Where Did The Week Go…

It's all about the benjamins.

— Ryan Beltram, EDN

More than 100 million people watched Super Bowl XLVI this year. What did we learn from this particular one? That Eli Manning is now 2-0 against Tom Brady in the big game. That we can rely on Kelly Clarkson to get the words right to the national anthem. That we may have run out of musical acts for the Super Bowl and that someone named M.I.A. apparently doesn’t like America.

When did the Super Bowl become the biggest day of the year in television in this country? Why is it that this day and this game attracts so many people who couldn’t care less about football? It’s because the Super Bowl has become more than just a football game. They should rename it National Corporate Sponsor Day or Championship Advertising Day. It used to be about winning the Super Bowl and now it’s about selling the Super Bowl.

It's all about the benjamins.

The average cost of a 30-second ad this year is $3.5 million and that price tag has risen by 50% over the last decade. This past Monday when people were gathered at the water cooler they were probably talking about that funny Volkswagen commercial or the great one about Detroit featuring Clint Eastwood. Or maybe they’ll bring up the new movie trailers that aired for The Avengers or Battleship.

To the players who play in the game and the diehard fans hoping and praying their team wins, the Super Bowl is just a game. But to everyone else, it’s a day of exposure and entertainment for better or worse.

NBA Needs to Expand Instant Replay

On Monday, the Portland Trail Blazers lost to the Oklahoma City Thunder in overtime 111 to 107. But the game should have been over at the end of regulation if not for a missed block shot that was called goaltending.

Instant replay showed that LaMarcus Aldridge blocked Kevin Durant’s shot off the backboard and thus would have ended the game. But the refs went the other way and the play couldn’t be reviewed under the NBA’s replay rules.

Here’s my question. Why can you review a play to determine whether or not a player releases a ball from his hands in time after making a game-winning shot at the buzzer, but you can’t review a play to determine whether a shot was a block or a goal tend? Both scenarios involve the outcome of a game and thus both should be able to be reviewed to avoid the possibility of human error.

What exactly am I looking at here?

Of course the argument against instant replay has always been that it slows the game down by adding even more stipulations. But I’d rather get it right than worry about how long it’s taking. Fans who have already invested two plus hours into a game aren’t suddenly going to become impatient and turn it off.

Sunday’s Super Bowl involved a play in which the Patriots challenged whether or not Mario Manningham caught a ball that ultimately decided the outcome of the biggest game of the year. Last night while watching the Lakers play New York, the refs took two points away from the Knicks because they incorrectly counted how many fouls had been called on the Lakers. If they can take two points away from a team midway through the third quarter because they screwed up, they should be able to do the same at the end of a game.

Netflix Instant Pick: The Game

“What do you get a man who has everything,” says Conrad Van Orton (Sean Penn) to his brother Nicholas (Michael Douglas) on his birthday. Conrad hands him a card giving him entry to an unusual entertainment called Consumer Recreation Services (CRS). A simple gift sets off a highly entertaining and unpredictable thriller.

Despite being extremely successful as a wealthy San Francisco banker, Nicholas Van Orton seems bored with life. He lives alone, eats alone and is celebrating his 48th birthday alone. This is an especially significant birthday as it is the same age his father was when he committed suicide. WIth his father in constant thought, Nicholas longs to break from his usual routine so giving in to curiosity, he visits CRS. He is told the company provides an entertainment known only as “the game.”

An unpredictable thriller.

Following a lengthy screening process and a less-than-stellar overall presentation, Nicholas assumes they’ve decided to pass. But a serious of strange and unusual events start happening and soon the uptight city boy has to rely on his intelligence and instinct rather than his checkbook to survive.

Directed by David Fincher, a master of the thriller, The Game is shot beautifully on the streets of San Francisco. Douglas basically plays the same character he played in Wall Street, but as always Douglas is good at playing the leading man. He balances skepticism with pessimism convincingly and despite a seemingly good life, you sympathise with him through his personal demons. The film is told from his perspective and as a result, you never know who to trust and this gives the film an effective level of unpredictability.

By the end you might find The Game utterly ridiculous or preposterous, but just enjoy the ride. The dark cinematography and constant surprises will keep you on your toes.


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