1. Surely, You Jets
38-3?!? To a team that could barely shovel out of its own driveway this past week? The Jest are a trainRex. I hope Marcus Mariota enjoys living in New Jersey next autumn. The Curse of Tebow continues.
2. Putting the “IR” in Irish
A short list of Notre Dame defensive players who, due to injury or academic fraud (just 3) (starters in bold), will not be participating in Saturday’s game versus USC at the Los Angeles Coliseum: Joe Schmidt (MLB), Sheldon Day (DT), Jarron Jones (DT), Drue Tranquill (S), KeiVarae Russell (CB), Ishaq Williams (OLB/DE), Kendall Moore (DL) and Nicky Baratti (S).
Basically, the Irish will be without six players who were preseason or regular-season starters. Seven if you include Baratti.
The two-deep defensive chart for Notre Dame’s best/biggest rivalry game of the season, against a team with arguably the best wide receiver they’ve faced (Nelson Agholor) and a quarterback, Cody Kessler, who has thrown 30 touchdown passes and just four INTs, will include nine freshmen and seven sophomores.
Time to grow up fast. I’ll be watching true freshman MLB Greer Martini, who replaces Morgan who replaced Schmidt. This kid is going to be very good down the line.
3. Her Mane Man
Some sports blogs/websites are promoting a video of a lion fighting off a crocodile today. And I get that whole “Circle of Life” thing. But I just love animals too much, so I found, with a help of Susan B. (not to be confused with Susie B.), a GFOB, a wonderful video of the possibilities between people and animals. Love this. This is what it’s all about.
4. Birdman, Birdman!
Finally caught Birdman, which is the first film our own Chris Corbellini gave four stars. I give the first 3/4 of it four stars, and then I go Aunt Linda on the last quarter. I’m an avowed simpleton, what can I say (without giving more away)?
Some of the scenes are pure magic: the first interaction between Riggan Thomson (Michael Keaton) and Mike Shiner (Edward Norton) onstage, Sam’s (Emma Stone’s) rant, and the scene between Riggan and the theater critic “who looks like she just licked a homeless guy’s ass” are wondrous. As are, again through three-fourths of the film, the tracking shots throughout the St. James Theatre and W. 44th Street. Many of the scenes are uninterrupted for up to 10 minutes, so you’ll notice, if you play close attention, than an actor (Zak Galifianakis or Stone) will flub a word or two and yet the scene continues. It’s a high-wire act where if you fall off three feet from the end, there’s no credit for all the balancing you did the rest of the way. A lot at stake.
A unique film. And I thought it was better when it didn’t go all Mary Poppins. Your mileage may vary. Here’s an interview with Edward Norton on the film…and here’s a cool anatomy of a scene via The New York Times. Listen all the way through: the director, Alejandro Inarritu, notes that within this scene, in which Shiner manipulates Thomson by changing the script Thomson wrote, that Norton actually attempted to alter Inarritu’s script. Life imitating art as it imitates life.
5. M.I.A. at the AMA’s…
…Didn’t watch the American Music Awards, but I will tell you that I think we’re about 14 seconds (or closer) from all being OVER Taylor Swift’s solipsism. RollingStone.com tore itself away from covering sports just long enough to review the night. I hear Imagine Dragons’ performance was solid, even though it sounded as if they just cribbed a Mumford and Sons’ tune.
Manchester City vs Bayern Munich
Fox Sports 1 2:45 p.m.
UEFA Champions League match featuring such stars as Bayern’s Arjen Robben (“Dodgy Flapper”) and Thomas Muller (World Cup stud) and Man City’s David Silva and Sergio Aguero. Highly sub-optimal.