Where Did The Week Go…
Mike Tirico called it “a fiasco.” Jon Gruden said it was “comical.” No they weren’t referring to a ridiculous touchdown dance or the halftime coach’s interview. No they were lamenting the refereeing at the end of the Monday Night Football game between Seattle and Green Bay.
Now known as the “Inaccurate Reception,” Green Bay safety M.D. Jennings’ clear interception was ruled a catch for Seattle receiver Golden Tate in the final seconds and the Seahawks beat the Packers 14-12. But the Packers weren’t the only people who got conned out of a win.
Las Vegas odds-makers say $300 million (other news sites are claiming as high as $1 billion) or more changed hands worldwide on the controversial call. The Packers went into the game as 4 1/2 point favorites. With only a few seconds left and the Packers covering the line with a 12-7 lead, many gambling experts felt comfortable their prediction would be correct. And then a replacement ref messed it all up.
An estimated two-thirds of bets worldwide were on the Packers, with about $150 million more bet on Green Bay than Seattle. But within minutes, all that money went another way and gamblers were left with a bad taste in their mouths.
For three weeks the refs were showing why they were not even on the JV squad. Giving Aaron Rodgers a kicking ball instead of a regular one on a crucial down, giving a team an 11-yard penalty and not throwing flags on vicious hits to Sean Lee and Darrius Heyward-Bey highlighted a major problem that the NFL seamed to be ignoring.
But then came Monday when you knew it would have to come to this for a change to happen. Thank goodness it only took three weeks for the replacement refs to decide the outcome of a game. If the debacle on Monday Night hadn’t occurred, we would be stuck with poorly-officiated, four-hour games for the rest of the season. Yes Monday was a travesty, especially for the Packers, but it was necessary to put an end to the strike. Now we can go back to watching football on Sundays and only occasionally being reminded of the poor officiating.
Netflix Instant Pick: Explorers
Joe Dante was a prolific director in the 1980s. He specialized in two genres: Sci-fi and horror and released such cult classics as The Howling, Gremlins and Innerspace. His career since then has been somewhat sporadic with only three feature films in the ’90s and just two in the last decade.
His last feature, The Hole, was made in 2009 and will finally hits theaters on Friday. From the looks of the trailer, The Hole appears to feature all of the usual Dante staples: kids as the main characters, an unusual event that thrusts them into an adventure and a little darkness thrown in. Another film he made in the ’80s, Explorers, follows the same general plot.
Ben Crandall loves anything involving aliens. From H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds to ’50s Alien B-movies, Crandall dreams of one day flying in space and discovering everything he’s imagined.
Following what seems like another late-night Sci-fi movie marathon, Crandall dreams of an elaborate circuit board. The sequence feels like something out of Tron; another ’80s classic. Drawing out the circuit, he and his friends Wolfgang and Darren set it up, and discover they have been given the basis for a starship.
Using an old tilt-a-worl seat, they construct their very own spacecraft in hopes of making contact . What they find isn’t exactly what they expected.
Instead of the usual portrayal of aliens as threatening, Explorers presents them as unusual beings with a fascination for Earth’s culture. In a pre-CGI world, the film uses miniatures and practical sets for the spacecrafts. Personally, I’ve always had an affinity for practical over CGI. Physical sets add a level of believability that computer effects just can’t replicate.
When compared to something like The Goonies, Explorers doesn’t quite stack up. The majority of the movie is spent dreaming of an adventure rather than actually experiencing one. The trip to space is rather short and once they get there, the film loses some steam when it should be ramping up.
But any dreamer with a wild imagination will have a good time with this film. Explorers is a nostalgic trip for anyone who misses ’80s school bullies, clunky-looking computers and cheesy sci-fi effects.
NBA to Start Fining Players Who Flop
Somewhere in a Yugoslavian basketball gym Vlade Divac is screaming nooooooo!!!!!
A spokesman said Thursday that the league is finalizing procedures to deal with flopping, the art of falling down when little or no contact was made in an effort to trick referees into calling a foul. European players do it all the time, probably because soccer is such a huge sport over there and they seam to flop every five minutes, so this is long overdue.
The procedures will likely involve a postgame review of the play by the league office, rather than have officials stop a play during the game. Players will likely be fined if the league determined they flopped.
As much as I used to love watching Arvydas Sabonis fall helplessly to the floor as Shaq backed into him, flopping has always been not only a tricky act to call, but also a cheap way of giving the defender credit for pretending to stand their ground. If you can’t handle someone, go sit on the bench.
The NBA has certainly lost some of its physical play over the last decade and the flop embodied the current league as somewhat “soft.” Here’s hoping a dent in player’s pocketbooks will make them think twice about falling to the floor and acting like they got shot by a sniper.