1. 2097 A.D. is not a year –yet– but is instead Adrian Peterson’s single-season rushing total, the second-best in NFL history. The Vikings’ running back (A.D. stands for “All Day”, as in how long he is able to run) finished nine yards behind Eric Dickerson, gaining 199 yards in Minnesota’s 37-34 defeat of Green Bay. The win puts the Vikes into the playoffs (after winning just three games last season), where they will meet…Green Bay.
2. Fiscal Cliffhanger! Remember that group project you had all semester to do in high school/college/grad school/kindergarten, and you and your partners put it off (Oh, sure, you’d meet, but it would devolve into playing Atari or watching a “Cheers” marathon) until the last day? Well, that’s Congress, except that the project has a lot more riding on it than 25% of your semester grade. In a different era, we’d advise them to stock up on Jolt Cola. Now it’s probably Five-Hour Energy Drink and prescription drugs supplied at no cost by the very pharmaceutical companies that have helped pay for many of their elections. Go, America!
3. The Denver Broncos have won 11 consecutive games and finished tied with Atlanta for the best record in the NFL (13-3). But let’s talk more about who the New York Jets should start at quarterback, why don’t we?
4. Romo! Oh No! Oh yes he did. Cowboy quarterback Tony Romo tosses three picks, including a costly one late when Washington Redskin linebacker Rob Jackson faked a blitz and dropped into screen coverage. Dallas loses and Washington wins the NFC East. As ESPN’s Trent Dilfer said afterward, “Being a defensive coordinator in the NFL is all about making the quarterback ‘play football’ (i.e., think and react) after the snap.” Amen. Oh, and Mike Shanahan once again rides a rookie 6th-round running back (Alfred Morris…who’s stuck with such a 1970s NFL name) to the playoffs while RG3 finishes the season with the highest rookie passer rating (102.4) in league history. Oh, and the Skins have won seven in a row (they haven’t lost since right before the presidential election).
5. The Los Angeles Clappers win their 17th straight and finish the month of December undefeated. Like you, we are just wondering how Donald Sterling will find a way to mess this all up.
We like Richard Deitsch. Richard Deitsch knows that we like Richard Deitsch. But we found it more than a little amusing that last week RD solicited, via Twitter, nominations for the best media feuds of the year (for his year-end SI.com media awards) only to find himself embroiled in one over the weekend.
Our take: While Bill Walton was a TREMENDOUS college basketball player — arguably the best of all time and definitely in the top five (Pete Maravich, Lew Alcindor also leap out at us) — and while he did astounding things in one and one-half healthy seasons with the Portland Trail Blazers (one NBA championship, and a 50-10 record in 1978 before Big Red suffered a season-ending injury; Portland went 8-14 without him the rest of the way), Seth Davis’ assertion that if his body hadn’t betrayed him so young “he might have been the best player ever” is, hmm, questionable at best. Better than Wilt Chamberlain? Better than Kareem Abdul-Jabbar?
Granted, you can at least make a case for it. Deitsch deftly disagreed on Twitter, chiding his longtime SI colleague that he might be smoking some of that wacky-go-jacky that Walton did while at Westwood. But then Doug Gottlieb (don’t you hate it when Jewish people bicker with one another???) jumps into the fray and advises Deitsch to stick with what he knows. Challenge flag, Doug! And Gottlieb soon realized it, as evidenced by his later deleting all of the involved tweets.
This we can say: we’ve made more than a few mistakes on Twitter. We’ve gotten ourselves into a Twitter feud or two, some that we even regret (although we regret no feuds with A.J. Daulerio and welcome more). But we’ve NEVER deleted a tweet. And never will.
NEW YEAR’S EVE: FROM LES MISERABOWLS TO LES MILES
Thankfully, the junk half of the bowl season is over. Ohio-Louisiana-Monroe? San Jose State-Bowling Green? If these games had taken place on an October Saturday, I might actually be watching NBC’s Dew Tour (no, I wouldn’t). The Pinstripe Bowl was played in the Bronx, in a mix of rain and snow and featured West Virginia, a team that finished 115th in Scoring Defense. We must credit The Weirton Daily Times in West Virginia for running the hed “WVU Loses Bowel”. It’s the most accurate and succinct statement on Capital One Bowl Week that we’ve seen outside of our own at the top of this item. And we know that Rece Davis agrees with us but he loves his job too much –and who can blame him–to say so. But if you really care/cared about these cornball brotha contests, SI.com’s Holly Anderson has answers to all of your questions.
A few thoughts on Django Unchained: Quentin Tarantino is an expert at crafting memorable movie scenes, but the overall films themselves leave much to be desired. Our problem with DU is that there are even fewer memorable scenes than normal. You think of Reservoir Dogs: the opening diner scene and the “Stuck in the Middle With You” scenes are classic. Inglorious Basterds? Again, the opening scene is mesmerizing while the bar scene is fraught with drama and tension (Michael Fassbender and the immaculately lovely Diane Kruger will never be better). But the overall film itself? As with all Tarantino films, there’s just enough cartoonish violence/situations that it never really becomes a drama in which you care about the characters (in other words, as my brother would say, “It’s no Ghost“).
Perhaps this is why Pulp Fiction is Tarantino’s best film: It’s simply a collection of outstanding, dramatic or funny — and often both– scenes that are compiled with no regard to chronological order (an exact replica, we might add, of the current and magical method of selecting two teams to play for the national championship in football). The puzzle was part of the plot.
1. Jamie Foxx: big role, big part (wink, wink). And you know Jamie fought for that (ob)scene.
2. Tarantino is aware that he has an Aryan female fetish, is he not? Uma Thurman. Diane Kruger. Now, a black female lead who speaks German and is named for a character in a German fairy tale?
3. Love that Tarantino found roles, however minor, for some yesteryear Hollywood names such as Tom W0pat (Dukes of Hazzard), Lee Horsley (Matt Houston) and Dennis Christopher (starred in a little film that everyone should see entitled “Breaking Away”). Another star of that film, Jackie Earle Haley, currently has a prominent role in Lincoln. The two other main characters, Daniel Stern and Dennis Quaid, have gone on to far more successful careers.
4. Samuel L. Jackson as a Stepin Fetchit character named Stephen (that cannot be a coincidence) is fantastic. Highlight of the movie and possibly even a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nominee. In the final scene, though, we really were hoping for him to stare into Django’s eyes and say, “Calm down, Ringo.”
Should auld Saturday Night Live film spoofs be forgot… Not only is this a terrific parody trailer of an atrocious film, but you have to admire SNL head writer Seth Meyers, who actually appeared in the film (“New Year’s Eve”) for letting this rip with such gusto.
Happy New Year, everyone. Personally, we lost more than normal in 2012, but we are grateful for all that we’ve gained, not the least of which is any one who regularly reads this site. We’ll be better in 2013.