GQ’s Woman of the Year: If it isn’t Scottish, it’s CRAP
1. Tilda Cows Come Home*
*The judges concede that this was a bit of a stretch
So, GQ named 5’11” Scottish actress Tilda Swinton (The Beach, Adaptation, Michael Clayton, The Grand Budapest Hotel) its “Woman of the Year” and I’m down with that. Why? First, because Scotland is so damn enchanting and I’m totally jealous of writer Zach Baron for receiving a tour of the Highlands from Ms. Swinton. Second, because she’s actually older than I am (54) so if she can be Woman of the Year, well, move over Chris Hemsworth next year.
“Ziggy playyyed gui-TARRRR!”
What we all love about Swinton, I think, is that striking, androgynous beauty. As Conan O’Brien said last night (2:30 in the video), “I learned (she was named) when all the people I passed on my way to work kept telling me ‘Congratulations’.”
2. Peter Pan-demic
Lena Dunham in this role would have been intriguing…
Actress Allison Williams, whose pop just celebrated 10 years in the NBC Nightly News chair and hails from the same home town as your humble scribe (“Middletown, represent!”), will play Peter Pan in a live NBC production of the musical tomorrow night (apparently, NBC is fine with how the Carrie Underwood-as-Fraulein Maria experiment went down last year).
Will not be playing Peter Pan
The 26 year-old Yale grad is not to be confused with ESPN sideline reporter Allison Williams –although because they’re both brunettes in their 20s with the same name who appear on TV, you’d be totally forgiven if you did, right?
Anyway, a few other notable actors and actresses who’ve donned the green tights to follow (are you noticing a certain androgyny theme? Hell, let’s just get this out of the way now.):
Sandy Duncan: The Wheat-Thin actress is the definition of spritely.
Farrow: How many humans can say they’ve shared a bed with both Frank Sinatra and Woody Allen? (Don’t answer that, please)
Mia Farrow: The Rosemary’s Baby starlet had the perfect face and physique for the role.
Martin gets extra points for, like the title character, having an alliterative name
Mary Martin: Still the gold standard, and yes, she was Larry Hagman’s (J.R’s) mom
3. Go Outside and Play
Don’t try this at home. Well, you can’t. That’s sorta the point.
I’m not used to seeing outdoor, cold-weather gear companies advertise on TV, but this autumn two such retailers have campaigns running on the tube (which is to say, ESPN, since I really only watch ESPN, HBO, TCM and CNBC). Anyway, I prefer the Marmot ads to The North Face ads. The song on theirs, which I don’t know, is more subtle but fits better than “This Land is Your Land”, which, yeah, is a classic, but seems a little too obvious.
My favorite ad of the week? This one. You can imagine a Creative thinking of this in three seconds –two, if he’d just watched Almost Famous–and then it was just about how to riff on the central idea.
4, Leap Frogs!
TCU QB Trevone Boykin is fun to watch. Him versus Mariota in a semi would be terrific.
TCU jumps past Florida State into third position in last night’s College Football Playoff poll, which irked a few people. Probably no one was more irked than the dude at Baylor who signed off on hiring Kevin Sullivan Communications earlier in the week only to see the Bears drop to 6th. As Dennis Dodd tweeted, “Kevin Sullivan had a bad day.”
If TCU beats Iowa State in Fort Worth on Saturday –they’re only 34.5-point favorites–by anything more than 2 touchdowns, they’re in. Which basically means Baylor is out, unless at least two of the following teams lose: Ohio State, Florida State, Oregon and Alabama. Is that possible? Yes. More likely one, though. And I doubt SelCom will put two Big 12 teams in.
Georgia Tech isn’t making the cut, even with a win, nor is Mizzou. But Arizona certainly has a shot, sitting there at No. 7.
Bears down in Waco, Bear Down in Tucson.
5. 4th Down at UAB
So, here are the facts…
1) The University of Alabama-Birmingham, which had a decent season and came within a play of ending Marshall’s unbeaten year just 10 days ago, is shutting down its FBS program.
2) It’s the first time an FBS program has shut down since 1995, the University of Pacific in Stockton (which is actually not close to THE Pacific, but whatevs).
3) Every football player will have his scholarship honored.
4) Every football coach will have his contract honored.
5) UAB is bowl-eligible for the first time since 2004.
6) The Blazers are also killing their Bowling (“NO!”) and Rifle teams.
You feel for the football players (and bowlers and shooters). Especially after the Blazers put together a solid season. But after they calm down, I hope they take a few things to heart:
1) Being a scholarship athlete is a privilege, not a right.
2) The tail should wag the dog, not the other way around. It’s in a school’s best interests to do what’s best for the school, not what’s best for the football program.
3) While Tristan Henderson, the 26 year-old player who is also an Iraq War veteran, has a right to be upset, calling out the university president for “living in a big-ass house” is a cheap shot. The program is hemorrhaging funds and the school already subsidizes two-thirds ($20 million) of its athletic department’s operating budget. School president Ray Watts delivered the bad news in person. He wasn’t a coward about it. This isn’t a matter of, “We don’t have $400 to put on the school musical.” This is major funding.
4) To the question, “What are we supposed to do?” I answer the following: You’re in college. You’re supposed to get an education. If you’re good enough to play elsewhere, great. Good luck. But if you’re only in school to play football for UAB, then that ‘What are we supposed to do?’ question was eventually going to slap you in the face –and hard–anyway. Take advantage of the free education you’re getting.
5) And to all the sports media, print and TV, who never had to put their own skin into any enterprise –who attend games for free, don’t pay for parking or food or hotels–maybe try to convey both sides of the story. The emotional “These football players have no place to play” gets the sentiments flowing, but the reality is that a school president’s primary responsibility is to the welfare of the university. And while you focus on what Henderson said, maybe give the school prez a little dap for being man enough to deliver the news face-to-face.
End of lecture.
No. 2 Duke at No. 4 Wisconsin
ESPN 9:30 p.m.
Revenge of the Nerd: Kaminsky keeps his own blog, titled “The Moose Basketball.”
Like, I know five current college basketball players (that’s a lie; I only know three), but two of them will be on the court tonight: Duke’s latest one-and-doner, Jahlil Okafor, and Wicsonsin seven-footer and print media darling Frank Kaminsky. The latter, a junior, makes it SO simple for press box cowboys by keeping his own blog (Now why would anyone with a real gig keep their own blog?). I try to avoid watching college hoops before the Ides of March, but maybe tonight…maybe…