good time. Wives, girlfriends, call girls and good old fashioned concubines are always invited. Kids and pets too. Our Web site has almost 3,000 hits and some guestbook entries. Sometimes we all go out for pizza and beer afterwards. Sometimes we have an "Alize party" before we even hit the field. Its all good with your friendly neighborhood Dublin Non Athletics.

Do we play to win? Sure. We've made the playoffs in every year of our rich and storied history. In the end, playing with fraternity brothers is so much more fun than playing on some corporate or random team full of casual acquaintances or even strangers. What's the moral of the story: eat, drink, play softball and be merry.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

No explanation Saturday

Darting here and there ...

That poor lady in Florida, Terri Schiavo, deserved to live. Humans should never decide when each other dies, it's not our job. A kill or be killed situation is a little different because our "fight or flight" instincts take over. But that woman was defenseless.

Pope John Paul II was truly a beacon of light, not just for Catholics, but for all Christians, non-Christians, nations and politicians. He'll be sorely missed.

Our country, maybe even our world, needs to get back to old-fashioned values centered around family, decency and honesty.

I'm worried that radical islamic terrorists are plotting a nuclear attack. Living in a major metro area makes me even more cautious.

If it ever happens, the U.S. would almost have to go into a militant state just to survive. I hope it never comes to that, but who could blame us if push came to shove?

Why do people care more about Britney Spears' or Brad Pitts' lives more than things like having a sound mind, body and soul?

For the first time in my life, I am working in a new job in a truly large corporate environment. Being in the headquarters of a Fortune 500 company makes one feel really small and confused by all of the acronyms. I almost expected someone to ask me why I'm having troubles with my TPS reports. The challenges will be great, but I'm up for it. My boss is from London and he's really cool. I'm sure he'll make this journey worthwhile and full of British humour. Thank you for getting me the gig, Ki.

Th-th-th-th-th-that's all folks.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Superman Returns



No, not me sillies, the REAL Superman, coming to a theatre near you. For more details on the new flick - which will be a continuation story building of off the Christopher Reeve movies - see Director John Singer's Web site: www.bluetights.net.

I hope this movie delivers. They went with a no name soap opera actor and surrounded him with powerhouse talent like Anthony Hopkins and Kevin Spacey. Word is we'll get to see two Superman uniforms: a slight update of the classic blue and a Raider-themed silver & black number that is used for intergalactic-planetary travel. Based on that Beastie Boys/Oakland Raiders combo, I am jazzed to see this alternate uni.

Up, up and away, true believers!

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Warriors playing .650 ball with Baron Davis. Finally ... next year looks good!



I've been a faithful, Golden State Warriors true believer for a long, long time. At times it has felt like the last time they made the playoffs was also in a galaxy far, far way. That was back when my favorite player - Michigan's Chris Webber - was ballin' on a team with Tim Hardaway, Avery Johson, Chris Mullin, Latrel Sprewell and Chris Gatling. Can you say 1993/1994? Ahh yes, my last year of high school/first year of college. Good times. Good times. Ace of Base was rockin' the airwaves, Niki Taylor was on the front of every magazine, "Clerks" was in production and "Journeys" was THE place to buy shoes.

Webber lasted one year and left Oakland faster than you can say 12-year playoff drought. Now, Baron Davis has arrived to make the biggest impact in Oak-town since Webber. At first, I didn't know too much about "BD." I didn't see what all the fuss was about. Count me as a convert. He even has Mike Dunleavy playing with passion and engery (I swear I will not quote JT The Brick ever again).

The Warriors fate was forever changed on Feb. 24, 2005. Chris Mullin acquired the all-star guard from UCLA and the team is 13-7 since the trade. I don't think they'll play .650 ball all next year, but hell, .550 might squeeze them into the playoffs. Good enough for me. The future looks bright with BD, J-Rich, Pietrus and young Biendrins in the middle. The jury is still out on Dunleavy and Troy Murphy. It says here the Warriors are one Anthony Mason or Dennis Rodman type player away from being a team to be reconed with.

While we're at it, can we finally change the official team name to the Oakland Warriors and make the new orange uniform the permanent road jersey? The navy blue unis look terrible and have since they changed from the plain-old royal blue from the Run-TMC days. Okay, Warriors problems solved. Twelve-year drought about to be ... jammed. Rasberry. Only one man would dare use the rasberry ... Baron Davis!

Friday, April 01, 2005

Don't "F" with us, rebel scum. And by "F" we don't mean Force.



On the eve of new Star Wars Episdoe III toys ... I have to geek out a little bit, so pardon the e-drool.

Here's my schedule for the next 24 hours: Line up outside of Toys R Us with a great friend and Star Wars fan by 9 p.m. Shoot documentary footage with my pro videocam, interviewing other die-hard fans for a few hours. Buy some toys when the doors open for "Midnight Madness" at Toys R Us. Next morning, hit up Target with $1 off of EVERY action figure coupon. Must reach comic book shop by 10 a.m. with another good buddy for a one-year anniversary sale, 40 - 70 % off of all comics & collectibles. Then hit a third buddy's house by noon for a massive beer and Xbox-fest where we will play Star Wars: Republic Commando on a 70-inch LCD HDTV until out thumbs bleed.

Is there a guy in America - or the Galaxy - that has more going on than me and my boys in the next 24 hours? In the words of Vader: I find your lack of faith disturbing.

May the Force be with You, true believers.