Lou Pickney's Online Commentary
May 28, 2006
Today proved to be an excellent sports TV day. Auto racing isn't my number one thing, but thanks to my run with the BTLS show, my interest in it went from nil to mild. Mostly I watch NASCAR to cheer for Tony Stewart (who was as nice of a celeb as you'll meet), though he wrecked early today in the Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte.
The race itself is a marathon by NASCAR standards, with 500 miles of racing. What made this year's race unique was that NASCAR required smaller fuel tanks (or cells or whatever the proper term is) because of tire problems that plagued last year's race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway.
The result was an unusually high number of pit stops, which made the race actually much more interesting to me, as there were all sorts of strategies put into effect (how many tires to put on, when to change them out, etc.), and the whole tightrope of getting in and out of the pits was interesting. By far, it was the most interesting NASCAR race I've seen. It managed to get me flipping back over from the Suns/Mavs NBA game and the Sabres/Hurricanes NHL Game 5 overtime thriller (both of which were excellent), which says something since I typically wouldn't care. But I have invested enough time watching to where I wanted to see who would win.
The best finish of a race came earlier in the day, though, at the IRL (Indy Racing League) crown jewel event, the Indianapolis 500. 19-year-old Marco Andretti lost his shot at winning on the final stretch in a thriller. I actually went to the 1999 Indianapolis 500 (I got sunburned there, and nearly got into a fight with a surly t-shirt salesman after the game who refused to sell me just one shirt in a bizarre situation.) I got free tickets through work and I was living in Evansville at the time, so it was a chance to go to the biggest event in Indiana on the cheap.
I'm not much for IRL, since it's tough to watch with the excessive speeds. 225-230 miles per hour is just tough to follow.
Watching the first quarter of last night's Pistons/Heat game, Rasheed Wallace was called for an offensive foul for hooking his arm around the defender and pushing off. The announcers talked about how the officials had been calling that consistently all year long. That'd be great... except that's the same thing Dirk Nowitzki did on the three-point play at the end of regulation in the Spurs/Mavericks series, and they didn't call him for a foul. Ugh.
But I do want to go on record that I'm pulling for the Mavs over the Suns. There's something about Steve Nash that is annoying. It's like he has OCD the way he keeps fixing his hair or rubbing his hands on his shorts. He's a great player, but it is strange to see.
|Serpico featured Al Pacino in his prime.|
Now that Barry Bonds has moved past Babe Ruth on the all-time home run list, can we PLEASE quit seeing the daily updates about him on the ESPN 18/58 updates, etc? I'm sick of it, I tell you. Just sick of it. Seeing him pathetically limp toward trying to catch Hank Aaron will be humorous in one of those pathetic ways, including Bonds going to the AL where he can play DH and not have to play in the field.
Another film I rented from Blockbuster was Serpico, the 1973 Al Pacino classic. I had never seen it, but I knew about it, from of all things, the poster of the film that was on the wall in Dirk Diggler's home bedroom in Boogie Nights. It's a great film about a guy who wants to be a clean cop in an impossibly dirty system. Pacino is in his prime, which made the movie really stand out, even with that early 70s feel that made many films shot in that era not stand up to modern standards.
A funny note from yesterday's column: my friend Neal Boling pointed out that his first thought when he heard Mulholland Dr. was actually Mulholland Falls. In looking on Amazon about the movie, the first thing I noticed is that Mulholland Falls looks good. The second was this tidbit: "What do customers ultimately buy after viewing items like this? 80% buy Mulholland Drive DVD ~ Naomi Watts."
Neal added that the movie came out when he was working at the AMC Old Hyde
Park 7 in 1996. He said that he recommended the film to Yankees owner George Steinbrenner (who spends a great deal of time in the Tampa area; if I was rich, I'd do that, too) and Neal said that after the film, Mr. Steinbrenner came out and thanked him personally for the recommendation. How cool is that?