Tuesday, January 29, 2008

“Lost”: Season 4 Finally Upon Us

Nearly eight months of waiting is over … On Thursday night, “Lost” returns with a fury, hopefully unleashing a volley of answers that will pull us slowly away from last season’s remarkable cliffhanger.

In case you’ve forgotten or lost track of where we left off, check out the Season 3 farewells here and here to get back up to speed. If that doesn’t fully jog your memory, you can work your way through some previous “Lost” postings below.

May 10, 2007: “Lost”: Harry Potter and the Zany, Mysterious Adventures of Moonlight Graham

April 24, 2007: “Lost”: An Island Of Paradoxes

March 29, 2007: The Resurgence of “Lost”?

February 8, 2007: “Lost” V 3.5: Let The Games Begin

November 9, 2006: Mini-Season Makes For Long, “Lost” Winter Months

November 2, 2006: Vaya Con Dios, Mr. Eko

October 4, 2006: “Lost” In A Sea Of Questions

Finally, the below clip serves as a sort of quick, ADD-style review of what has transpired through the first three season. Enjoy … and welcome back, “Lost”!

This Man Is Long-Armed And Extremely Not Dangerous From Outside

NC State hoops achieved two major victories this past weekend.

First, the Pack knocked off Florida State on the road to up its record to 2-3 in the league. And second, the Wolfpack did so without anything resembling a contribution from redshirt sophomore Brandon Costner. While the win is obviously key, the biggest possible side benefit is Costner seeing that this team can and will win without him.

See, Costner continued his season-long disappearing act with another scoreless effort, and coach Sidney Lowe finally removed him from the starting lineup and gave him just a dozen minutes in the contest. Costner has been tank-- er, struggling all year long, leading many to believe that he is point-shav-- er, overweight and out of shape. After such a promising rookie campaign, he has turned into a crooked-shooting, non-jumping turnover machine who is allergic to leather.

Costner finds himself going from first-team All-ACC Tournament and third-team all-conference a season ago to the bench this year. Now, it is up to him to decide whether that means “Hey, I’m the sixth man!” or “Christ, I got benched?!” The reality is that he could become a real asset to this squad as an instant scorer off the bench, with his potentially unique combination of interior skills and perimeter shooting. Beyond that, he has to come to terms with the fact that this is a much, much better team with Ben McCauley involved more and Costner involved less.

So who’s most to blame for the disappearance of Costner? No one is certain, but the Raleigh Police Department is currently investigating a most promising lead that is believed to have originated somewhere between the Dean Dome and Cameron Indoor Stadium. Check out this lead for yourself here

Monday, January 28, 2008

Guru.com Update: Sweatshops, Peaches And Ricky Martin

Between the writers’ strike, the NFL season winding to a close and the Pack struggling big-time in hoops, I’ve found myself with time to pursue freelance opportunities. Here are a few I’m considering, courtesy of Guru.com …

Title: Editing a letter
Category: Writing / Editing / Translation
I have a letter that needs editing regardng my company

Seeing as you managed to misspell the eighth word that you used, yes, I can see the need for some assistance. Thanks for all the details, btw.

Title: They Should Have Been Home By Now
Category: Writing / Editing / Translation
I need a songwriter with production experience to compose a song using the lyrics I have provided in the attached MS Word document and can get it produced.

This song evolved from a poem I penned in the restroom at work just after reading about this tragic accident near Sherman, Texas.

An overworked trucker careens into oncoming traffic killing five roofers from the same Mexican village, the mother-in-law, wife and two young sons of a man who now curls up with his dead wife's clothes and says he will not watch cartoons but has to keep the tv on because the silence is worse.

I imagine this song as a country ballad. When you read it, you will see what I mean.

I would like to see tw examples of songs that you have composed in this genre, preferably. Also, list any works that you wrote that have been produced.

First of all, you aren’t likely to find an established songwriter/producer/manager/agent on Guru.com. Second of all, the prospect of working on a song that you “penned” while sitting on the pot dropping a grumpy at a border crossing isn’t likely to have many saying, “Ooh! Ooh! Me! Me!” Third of all, I’m trying to imagine a “country ballad” that includes five dead Mexicans, a “Speedy Gonzalez” cartoon and a dude wearing his dead wife’s clothes. I mean, the Dixie Chicks got banned on country radio for stating the obvious, yet you think CMT is going to be jumping on a ballad about a trucker destroying half of a Mexican village? Nothing says Grammy like that, huh? “I’d especially like to thank Big Smokey, who really gave me my break by crashing into Jesus, Hector, Paco, Luis and Jose. If I hadn’t had to take a crap shortly after he singlehandedly killed Menudo, this song never would have been possible. Wherever you are, Big Smokey … big ups.”

Title: Six Latin Pop/Dance Songs, Music, Lyrics
Category: Writing / Editing / Translation
We need six up tempo songs [two beats per second] with a strong Latin Pop and Dance influence; In English.

Think Ricky Martin ["Vida Loca"] + Gloria Estefan [early - "Get On Your Feet"] + Bob Sinclair ["World, Hold On" or "Love Generation"] + High School Musical 1 ["Pop Tpo The Top"]

and others we can discuss.

We are creating an animation property you can look see at www.hipchicas.com.

We will need to sign a confidentiality agreement before we can go into much detail, but suffice it to say that there would one song fashioned for each of the characters and one main theme song for the series.

The music is for hire and we will retain all IP rights. We are happy to give a producer credit to the right person, but music and words will be FOR HIRE.

This does not include recording. It is for lyrics and music.

We are a startup that is self funded - one guy - me - so the budget is low, but we

Any formula that involves Ricky Martin + Gloria Estefan + Bob Sinclair + High School Musical 1 simply can’t miss. Also, one guy trying to steal remixes of other people’s music can’t tehnically be called a “startup.” The fact that your posting ended so abruptly (“the budget is low, but we—“) is more than a little creepy. Perchance you can contact the above person and collaborate to create a country ballad about Gloria Estefan stealing a bus and running down Ricky Martin on the way to a High School Musical show?

Category: Writing / Editing / Translation

This is a book of fiction with 1 main female character. I'd like about 80,000 word book which should be 250 words per page so it should come up to 320 pages. At best each chapter should contain 10 pages.

Georgi Matthews (main character)
Hugh Matthews (spouse)
Paula Matthews ( Hugh's mom)
Peaches Jones (Georgi's best friend)
Curtis Wilkes (love intrest)

In the end story revealed being told by Peaches

Really? Peaches? Get the good goddam out of here! Who the fuck could have seen that coming? Nice twist! If we can just puzzle out the other “URBAN-BASED” 79,974 words, I think we really have something here!

Title: Copywriter/Copy Editor
Category: Writing / Editing / Translation
Young recruitment/internal communications agency seeks fast and talented freelance copywriters who think it might be fun and challenging to edit 5 page job descriptions and turn them into pithy help wanted ads.

The pay is low (by the ad/not the hour), the turnaround is fast and there's no consistent work flow schedule since we never know when the clients will have a need.

On the bright side, this could lead to steady and more interesting assignments.

Your availability to work during the day is essential.

If you are still interested, please let us know and we will send you a test sample.

Let’s see if I have this straight: You can’t pay shit, your deadlines are unreasonable and you don’t have much work. But in a perfect world, it’s possible that, eventually, there might be more shit-paying, horrible-deadline work to be done? That does sound “fun” and “challenging.” If my job polishing defiled bathrooms at Denny’s falls through, this is certainly near the top of the wish list.

* Previous promising shit from Guru.com can be found here, here, here and, of course, here.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Limerick Friday LXX: F’d Up Teen Wants To Use Hannah Montana’s Landing Strip … Er …

Another teenage loser with angst inside
Decided he wanted to commit suicide
Wanted to crash a jet into a Hannah Montana show
Parents everywhere saying, “Not a bad idea, Joe”
But why the fuck bring so many with you when you died?

It’s the end of the road for our NC State friend Les
Did the best he could with a Pack hoops mess
My first interview as I entered sports writing
A good man, a bad coach, there’s no hiding
Enjoy your well-deserved retirement and God bless

A two-time drunk killer thought it was quite a joke
That she ran down a tree-hugging gay bloke
That he was a Frenchy biker to boot
Was to her the final reason to hoot
Enjoy the laughs during your remaining miserable life in the poke

When parents meet for the first time, what do you do?
Awkward conversation and speculation is sure to ensue
“Eat steak for dinner,” someone said, “lots of chewing”
“Make sure you get the moms and dads conversing” was another idea for doing
But “Quiet Parental Meeting Dinners for Dummies” wasn’t at the library under “Q”

Hillary won the endorsement of the New York Times
But we’re tired of Democrats accusing each other of crimes
Makes me wonder where the hell you went, Al Gore
You’ve got ideas now, where before you made us snore
If you let the Republicans steal this, I’ll be moving to northern climes

Last time ...

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Mini-Goulet In Need Of Good Dwarf-Tossing

So what happens if you put Robert Goulet in a vice, shrink him down to 2’8”, slap a cabbage-stained Larry Bird jersey on him, teach him three distinct dance movies, ask him to fall in love with the Patriots and hand him a video camera?

To quote Will Ferrell in “Talladega Nights”: “That. Just. Happened.”

When I stumbled across this video, it struck me as strikingly similar to the near-infamous Ohio State “rap” video from a coupla months back. Throw in a mouth-breathing hobbit and T.K. from “Amazing Race”, plus some insane rhyming about the Cheatriots, and it arguably surpasses the Buckeye clip.

Good times.

P.S. If you’re still bored, here’s a mash-up of Will Ferrell as Robert Goulet, set to the Smashing Pumpkins. Seriously.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

“Has Anyone Seen My Ski ... Or My Pancreas?”

Crikey. Even Sonny Bono is somewhere going, “Man, that was a rough crash right there …”

Scott McCartney might be having the worst week ever. I’m not sure what language this is in … maybe Austrian? Is Austrian a language? Anyway, you have to enjoy the cutaway shots to the next skiier waiting his turn, coolly sipping his water, trying not to let it affect him. He’s either thinking, “Can we drag this dude off, or … how does this work?” or “Dear sweet ever-lovin’ fancy Moses, I gotta go NEXT?!”

And not only does the poor bastard have to lay there, quivering or crying—or both—for what seems like half an hour, but then like 15 seconds later, his own helmet bounces off of him. Talk about adding insult to injury.

This crash is certain to ingrain itself into the popular skiing lexicon, because I can speak for myself when I say that the next time I go skiing, I’m going to say, “Just don’t pull a McCartney, dude. Just don’t pull a McCartney.”

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

“Zodiac” Suffers From Multiple-Personality Disorder

I only recently got around to seeing “Zodiac”, last year’s film about the “Zodiac Killer” who terrorized San Francisco in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. The most memorable aspect of this film prior to my viewing it had to be the controversy surrounding a certain blogger plagiarizing an entire review directly from the San Francisco Chronicle.

After seeing this flick, it struck me as being two or three different movies in one. It starts out as a buddy-cop film, evolves into a horror movie and then turns into a one-man quest to solve a crime. A film with multiple personalities can be at turns pretty cool and pretty confusing. I felt like “Zodiac” got lost in dismissing and not following up on certain suspects, namely Robert Vaughn, played by Charles Fleischer in possibly the creepiest role I’ve seen in recent years. Jake Gyllenhaal’s line, “Not many people have basements in California,” is the precursor to the eeriest scene of the movie.

A star-studded cast, a still-unsolved mystery, an air-tight pursuit of historical accuracy, a dramatic story, an eye-pleasing setting … it would seem that everything was there for a wonderful film, but it falls short. Part of that may be due to the fact that the “Zodiac Killer” has yet to be definitely identified, so there can be no conclusion per se. But it’s also partly due to the idea that this one tried to cover too many genres -- without satisfying any one completely.

"I Am Legend" Tries Valiantly, But Falls Short

I read this brilliant book by Richard Matheson years ago, so when I heard a third version of a remake was coming out, I was intrigued.

Amazingly, this film was began nearly 13 years ago. After Tom Cruise and Michael Douglas were considered for the lead role of Robert Neville, the studio inked Arnold Schwarzenneger to headline the film. Production on "I Am Legend" was slated to begin in 1997 in Houston, but an enormous budget and fiscal concerns ground it to a halt. Five years later, Will Smith was tabbed for the lead role and shooting was once again supposed to start, but disagreements over the director would derail the project once more. After so many false starts, the question became whether the film would ever get made, but eventually, shooting took place and production was completed.

The book takes place in Los Angeles, but this version is set in New York City. The story revolves around a cancer cure devolving into a virus that wipes out 85% of the Earth’s population, rendering the survivors into vampire-like creatures called “Dark Seekers,” who must avoid the light all day but come out in a frenzy at night. Smith brings a lot of emotion to the role … enough to make you wonder if he is slowly losing his mind as a result of a lack of human interaction. Conveniently, Neville happens to a virologist who was heading up the task force charged with containing the spreading virus, and as the sole survivor (he thinks), he continues to capture Dark Seekers to try different antiviruses and cures on them. At one point, he begins to see some change in behavior with one of the cures, and after he catches another Dark Seeker and tests it, the movie begins to change. I have read that the one he captures, “Alpha Female,” is supposed to be the girlfriend of the “Alpha Male,” the leader of the Dark Seekers. This sparks vengeful attacks on Neville, but it wasn’t made readily apparent in the movie that the two Dark Seekers are an item. Beyond that, the only interesting thing about this plot line is that the Alpha Female’s breasts (played by Joanna Numata) should be nominated for Bust Supporting Actress(es).

The most poignant moment of the film is when Sam, the dog, best friend and only other life form Neville is capable of interacting with, is affected by the virus and has to be killed by Neville’s own hands. It is a heartbreaking scene; enough so that a woman in the theater where I was broke into a sobbing fit during and afterward.

The other moment that stood out to me was when Neville quoted Bob Marley as a way to describe why he identified so closely with the Rastafarian:

“He had this idea. It was kind of a virologist idea. He believed that you could cure racism and hate ... literally cure it, by injecting music and love into people's lives. When he was scheduled to perform at a peace rally, a gunman came to his house and shot him down. Two days later, he walked out on that stage and sang. When they asked him why, he said, ‘The people who are trying to make this world worse are not taking a day off. How can I? Light up the darkness.’”

It’s a great quote, but I can’t find it attributed to Marley anywhere other than in the film. Beyond that, this is an above-average film that fell far short of the bar that the book set. You seldom see movies that are less than two hours anymore, and this one’s length of an hour and 41 minutes contributed to a sense that the ending was contrived, abrupt, simplistic and far too optimistic. A memorable flick, to be sure, and visually stunning at times, but unworthy of the book and it leaves you wanting more … and better.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Sparano Puts Hit Out On Belicheat & Co.

The Tony Soprano-Tony Sparano jokes have been coming and will continue to come hot and heavy after the latter was introduced as the new Miami Dolphins coach last week. In other news, ‘Fins cheerleaders now have to audition at Bada! Bing!

I’m not a fan of Kenny Mayne, but I dug up this old piece of his on ESPN. It will serve as the last Soprano-Sparano reference in these parts … OK, I can’t promise that. But I’ll try my best ...

Friday, January 18, 2008

Limerick Friday LXIX: Tigers Kill. And Also Love Chuck Norris

“Taunting led to zoo mauling of boy”
Learned the hard way that a tiger ain’t a toy
New rule: don’t throw anything at the carnivores
Unless you want nightmares filled with roars
Have we learned nothing from those fairies Siegfried and Roy?

Water main break wreaks havoc near and far’d
Probably caused by a no-driving jackass retard
No water leads to behavior that’s rude
I swear last night I saw a poor dude
Taking a grumpy in the middle of his backyard

By the way, speaking of grumpies galore
NC State plays like five of them on the floor
No heart for the Cardiac Pack
Everyone wants Engin Atsur back
This team’s effort is boring and piss-poor

Clemson welcomed a decrepit action hero and his creepy stare
Plus a roided-up former pro wrestler named Ric Flair
Mike Huckabee knows how to stump in the South
Bring a couple of redneck has-beens to run their mouth
The weight of a Clemson degree is now officially lighter than air

A race car driver who happens to be Hebrew
The hecklers apparently call him a fast Jew
Kudos to Jon Denning’s bravery on the track
And for letting the insults just roll off his back
In such instances, I ask “What Would Jay Fiedler Do?”

Last time ...

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Oprah’s Terrifying Va-Jay-Jay Monologues

Here’s an early nomination for The Millennium’s Quote/Video Most Likely To Induce Dry-Heaving:

“My va-jay-jay is painin’.”

That’s just wrong on so many goddam levels.

Serenity now. Serenity now. Serenity now.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

New Movie Screening In Dolphinland ...

The Miami Dolphins are all set to introduce Tony Sparano as their new head coach later today. Hopefully his first orders of business will be to feed Ted Ginn Jr. to the fishes, garrotte Jason Allen and have new defensive coordinator "Big Pussy" put a horse head in Cam Cameron's bed. Although, he's going to have to clean up his language some in his press conferences, that's for sure ...

Good luck, Mr. Sparano. I hope you brought Carmela, A.J., Meadow, Paulie Walnuts and Christopher Moltisanti with you ... because you're going to need all the help you can get.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

“Talk To Me” Speaks To Us All

“I'll tell it to the hot, I'll tell it to the cold. I'll tell it to the young, I'll tell it to the old. I don't want no laughin', I don't want no cryin', and most of all, no signifyin'. This is Petey Greene's Washington.”

Don Cheadle is my third-favorite actor behind Sean Penn and Paul Giamatti, so when I saw the trailer for “Talk To Me,” I put it on my list of movies to see. Having once hosted a radio show briefly myself, the premise of Cheadle as jive-talkin’, boundary-pushin’ hustler DJ Petey Greene made the film even more of a draw. When I finally got around to seeing the picture, I wished I had seen it sooner.

While Chiwetel Ejiofor was very good as Dewey Hughes (he’s a Nigerian with a British accent who had to effect American ghetto slang and D.C. beltway vernacular at various times in the film; talk about a potpourri), the James Brown stand-in was incredible, and Taraji P. Henson stole several scenes as Petey Greene’s girlfriend Vernell, this was a Cheadle vehicle through and through. His portrayal of Ralph Waldo Peter Greene was at times moving, hysterical, poignant and mesmerizing.

The flick stopped short of truly breaking through a couple of times, in my estimation. The story never touched on Greene’s charity efforts with Efforts for Ex-Convicts and United Planning Organization, instead choosing to focus on Greene’s role as the ultimate outsider making it in “the man’s world.” The reality is that he eventually grew to use his stature on the airwaves to try to help others like him who never were able to get out of a life of crime; the movie instead showed Greene falling back into his old ways and fighting those who wanted to bring him further into the mainstream (hence the fictional appearance on Johnny Carson’s “The Tonight Show”). I would have liked to have seen a slightly stronger look at Greene’s impact on the community; the film noted that 10,000 mourners showed up at his funeral, but why? Surely there was more about him that made him such an icon than just his on-air personality.

Yet Kasi Lemmons (who is married to Vondie Curtis Hall, who played Sunny Jim Kelsey in the flick) did a terrific job with the story. As one of the few young black female directors in the movie business — she also directed “Eve’s Bayou” — Lemmons took a film that was once slated to star Martin Lawrence as Greene in 2000 and turned it into something of a historical perspective. At times, her choices result in a film that never quite knew what it wanted to be — Comedy? Drama? Biography? Epic? — but on some levels, that is also what made the movie work.

On the whole, I found “Talk To Me” to be a strong, moving film. Maybe it fell just short of being great … and perhaps it never tried to be. Regardless, Cheadle’s performance combined with Lemmons’s direction make for a more than worthwhile movie.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Ken Jeong Make Very Much Funny Outtake For Round Eye

Because I'm tired of looking at my own post about UNC and State. And because Katherine Heigl is in this clip and it's proof that the funniest part of "Knocked Up" apparently ended up on the cutting room floor.

Enjoy ...

Sunday, January 13, 2008

“Team” Of Tin Men Turns NC State Into National Joke

A team that doesn’t like playing together. No reliable perimeter shooter. Mind-boggling lack of ability and experience at the point guard position. A propensity for going one-on-one. Questionable communication skills from an unproven coaching staff. An accumulation of injuries. A hostile environment. A group of referees uninterested in calling an unbiased game.

Throw all those factors together, and what do you get? One of the most humiliating defeats in the history of the UNC-NC State rivalry.

State went to the Nose Dome yesterday, and early on, everything appeared to be playing into the Wolfpack’s hands: an even game five minutes in, Roy Williams’s ego not allowing him to back off the man-to-man defense and go with the zone “D” that every other foe has used to frustrate the Pack, and a tempo that kept the whine-and-cheese crowd in their seats.

What happened next was difficult to fathom for even the most pessimistic NC State fan. Eighteen straight shots missed. A 34-4 run by the home team. After the tenth straight missed layup in a row, I actually stopped watching the game. I have never done that for a Wolfpack basketball game—and I was a student during the Les Robinson years, so that’s saying more than a little something.

Not only did the Pack miss 20 of 23 shots in the paint—read that again; it’s truly unbelievable—but somehow during the course of that inside attack, State was awarded a single free throw in the first half. One. At one point, UNC had eight blocked shots and only four fouls called; I’m not a historian by trade, but I would wager that no team has ever blocked twice as many shots as had fouls called for a full half. That didn’t wind up having much bearing on the final outcome, obviously, but the pure lack of equal officiating (for the record, the Heels shot 15 free throws in the opening half) was brutal, even for Chapel Hill. Of course, now that the 8-20 UNC season is far in the past (Matt Doherty is forever dead to the baby blue “faithful”), the Nose Dome is back to being a Cameron Indoor type of environment for visitors—you have to be 15 points better than the home team to play even, thanks to the referees. But you know that going in; it’s not going to change, so you’d better find another route. Wolfpack coach Sidney Lowe and his players simply aren’t good or smart enough to do so.

While that was a factor in the outcome, it was an admittedly very minor one; it played more into the frustration level than anything else. Instead, State is just a bad team that didn’t make the Tar Heels earn anything along the way.

So what has happened since the Pack’s amazing run to the ACC Tournament finals made them a popular preseason pick to finish third in the conference this year? Theories abound. The season-ending knee injury to rapidly progressing point guard Farnold Degand certainly didn’t help. The lack of a leader following the departure of Engin Atsur has played a role. The stunning lack of an ability to score outside of 10 feet has been staggering, with Atsur’s graduation also leaving a gaping hole from the perimeter. Opposing coaches have found a way to combat Lowe’s scheme, which relies primarily on exploiting individual mismatches; double-teaming on the interior with zones has forced State to slow the game down and force perimeter shots that simply won’t fall. The staff has been unable to find a way to help the returning players mesh with the newcomers, led by ACC Rookie of the Year candidate J.J. Hickson. The Pack has too many players interested only on the offensive end, leading to on-court pouting and disinterest when they don't get enough shots (this means you, Brandon Costner). The Wolfpack is allergic to iron on defense, refusing to attempt to rebound, while more than happy to clang anything and everything off the iron offensively. Injuries have cost State both Degand and promising rookie swingman Johnny Thomas for the season, while also sidelining guard Courtney Fells and reserve forward Dennis Horner for stretches of time. Lowe is trying to force-feed a confusing system to mismatched personnel, too stubborn to recognize or alter that strategy to maximize what he has to work with. Other issues abound, but that’s probably enough to cover things for now.

So where does State go from here? Well, a trip to Clemson to face the league’s third-best team means the Pack will have faced the No. 1 team in the land and the team that gave away a win over that team in overtime in their first two games of conference play. Not an ideal way to start the ACC season, but it is what it is. The reality now is that the Pack couldn’t beat UNC if it were playing in Sidney Lowe’s backyard with Chris Corchiani, David Thompson and Rodney Monroe officiating right now. But easily the worst part of the Wolfpack’s inability to compete right now is a complete lack of heart and effort. Any true NC State fan will tell you that losing is an accepted part of deciding to join Wolfpack Nation; is in fact, part of the signing agreement. But they will also tell you that embarrassing the school and the proud tradition of the program is simply unacceptable. That’s a big part of the reason why Lowe has gone from genius to the hot seat so quickly. Losing to UNC severely jeopardizes your job security in Raleigh; getting embarrassed by them in any sport will get you a visit from the athletics director and virtually ensures your bus ticket out of town (just ask Mike O’Cain and Chuck Amato).

Yet, in an effort to maintain fairness, it’s important to remember that Lowe is in his second season as a college coach, relying primarily on players recruited to a drastically different system by former coach Herb Sendek. Lowe is not as good a coach as last year’s stellar finish indicated; after all, the Wolfpack finished 5-11 in the ACC last year. However, he’s certainly not as clueless a coach as this year’s rocky start would lead you to believe, either; this is a guy roundly considered a solid, creative basketball mind by his peers.

What would I do? I would start Simon Harris, a walk-on transfer from Elon who has shown more passion in extremely limited time than Costner has shown all year. Put Gavin Grant at point guard whether he likes it or not, alongside Courtney Fells at shooting guard, provided Fells promises me he’ll shoot more than 10 times per game. Keep Hickson in the middle, but start Ben McCauley at power forward and run the half-court offense through him. Place Harris at the “three,” with instructions to fill an enforcer role and get as many fouls as he feels like in as short amount of time as suits his fancy; at the very least he’ll get his share of rebounds and hopefully do just enough elsewhere to bring some intensity to his teammates. Make Costner the sixth man if he proves he’s willing to play hard; or else put him behind Dennis Horner and even Tracy Smith in the forward rotation. Give Marques Johnson occasional minutes as a ball-handler, and play Javy “Don’t Call Me Elian” Gonzalez as little as is humanly possible. If foul trouble arises and Gonzalez is the only logical choice off the bench, pull a Gene Hackman in “Hoosiers” and say, “My team is on the floor”; playing with four is preferable to bringing in a human turnover machine who is so nervous that he’s one more miscue away from wetting his pants in the middle of a game.

In basketball, a turnaround can happen as quickly as you land a great player. But will Lowe get the time to prove that his surprisingly effective recruiting ability will eventually pay dividends? Or will a string of uninspired performances punctuated by head-scratching non-showings against conference teams and rivals send him back to the NBA as an assistant with his tail between his legs? The jury is out on Lowe’s coaching ability, but it’s now officially fair to bring his longevity at NC State into question. After Amato was exposed as a fraud, the red shoes and flashy sunglasses eventually went from marketing gimmick to a running joke, part of the getup that turned him from a dynamic coach into a snake-oil salesman. Lowe runs the risk of having his trademark red coat be considered the same—while having that hot seat he now finds himself uncomfortably perched on turn as red as that same coat.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Limerick Friday LXVIII: Time For The Democrats To Climb That Mountain

Bill Richardson has decided to step aside
Joins Christopher Dodd, swept away by the tide
We’re left with Hillary, Edwards and Barack
Obviously, none of the three is a nomination lock
Either stand up for something or drop out and hide

A depleted Wolfpack makes the trek to Chapel Hill
Losing at the Nose Dome is a hard-to-swallow pill
Four on eight is a pretty tough way to play
Will be tough to stay close, I have to say
Even if the Pack triple-teams Psycho T’s will

Britney wheeled away because she got too high
Funny or sad, don’t know whether to laugh or cry
They’re saying now that maybe she’s bipolar
As a way to explain her life’s coaster-roller
This isn’t what we meant when we hoped she was bi

Another title for the resilient Tigers of LSU
Cries of joy and celebration all across the bayou
Ohio State was exposed as a fraud once again
Representing the running joke that is the Big 10
Hope next year BCS voters have a better clue

The first person to stand on Mount Everest’s top
At 88, your climb to the heights reached a stop
RIP to Sir Edmund Hillary, who saw all the sights
When you’ve already reached such heights
Maybe heaven can’t be much more than a hop

Last time ...

Thursday, January 10, 2008

An Open Plea For New Shoes At ACL University At Raleigh

Dear Athletics Director Lee Fowler,

Nine NC State football players had knee surgery last season, and many more suffered other leg injuries during the course of the campaign. Four more Wolfpack basketball players are currently sidelined, including two who have season-ending knee injuries, and the season isn’t even three months old. Is it any wonder that State is now referred to as ACL University at Raleigh?

Perhaps adidas is at fault. Maybe there are Nike cleats that are the culprits. Perchance even Chuck Amato and Herb Sendek got together to put a curse on the Pack, mixing vino and hair polish on a bed of linguini in a daytight compartment. No matter who is at fault, it is time for serious changes in footwear at NC State.

Converse? Reebok? New Balance? Keds? Zips? Pony’s? Walter Payton Kangaroos? Stephon Marbury’s $4 sneakers? Frickin’ Vans? I don’t care. Pick one. Just trying something different. Because in football, it’s hard to win when half your starters are in the tub instead of on the field, and in basketball, it’s difficult to even compete when four of your top nine players, including two starters, are in street clothes at the end of the bench, looking for Jessica Simpson in the crowd.

So please … find a new shoe company. Or else we’ll just keep issuing crutches at the same time we issue uniforms.

Knee Ligaments All Over Raleigh

I Guess Bum Phillips Wasn’t Available?

In an effort to reach out to the common man, Bill Parcells and the Miami Dolphins are apparently poised to hire a homeless man, Bill Muir, who I’m assuming lives in a dumpster behind the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ practice facility. Perhaps George Costanza's elementary school gym teacher, Mr. Heyman, was too busy giving wedgies with "Tropic of Cancer" under his arm?

Here’s a rare glimpse into the NFL’s interview process:

Parcells: Bill! How you doing, man? Been a long time!

Muir: mumblemumbleLindsayLohanmumblemumble …

Parcells: Hey, you’re over there in Tampa, right? Interesting in moving down here to Miami to coach?

Muir: grumblegrumbleThunderbirdgrumblegrumbleWildIrishRosegrumblegrumblegrumble …

Parcells: You’ll join our staff for a coupla bottles of Thunderbird and WildIrishRose?

Muir: mumblemumblelargecurd!

Parcells: And a thing of large-curd cottage cheese. Check.

Muir: Jefferson Starship on a farted wheat thin!

Parcells: Exactly. So we’ll see you at team headquarters on Monday?

Muir: Reporting for duty, Sister Hashbrownpants!

Parcells: OK, um, great. Have a good weekend?

Muir: Mashed potatoes!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

When Gigantism And Dwarfism Collide ...

I worked for a blind midget once ... the experience was only slightly different than what follows.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Don’t Geaux Away Mad, Luckeyes … Just Geaux Away

Don’t say Ohio State didn’t try. In fact, they tried everything.

They changed their locker room passcode to 4114, they played the “disrespect card” even though they were ranked No. 1 in the country, they challenged the assertion that the Big 10 is overrated, they mysteriously reinstated a suspended starting cornerback, they packed the Superdome with scarlet and gray, they featured an overly demonstrative Jim Tressel on the sidelines, they tried to disrupt LSU with false coaching rumors, they picked up five personal fouls, they talked trash all game long, they came out for the second half dancing and playing to the crowd down 14 points, they badmouthed the city of New Orleans, and they trotted out DVDs with all the meanie things anyone has ever said about the Buckeyes.

And then they got bitched.


Here are some of my observations from LSU’s not-that-close 38-24 romp over Ohio State in the national championship game (it was pretty Big Easy):

• LSU was 11 for 18 on third downs, and you can throw out a couple near the end when they were just running out the clock. That means that when the Tigers lined up on third-and-short and everyone within 500 miles knew what was coming, they still got it. They imposed their will on Ohio State and when they needed something, they flat-out took it.

• Good to see Ted Ginn Jr. on the sideline hanging out on the sideline and wishing he was back skipping classes with his homeys. I guess there’s nothing better for you to be doing right now than wearing a White Sox hat and clowning around with a gang of losers? Like, I don’t know, lift a weight maybe? Rehab an injury that’s going to happen in the future? Maybe even work on catching passes?

• The Buckeyes jumped out to a 10-0 lead, but LSU never panicked. Why? Because they’ve been in that situation time and time again this season, and knew that the false start was a result of nerves and getting caught sleeping on a few new-look plays from Ohio State. When the teams began to line up and just go mano-a-mano, it was clear that the Tigers easily outclassed the Buckeyes.

• The biggest difference? LSU plays a game against a high-caliber opponent like Ohio State every single week. The Buckeyes don’t play a single game against anyone as good as the Tigers all year long. There are probably five teams in the SEC that are better than Ohio State, and no one else in the Big 10 nearly on par with Ohio State, much less the Tigers.

• Ohio State is 0-9 against the SEC in bowl games. There’s almost nothing more that needs to be said.

• The Big 10 finished 3-5 in bowl games this year, with wins by an average of 5.3 points—and losses by an average of nearly two touchdowns. On the flip side, the SEC was a resounding 7-2 in bowls.

• Matt Flynn needs more pub as being one of the very best quarterbacks in the nation. All he did was throw for 2,407 yards, 21 touchdowns and 11 picks and rush for four more scores, then toss four touchdowns in the championship game. He has made huge throws in huge situations all year long, and here’s hoping he gets a shot at an NFL club this April.

• All I heard all week long was how massive the Ohio State offensive line was, bookended by a pair of All-Big 10 tackles. Yet all I saw all game long was hold after hold against the LSU defensive ends, nearly all of which went uncalled. It was easy to see that they were intent on stopping Dorsey, yet he still held up double times along the line of scrimmage and allowed his defensive line mates to make plays. Of course, he still came through with a big sack, forced fumble and several stops at the line.

• The LSU secondary helped control the game, and that was after All-American safety Craig Steltz was knocked out with an arm injury. People downplay the better speed and athletic ability in the SEC over the Big 10, but the Buckeyes were rarely able to get open man-to-man.

• The Fox broadcast was horrible. To ignorance of certain officiating calls to missing plays due to showing highlights from 30 years ago to sheer erroneous facts to a horrible panel of Chris Rose, Eddie George, Urban Meyer and Jimmy Johnson, this was bad from the start and only got worse. Fortunately, they made up for it by not showing many commercials. Er …

On a side note, hopefully the predicted beatdown last night will break down the false bravado and undeserved stature of the Big 10. Perhaps “the Vest” will think twice the next time he schedules Central Eastern Idaho Tech of the Blind. Maybe voters will finally see that the Big 10 is a one-team conference with a couple of above-average teams year in and year out. And perchance the mystique that is assigned to the Big 10 based on traditional football played 30 years ago will finally dissolve and actually have to be earned on the field.

The bottom line was that LSU was destined to win it all this year. The remarkable number of things that had to happen to allow the Tigers to make it to the title game after a pair of triple-overtime losses, getting to play in New Orleans, having to deal with the fabricated innuendo of Les Miles leaving, winning the SEC championship matchup without their starting quarterback, best special-teamer and with three of their best defenders hobbled … through it all, as one sign said, LSU was the best team by “Miles.”

Both LSU and Ohio State backed into a shot at the BCS national championship. But only one truly deserved to be there.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Game. Freaking. Day.


Sunday, January 06, 2008

"Cloverfield" Pub Takes New Route

Quite a viral marketing campaign was unveiled with "Cloverfield," a new horror flick from J.J. Abrams. The campaign involves using widgets embedded in the trailer, then having people pass on the trailer to others in as many ways as possible.

As for the movie itself, it looks somewhat like "Blair Witch Project" meets "King Kong" meets "The Mist." Only time will tell how much momentum the campaign generates and whether the film is any good anyway.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Limerick Friday LXVII: It’s Not Officially A New Year Until …

Happy New Year to one and all at this date
Looking forward to a peaceful, happy 2008
Full of happy times and trips to amazing places
Of plenty of welcome changes and familiar faces
A resolution for us all should be to decrease the hate

Britney incoherent thanks to alcohol and drugs
Put her in a rubber room until she loses her buzz
Crazier than a shithouse rat
Trashy and stupid on top of that
A day without a Spears breakdown is a day that never was

One year and one win for the Cam
Gets you riding out of town on a tram
Could say that you got a raw deal
With injuries and a bad twist of fate’s wheel
Good guy, but you can’t coach worth a damn

The Iowa caucus provided some interesting results
Obama in first, and Mike Huckabee leads the dolts
The Republicans putting their faith in another hypocrite
His commercials feature a Huckabee-Chuck Norris skit
But third place for Hillary shows her campaign needs some jolts

More upstanding discipline from those fraudulent Buckeyes
Two players suspended prior to the game for the prize
One a starter and one a backup with drugs in his locker
But the starter was reinstated -- what a shocker!
Another example of OSU skirting the rules with lies

Last time ...

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Tuna-Led Attack On Camelot Ends Short-Lived Regime Of Failure

After leaving Cam Cameron dangling for a couple of days, new Dolphins chief Bill Parcells and his self-appointed general manager Jeff Ireland —- henceforth to be known as Mini Tuna -— dropped the hammer on the hapless and unfortunately named Cameron today (in the interest of fairness, the Miami Herald refers to the new regime as the "Dallas Mafia" in a well-done column arguing that Cameron deserved more time). Apparently, a “final-hour plea from Bob Knight,” who coached Cameron at Indiana, wasn’t enough to save Cam’s bacon … but then again, isn’t turning to Bob Knight as a character reference a little like putting Billy Joel on the on the stand as a witness in your reckless driving case?

Of course, now attention turns to the usual random guesses by so-called experts in terms of just who will be tabbed to take over the ‘Fins. As we discussed earlier, the leader in the clubhouse would appear to be Dallas offensive assistant Tony Sparano, with Arizona assistants Todd Haley and Maurice Carthon among a second tier of possibilities. Yet somehow, someway, leaps are being made to include such names as Virginia coach Al Groh and former Minnesota Vikings head man Mike Tice in the running. Apparently, if you were ever in the same Whataburger as Parcells while he demolished an “Ol’ 96er,” you’re a candidate now.*

But Groh? Tice? Really? Firing Rick Mueller for Ireland so he can bring in one of those clowns would be akin to shit-canning Al Davis to hire Matt Millen so he could fire Norv Turner in favor of Rich Kotite.

The bottom line is that this firing was more predictable than an out-of-wedlock Spears family pregnancy and more obvious than finding out that Clay Aiken drives a Volvo.

*I’m full of by-god similes and metaphors today. Look out.
** EDITOR'S NOTE: If you're looking for a more well-articulated discussion of the uncertainty surrounding Cam Cameron's dismissal, click here for some thought-provoking comments from Klinger's grandson, who is apparently a smooth-talking, well-informed NFL analyst. I had embedded some ESPN video interview with Chris Mortensen discussing the move, but since it is "currently unavailable," I found this gem and thought I would share it. Giddyup.

Don't Procrastinate In '08

Happy By-God New Year.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Dolphins-Safe (With) Tuna?

Under owner Wayne Huizenga, the Miami Dolphins have always been enamored with the big names, the headline-stealing moves. From Jimmy Johnson to Nick Satan, Huizenga has consistently brought in the movers and shakers who were, at the time, roundly considered to be the best fits for the franchise. This approach has failed time and time again, yet Huizenga couldn’t resist giving this tried-and-blew approach one more chance when he tabbed Bill “Big Tuna” Parcells as executive vice president of football operations.

The first question to ask is, just how far does Parcells’ power extend? What exactly does the executive vice present of football operations do? Parcells was pretty evasive when asked about his full duties at his introductory press conference, referring to himself as the “owner’s designee.” I’m not ashamed to say that I’m not fully aware of the term “designee,” so I looked it up. The definition? “A person who has been designated.” Thanks, FreeDictionary.com, that makes sense and certainly clears things up. So Parcells is someone who has been “designated, appointed, nominated or delegated” by one of his golfing buddies and neighbors in South Florida. Check.

So I thought I’d delve a little deeper into some of the quotes doled out by Parcells during his intro presser to examine just how I think his addition will affect the ‘Fins:*

“This is a talent acquisition business.”

I don’t think you could describe the National Football League any better in six words or less. Talent. Acquisition. Business. That phrase only begins to tell the story of why Miami is in the situation it is in right now. From Johnson to Dave Wannstedt to Satan to Cam Cameron, the Dolphins have unfailingly made the wrong moves, the bad trades, the unwise selections, the uncalculated risks.

One of Parcells’s first moves was to can general manager Randy Mueller, and he did it quickly and decisively—without telling coach Cam Cameron. Read into that what you will, but there is a significant part of me that feels that Mueller got a raw deal here. He was handcuffed by Satan, and he began to make the moves that Satan was too egotistical and wary of his own record to make, the gutting of the roster that has been needed for five-plus years now. Mueller stayed on board when Cameron was hired, then traded Wes Welker, traded Chris Chambers, let Kevin Carter and other veterans walk. He was beginning the dirty work of remaking an entire depth chart, and because of his recognition of that need and his willingness to fulfill it, he was fired in the early stages of doing so? That’s not really fair, but the NFL is the Not Fair League, and when a guy has one win to point out for an entire season, there’s not much of a defense you can muster up for him. Plus, the selection of wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr. with the ninth overall pick and the decision to bring in linebacker Joey Porter at a huge contract number are questionable at best, further putting Mueller in the crosshairs.

“I’ve quit being ashamed of what I am … I’m a guy who loves football very much. I can’t get the game out of my system.”

This is a revealing quote for a guy roundly considered to be a mercenary around the league. He jokingly referred to his hopscotch trail from job to job and ultimate decision to join the Dolphins as “male menopause,” but this quote could be an indication that he’ll be around for the full four years of his contract. Also, it could be construed as a revelation that he is willing to sublimate his ego somewhat, which is something that Johnson and Satan simply refused to do, ultimately resulting in their respective downfalls. On the other hand, Parcells says he feels pressure to turn around the franchise; as a fan, that’s what you want and need to hear.

“We must cut down our margin of error in the draft.”

Um ... wow. That’s like manna from heaven, especially when you read a sentence like “no player drafted between 1998 and 2003 is with the team.” Read that again if you need to; it says everything that needs to be known about the state of the Miami Dolphins in the first days of 2008. I maintain that it’s one of the most shocking and revealing statistics that I’ve ever seen. You are talking about seven drafts in a seven-year period that yielded not only no starters less than 10 years later, but no depth, no contributors, basically no players who should be in their primes right now.

“Obviously, there’s some things to be done. But I, quite frankly, have been in this position before.”

The Patriots were 2-14 when Parcells took over in New England; they won the AFC championship four years later. The Jets were 1-15 when assumed the reins; they came within a game of the Super Bowl in his second season. Suffice it to say that the Tuna has swum (swam? swimmed? swarmed? swallowed? swamped? swashbuckled?) in these waters before.

Huizenga wanted someone who would make the hard decisions for him in terms of who can stay and who needs to go. To the owner’s credit, he saw the enormous mistake he made in giving full personnel control and decision-making to Dave “The ‘Stache” Wannstedt, because Huizenga liked him on a personal level and without a true general manager in place, it fell to Huizenga to have to shitcan him – a year too late, honestly. Parcells is a calculating personality who has his own “guys,” but if the past is any indication, he won’t let emotional ties or beliefs affect his ultimate decisions on hirings and firings.

Mueller found that out the hard way, and Cameron ("Wham, bam, thank you, Cam") is likely to at some point this week. Parcells gave Cameron an opportunity to basically re-interview for his job on New Year’s Day, and Tuna is said to still be undecided, but the fact that coaching names like Tom Coughlin, Romeo Crennel, Maurice Carthon and Todd Haley are being linked to the Dolphins isn’t a coincidence. Parcells will want to bring in his own guy, and if he doesn’t land him, he may yet give Cameron another season, though I’d put those chances at about 15-85 against Cam-alot. The hottest name is Tony Sparano (What the hell? Will he bring in Big Pussy as defensive coordinator? Chrissy Moltisante as offensive quality control assistant? You can’t make this shite up), a 46-year-old assistant head coach, running game coordinator and offensive line coach for the Dallas Cowboys. Sparano is also interviewing for the Atlanta Falcons’ vacancy, making it a ticklish timeframe for Parcells. The Tuna would most like to hire scouting chief Jeff Ireland from the Cowboys as general manager, then let Ireland fire Cameron and go after Sparano, but can all that be accomplished within the league’s mandated timeframe, since Dallas is in the playoffs? We shall see.

The future of defensive coordinator Dom Capers will be another interesting factor; he will either be forced to implement more of his 3-4 principles or be told to take a hike. He said that injuries forced him to dramatically scale down his defensive attack and approach in 2007, and he has a point, but that excuse won’t fly with Parcells manning the decisions desk. Capers’s mishandling of Porter and inability to stop the run certainly makes retaining him iffy at best, especially if a new coach is brought in.

“I'm interested in good character people. I don't want thugs and hoodlums on the team. I don't want bad character guys. I don't want problem children. I'm more willing to let someone try to address those things with other people. I want to get a good base, good character people that are dependable, reliable employees that come to work with the idea of trying to win football games for the Miami Dolphins.”

I’m as big and understanding a Ricky Williams fan as you’ll find, but this doesn’t bode well for No. 34. Or Keith Traylor and the 15 other veterans who bitched, moaned and hurt team chemistry throughout this season. Cameron did a good job of ridding the roster of many of the problem children, and you can bet Parcells will find the rest and get them on the next plane to Cincinnati.

“I remember taking over another team, first went in there and looked at the medical reports and the dossier was literally almost four or five inches high of just medical reports.I took that into the team meeting with me when I met with the team at first and said ‘Now, there’s something wrong here. Either the athletes aren’t good enough to keep from getting hurt, or we’re not in good enough condition to avoid that. But whatever it is, this dossier is going to be about 10 percent of what it is now next year.’ I don’t know what the reasons for everything is, but I know that has to be changed.”

How do you evaluate a roster that includes so many who never got a chance to play or perform? That will be a huge task for Parcells. Sixteen Dolphins players ended the season on injured reserve, including five (count ‘em) safeties. Bad luck? As the author of the famous quote “You are what your record says you are,” Parcells doesn’t much believe in luck. He’ll dig deeper to find out just why in the hell players drop like flies in Miami. Whether that involves a change in practice routine or number of repetitions or types of drills, a healthier, stronger squad will be a welcome change for the Dolphins. And hopefully, when he’s done, Parcells will make a stop in Raleigh to find out why NC State has suddenly turned into ACL University.

“If you make a pick at that spot and you’re wrong, it’s economically a very bad thing for quite a while … We won't be influenced by sentiment or mock drafts or some of these cottage industry gurus that collect information from everywhere but the practice field. No disrespect intended."

Hopefully, this means that the days of Yatil Green, John Avery, Jamar Fletcher, Jason Allen, etc., are over. The Dolphins are the poster children for poor drafting over the past decade, and Parcells aims to scale down on the number of guys scouted and assessed, fit prospects more into what their position asks of them and what their positions asks of them within the Miami Dolphins scheme. If it sounds like the Patriots blueprint, it’s because it is; Bill Belicheat was a disciple of Parcells long ago.

The goal is to acquire talent, install a structure that will enhance that talent, and incorporate a coaching staff that will maximize that talent. Ignoring the following three keys—as identified by Parcells—can set your franchise back for years, literally:

1) Character and mental makeup
2) Whether he fits Parcells’s expectations for the position he plays
3) Skill level

Sticking to those maxims has helped make Parcells renowned for his ability to spot and cultivate talent. There are plenty of examples, but the most recent one is Cowboys wide receiver Patrick Crayton. There had been talk of Parcells tabbing soon-to-be free agent Crayton to join the ‘Fins in Miami. That talk ended when Crayton inked a four-year, $14-million deal with the Cowboys to stay in Dallas, but that also gives optimism to Miami fans when you consider that Parcells selected Crayton in the seventh round out of a directional geographical oddity school, Northwestern Oklahoma State.

I’ll look closer at April’s draft and Miami’s No. 1 overall pick as it looms closer, but bringing in Parcells aboard ensures that the ‘Fins will pretend to fall in love with Arkansas’s Darren McFadden (he’s already used to playing for pay for the Razorbacks), then dangle the top spot to whoever else covets the running back as well, hoping for a trade back a few spots and grabbing a few more picks. If Miami stays at No. 1, LSU defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey is the most likely candidate for the Dolphins; if Parcells can pull off a deal, Michigan offensive tackle Jake Long and Virginia defensive end Chris Long will be high on the wish list. Following on the (sprained) heels of the Ginn selection, anything besides a special-teams gunner or long-snapper would be kosher with me.


If you’re a Miami fan who prefers to feel that everything is puffy clouds and dandelions in Dolphinsland now that Parcells has arrived, you may want to skip this section. If you’re a sad realist (a.k.a., a Dolfan), much of the following will be expected and anticipated:

Parcells is, like, really old. Some media outlets described Parcells as mumbling at times and noted that he had trouble hearing certain questions, asking that they be repeated. Does he have the stamina to turn around a rock-bottom franchise at age 66? Fill in your own old-man joke here.

Expectations can be dangerous. The Miami Herald’s Armando Salguero wrote, “Big talk rings hollow in these parts. Super Bowl promises are as worthless are promises never to become the coach at Alabama. In recent times, the hard sell has only set the Dolphins on a course for a hard fall.” Parcells can coach circles around pretenders like Johnson and Satan; can he excel as personnel chief and supreme decision-maker?

“Desperado” shouldn’t be your team’s theme song. You could consider Parcells a desperate, last-gasp attempt at relevance by an owner desperate for success, and you would have a valid point there as well. How about this dose of reality from David Hyde of the Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel:

“Either way, here we go again, and you can conjure up Parcells into whatever you want to make him today. You can call him a two-time Super Bowl champion who has coached winners at every stop in his career. That's true.

“You also can say he's also a 66-year-old retiree who hasn't won a playoff game in a decade, who says he's too old to coach anymore and has never before worked in the capacity for which he was hired. Because that's true, too.”

Points taken. But at the very least, Parcells equals hope for the future, and that’s something that has been missing in Miami for years and years. It’ like the sheer weight of the genius of Don Shula and Dan Marino held down the successful end of the seesaw for so long that once that weight was gone, everything slid down to the bottom of the seesaw, into the pee-soaked sand littered with grumpies left by an army of tired and soiled toddlers. Or something.

So now it falls to Parcells as the latest in a long line of those who think they can pull that goddam sword out of that stubborn freaking rock.

“He’s a guy who fixes problems,” said defensive lineman Vonnie Hollliday, “and we have a big problem here.”

“We’re all waiting to see,” added Porter, “we’ll wait for him to work his magic.”

Magic or not, problem fixer or adder, talent spotter or bust finder, old or young, with the Tuna now on the hook, at least now there is something worth waiting to see in Miami.

* Just a warning: This is really fucking long.