If you only had read this blog, and never had met me, you would think I lived in some kind of philosophical state where I look at everything with an eye to the serious and theological. If only you knew how wrong you were. It is pretty funny. So far, I only once have written about my favorite pasttimes - sports and movies. Not playing sports - watching and following sports. So briefly, just a touch of my approach to sports and movies.
SPORTS - I love football. College and pro. My favorite college teams are the Georgia Bulldogs (since 1979) and the University of Central Florida (UCF) Golden Knights (since 1992 - when I began sending large sums of money their way). Fortunately for me, they are in two different classes. They played once, UCF made a game of it and then lost. So there. As far as the pros go, you can go back to the archives to read some of my thoughts on that. My favorite teams are Tampa and Jacksonville. I also love certain players, like Daunte Culpepper and Priest Holmes - which adds to my enjoyment of fantasy football.
I watch college basketball in March and always play tournament bracket challenge. I watch the NBA in June. I watch baseball when there is nothing else on tv. I follow UCF religiously in all sports. I am a Yankees fan (since 1980) and I love Barry Bonds. I follow the Tour de France because I am amazed at those athletes. I like to watch tennis. I'll watch golf if Tiger is playing. I hate auto racing. (That is not a sport. I drive all the time to work and back and don't get squat for it.) My wife likes gymnastics, and I don't dislike it. I am a big fan of Olympic sports - a bigger fan of the Winter Games. I think bobsledding is about the coolest thing I have ever seen. I have never played sports, but I do love them.
On one hand, I hate steroids. On the other, I don't care. I love Bonds (as I already said) but I hate Canseco. I was a big McGwire fan and still am. And I still don't like Sammy Sosa or the Boston Red Sox. I could care less about Rafael "I Never Used a Steroid Sir" Palmiero. I guess it comes down to the fact that baseball is like the Food Network to me. If I have to have the tv on and it has to be sports, I'll watch baseball. Until the playoffs, which I'll watch every game.
MOVIES - Movies cannot be judged on one set of standards. There is the quality measurement, and the entertainment measurement. If you mesh those, you can come up with some sort of overall measurement, but not very accurate. For example, Saving Private Ryan is one of the BEST movies ever made. Its quality is undeniable. Would I call it entertaining? Not really. Neither is Schindler's List, but few would argue that it is one of the finest pieces of film ever released. On the flip side, take Dumb and Dumber. Quality? Not even remotely there. Entertaining? Oh yes, my friend, oh yes. So, you have to realize this to talk movies with me.
The ideal is for the movie to hit on both counts. Now that is harder said than done. That is why there are few "rewatchable movies." [This is a topic covered in Bill Simmons' recent article on ESPN Page 2. I'm not stealing his point of view.] When you have a movie with at least 3 stars out of 5 in quality, and then a strong 4 stars in entertainment - you have a really enjoyable movie. Now some would argue the other way, at least a 3 for entertainment and then 4 for quality. I disagree. But this is the common position for movie critics. Which is why movies like Million Dollar Baby win Oscars.
Personally, I favor the higher entertainment number. When I used to watch movies all the time, I could handle more of the high Quality/mediocre entertainment because I knew that I would be seeing more movies again later. Now that I have kids and only see about six movies a year in the theater, I am more wanting the entertainment factor. If I want real life, I'll watch the news. Since I already avoid the news, I don't want that in a movie either. I want to have a good time. That is why I loved Hitch, Batman Begins, and Oceans Eleven. They had enough quality and then rocked the entertainment factor. Some of my friends call me a movie snob. I think I used to be, but that I am slowly losing that. Of course, that doesn't mean I'll go rent Without a Paddle or Electra yet.
I'll probably post more movie stuff soon. I really enjoy reading about how movies develop and I follow all kinds of rumors on that. I find it much more interesting than the discussion of who Jude Law slept with last. I would much rather hear what superhero he is rumored to be linked to than which starlet. So that is the background on those two things. See, I can be empty and shallow as much as the next guy. :)