Hump Your Hopes With the Boston Celtics

 Image

DATELINE: HUMOR!

Kris Humphries knows something about losing.

Oh, sure, the Celtics this season may be testing his ability to handle it, but he plays like a saint. On a team that seems doomed to go to lottery heaven, he has been a bastion of integrity.

Hump likely learned how to deal with loss and pain through his late, lamented and lamentable marriage to that harridan now associating with Kanye West, or is that Beyonce’s husband? We can hardly keep track of these inside track shenanigans and hooligans.

Once upon a time, Kris Humphries had nuptials to rival King Farouk. Lately he has slumps to rival the Amazin’ Mets.

You can’t blame Humphries personally. He has been stalwart in his play, likely with an eye toward being sent packing sooner or later. What a shame.

We think he’d match Rajon Rondo with the Celtics for grand old men of the team over the next five to ten years.

Humphries may be the piece to settle down the youngsters name Jelly O’Sully. Jared Sullinger and Kelly Olynyk need a big brother to show the way—and there is no one with more patience than Kris Humphries.

Drama queens do not send him round the bend, which probably explains why he has come to détente with Rajon Rondo just a year after their catfight at the TD Garden.

We fear that if we become too attached to Kris, he will be dumped faster than you can say ‘Kardashian-your-hopes.’

He already had a marriage for worse.

He deserved better then—and surely he deserves better now.

Advertisements

Town Without Pity or Town Too Tough To Die?

DATELINE: HUMOR!

Omaha!

The word is part of the Peyton Manning lexicon.

No one apparently wants to reveal why he yells it repeatedly before the ball is snapped. Not even Edward Snowden has been able to leak this secret information.

A few veterans of the Big One, WW2, think it is Peyton’s homage to the turning point battle at Omaha Beach.

Fans of Animal Planet think it is his way of honoring the late Marlin Perkins of Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom.

There is a small contingent that the cry of Manning is for his long-lost favorite city, sort of a combination of Brigadoon and Bali Hai, a place where you win as many Super Bowls as Tom Brady.

The Nebraska Chamber of Commerce may want to stick Manning’s face on every highway leading into the big city of the Midwest.

The Native language translation for Omaha is “Dwellers on the Bluff,” and perhaps that bluff is Manning’s game. He has them guessing constantly about his passes.

A few historians have pointed out that, as one of the oldest quarterbacks to go to the Super Bowl, Peyton Manning actually knew Lewis and Clark, the first American explorers to Omaha.

Whatever the logic behind crying, “Omaha,” Manning has created a good business environment in Nebraska, making many others cry out that the next Super Bowl ought to be held, you guessed it, in Omaha, Nebraska.

Jelly O’Sully Goes to the All-Star Game!

DATELINE: HUMOR!jelly O'Sully

The Boston Celtics tandem of Jared Sullinger and Kelly Olynyk are going to New Orleans for the All-Star futures segment.

What a shame that Phil ‘Don’t Call Me Elvis’ Pressey found his name scratched off the dance card.

The Rising Stars of the NBA is a game in which fans will vote for players to be opposing starting lineups. It means that Jelly O’Sully may be cut in half, like Solomon’s baby.

As unthinkable as that is, Kelly Olynyk admitted to the press that he plays often in practice against his teammate whom he calls “Mr. Hard Foul.”

For his part, Sullinger looks forward to standing out on the perimeter and shooting three-pointers.

We dislike the idea of separating our two big boys. It’s like having Chang and Eng at the Greatest Show on Earth, and taking a meat-cleaver to their joined rib.

This trip to the All-Star game could turn out to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the two young Celtics—or they could be perennials of the future. We have already voted often that they are the heart and soul of future Celtics winners, led by Mr. Rajon Rondo.

Coming off another Celtics loss in which the silver lining is Sullinger with his 24 points and 17 rebounds, this All-Star announcement may be the only good news of the month for our tandem.

We are happy to see more recognition for these young players. Coach Brad Stevens has begun to realize what he has on his hands, but frets that he has asked young players to be leaders ahead of their time.

We suspect Jelly O’Sully can handle it.

Whatever Lola Wants, Squeaky Ortiz Gets!

AristotlePapiDATELINE: HUMOR!

 Squeaky Ortiz rewrites history almost as often as Super Bowl crank Richard Sherman.

Now the media apologists are avoiding the talk of walking that came from Ortiz and now play up the “bad rumors.” David ‘Squeaky’ Ortiz has no idea how such terrible notions develop. He is happy to hear from the Red Sox.

Yes, one would think. Jon Lester probably wishes he heard from the Sox as often when it comes to paychecks.

Now Ortiz opines that he only wants one one-year extension. That’s all. What’s the big deal? Well, it was never about the extension. It was about Loudmouth Ortiz’s claim he would move on if the Sox don’t kowtow and genuflect.

Now shills like sports radio WEEI’s waterboy are “interviewing” Ortiz to set the record straight. It’s sort of like taking Stalin’s picture out of the Yalta Conference to rewrite history. A better comparison would be to take Ray Allen’s name off Rajon Rondo’s Christmas card list. No, hold on: that is not a metaphor.

The bad rumors include the one that Ortiz is one of the lowest paid superstars. Yes, it’s true. But, well, he only plays offense, never defense. It’s sort of like shadow boxing.

So, the dust is settling, and Dusty Pedroia is insisting that the Sox give Ortiz whatever he wants. Maybe we ought to call him Lola Ortiz.

Whatever Lola Ortiz wants, Lola gets. And little man, he wants your wallet.

So, fans, all’s well that ends well with Squeaky dipping his pen into the ink well to sign an extension.

That is, when the Red Sox get around to actually printing up that contract. Of course, Squeaky now has Smarmy Ben Cherington’s verbal promise. Oh, yeah, all’s right with the world of the Red Sox.

We’re Going to a Better Place, Richard Sherman!

 DATELINE: HUMOR!

No Super Bowl for us this year!

We’ve sworn off the NFL game. No, we are not on a diet and avoiding fatty foods that cause munchies from noon to midnight.

No, we are not a party-pooper. (Well, yes, a bit.)

No, we are not sick of Richard Sherman, villain and thug in sheep’s clothing nowadays.

No, we don’t despise Pete Carroll for encouraging his team of cheats to use PEDs all season.

No, we aren’t jealous of Peyton Manning’s late blooming season that sends Tom Brady to Pebble Beach.

No, we aren’t angry at Wes Welker for the worst hit on another player that Bill Belichick has ever seen in his life.

No, we aren’t sick of the commercialization of the Super Bowl by imbecilic television commercials that make sophomoric hijinks a new art form.

No, we aren’t disgusted by the cold weather notion that a Super Bowl should be played outdoors in a place everyone thinks is New York.

No, we don’t have sour grapes that our hometown team was shut out of the big game.

No, we are not afraid of seeing the Denver Broncos being bashed and taunted by Seahawks.

No, we aren’t disappointed the Super Bowl won’t be snowed out till Monday.

No, we are not antisocial (well, only a little like Heidi’s grandfather around the edges).

The reason we will not watch the Super Bowl is location, location, location. We will be in the drizzly mental kirk of Downton Abbey, at the bayou of True Detective, inside the bastion of logic of Sherlock at 221b Baker Street for the season’s finale, and hanging out at the Money Pit where mysteries abide at Curse of Oak Island.

Thank heavens that The Blacklist is on Mondays.

Rondo Hasn’t a Pound of Flesh to Spare on His Team

 DATELINE: The Merchant of TD Garden

pillsburyRondoBulksUp

The Media following the Boston Celtics is demanding a pound of flesh from the team, but there doesn’t seem to be an ounce of mercy to go around. If you prick Rajon Rondo, does he not bleed?

Only Jared Sullinger has the courage and innate ability to dress up in drag to deliver the news.

sullinger devil in a black dress

The quality of Rajon Rondo’s minutes is not strained, but riseth, like the gentle rain from heaven upon the starting lineup.

The Celtics are twice blest; Rondo blesses him that gives up the ball and him that takes a clever pass.

Alas, there are no mighty players around Rondo. He is a dethroned superstar better than those around his crown.

His game shows the force of temporal power. Great assists are meant usually to give awe and majesty, making his opponents quiver in dread and fear.

If Rondo’s season provides Celtics justice, consider this: none of us shall see salvation with this team, nor see the playoffs.

We therefore do pray for mercy, and that prayer doth teach us all to render a lottery pick this summer.

Rondo may continue to play thus much to mitigate the flaws and talents of the hapless Celtics, which if fans follow to mitigate the strict court of the NBA’s forthcoming lottery,  and mercy must needs give sentence against Coach Brad Stevens.

Apologies to Shylock Ainge and Will Shakespeare.

True fans will check out the folio called RAJON RONDO & THE GREEN NEBULA, now in softcover and ebook at Amazon.com.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt Cries Wolf as Don Jon

DATELINE: HANDS ON MOVIE MAKING

Image

We confess that we chose to view Don Jon because Joseph Gordon-Levitt does a mean impression of Tony Danza who plays his father in this one. Don Jon is a guilty whimsy.

Gordon-Levitt’s type is a stereotypical walking cartoon of New York ethnic Italian descent. Our director walks along the territory as the Orson Welles of sexual themes. In Don Jon Gordon-Levitt plays a sex addict to the core of his existence: his obsession requires porno to turn him on.

His encounters with online adult videos and stills are hilarious until he meets Scarlett Johanssen in a bravura performance.

Slowly the self-styled playboy who mostly plays with himself becomes smitten and putty in her hands.

Also, any scene with Danza and Gordon-Levitt turns out to be camp gold. Other scenes with the star sitting in front of the computer with Kleenex tissues to stave off his obsession is daring to say the least.

After We’re The Millers, we are now accustomed to frank sex talk, but this time we have our suspicions that the overly macho muscle-boy may find his appetite whetted by a change of heart. His proclivities seem to be on the edge of protesting too much.

The movie seems on the surface to be a paean to heterosexuality, but if you scratch and sniff, you may find something entirely different on your hands.

The ubiquitous Channing Tatum shows up as “the beautiful man” in a mock movie Don Jon watches about romantic love.

We have  been keeping our eye on Mr. Gordon-Levitt after his recent spate of movies, and he has his eye on the prize now. Whether he is the new Robin Boy Wonder or Robert Lincoln, his performances are mesmerizing turns.

Don Jon is a tour de force of writing, directing, and acting. It is also like doing a strip-tease and discovering you have the wrong audience making catcalls.

Looking Askance: Queer as Folk & Village People Aside

DATELINE: Calling Mr. Goodbar

 Image

HBO offers many new shows this season, including a new gay series called Looking. Episodes of this series are mercifully short. The buzz term for the show is “Find Something Real.”  Yes, on HBO.

If attention deficit disorder is the new norm, then shows like this know their audience all too well. They cannot sustain a full hour of drama queens.

Featuring a cast of unknown actors about to make a splash, the setting is San Francisco where all the young men are waiting for the Big One—and we don’t mean the next earthquake.

Central casting seems stymied in the past. Our first reaction to these young men, living in quiet desperation, is that they are versions of the Village People relocated to the other coast.

Has young gay America not evolved at all since Boys in the Band?  Based only one the first episode, featuring an aborted encounter in the woods, pickups on the subway, and office threesomes, we feel that Queer as Folk has come back with better production values and a setting that is at least familiar.

Life in Pittsburgh had to be depressing for gay men in Queer as Folk. Life is San Francisco has to be nirvana in the pastry shop with all the goodies behind the notions counter.

We don’t see much call for character development or fate for the principals. If you are a waiter for seven years and are growing long in the tooth, it may be a sign of things to come.

The show already seems like it has hit a dead end, and that is after thirty minutes. What will an hour bring? We won’t be looking long enough to tell you.

Cases of Unadulterated Media Darlings: Sherman & Remy

DATELINE: JUSTICE DENIED

When the media circles the wagons, you know that the protection is stronger than the Witness Protection Program.

The media has taken a kind hand toward two sports figures this week, though their cases are rather different. The net result is that nary a discouraging word can be found in print or on the cable waves.

Seattle Seahawk and Super Bowl cherub Richard Sherman has gone from thuggish loudmouth to someone who has now turned the lexicon upside down by the offense that the T-word is similar to the N-word.

Sherman contends he is not a villain, nor a thug, owing to his brilliant education at Stanford—which apparently has impressed all the community college graduates who have blogs and positions on sports TV networks. Snidely Sherman has changed his spots.

The attacker has now become the victim, and the victim now deserves a choke sign for his rude behavior at Sherman’s expense at some undocumented charity event.

The other figure is Red Sox broadcaster Jerry Remy whose son brutally murdered his girlfriend around the same time as Aaron Hernandez was caught.

Remy went on hiatus from his job as Red Sox broadcaster, but now will return. He committed no crime and feels his life is baseball. So, he decided not to return in some low key or low profile job—like scouting, or doing other work that would not raise a hackle. He will stick his whimsical humor back in the broadcast booth.

The media has responded or created overwhelming support for Remy, no matter how odd or uncomfortable the return shall be. A trial of Remy’s son may reveal details that may later change things, but that won’t occur till year’s end.

In the meantime, he has won the imprimatur of his unbiased colleagues. These same folks have given the dispensation to Sherman too.

It is a heady feeling to be the power behind the throne.

True Detective Recycles Holmes & Watson—Again!

DATELINE: Recycled Detectives

Image

Right out of the Time Machine: Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson channel their youthful selves!

Why do all the new interesting TV series all have opening credits that are alike? True Blood, Justified, and now True Detective, use the same template for their show openings.

Of course, the latest is True Detective that is Justified with two cornpone cops with vocabularies that would make Jethro Bodine look like, well, a hillbilly.

The dialogue from True Detective includes philosophical musings you haven’t heard since you spent time at 3am in the dorm with a bunch of buddies studying for the philosophy final.

The best part of True Detective is Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey. They play Lousiana’s version of Holmes and Watson at each other’s throats: the cold-blooded nihilist and the more human partner.

That alone would make the show worth watching, but the fact is that Woody and Matthew could have flipped a coin as to which would play whom.

More amusing yet, the show is divided into two segments: many scenes are flashbacks to the old days, fifteen years earlier. Well, Harrelson and McConaughey are done up like the Time Machine has just transported them here.

It is a hoot to see them young again, even if it is with computer generated genes and good lighting.

HBO has reached for another epical series with character, plot, and old-fashioned over-the-top writing. The villain is too much to bear and become overbearing, but the interest is the byplay of the stars whose lack of chemistry as characters shows great chemistry as actors.

We have moved into a new age of television drama, thanks to cable productions.

 

Be sure to read Ossurworld’s movie review books on Amazon.com:  ALFRED HITCHCOCK FRESHLY SHOWERED, MOVIE MASHUP, and MOVIES TO SEE–OR NOT TO SEE.

Welcome Home, Garnett & Pierce

DATELINE: REUNIONS Rondo & Ray in Happier Times

The Boston Celtics fans at the TD Garden saved their strongest support of the season for a couple of Brooklyn Nets players.

Yes, even Kevin Garnett noted that the tribute paid to him was “over the top,” and the United States sent the Marines to stop this kind of thing in Tripoli. Not one cent for tribute.

Paul Pierce got his too.

Though Rondo wanted to ignore the shenanigans, he stopped to give a mild round of applause to his two former mates.

Kevin Garnett was so overcome that he forgot his mantra for game face and was broadly smiling. It was a hope to be devoutly wished. If Garnett was off his rituals, the Celtics had a chance to win the game.

Even Kendrick Perkins put out a tweet to recognize his former championship teammates for a well-deserved ovation. The lone missing link was Ray Allen who remained in the doghouse and bereft of love from Boston where he suffered the slings and arrows of disdain upon his return last year.

No such luck as to win the game, as Lucky the Leprechaun favored former Celtics over the present-day upstarts.

A few media members who have not watched a game all season called the young players unexciting and lackluster.

All were hoping that the lottery to come would provide vast riches and a superstar to make the Celtics contenders again.

In the meantime, we won’t see such love poured onto former players until they return in retirement for the ever-lasting honor of retired numbers.

Rondo Faces Another Reunion Without Sentiment

Doc&Rondo

DATELINE: THE GOOD OLD DAYS

Rajon Rondo hardly could contain himself. If he could have popped the media, he would. We expected eyerolling and snickering.

Someone dared to ask Rondo if he would be emotional to the point of sentimental crocodile tears.

“Have you ever seen me tear up?”

Well, er, hmmm, now that you mention it… not quite.

Rondo may have warm and fuzzy feelings for his former teammates Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, but that ragged old teddy bear of love has been locked away for better days.

Rondo promised it was his intention to “destroy” his opponents. Oops, someone should tell Garnett that the little brother he loves is a brat.

We suspect that Kevin and Paul already know Rondo intimately. There is no surprise for them. They knew him when they were superstars and he was an upstart point guard telling them what to do.

No wonder they love him, understand him, and smile knowingly at every Rondoism that comes from his lips.

On the other hand, when Doc Rivers came to Boston recently with his new team, Rondo went in his street clothes to the visitors’ locker room to meet his former nemesis out of the glare of media attention.

When Kendrick Perkins comes to town for a game, you can bet your bottom dollar, gourmet chef Rondo is cooking up a storm for a private dinner.

Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett know what Rondo is and what they mean to him. You can count on it.

Mercurial Rondo is as Rondo does, and don’t you forget it.

 

 For the whole story and nothing but the funny tale, read RAJON RONDO: SUPERSTAR or its equally bizarre sequel RAJON RONDO & THE GREEN NEBULA. Both books are available at Amazon.com.

 

Long Term Deals with Red Sox Unlikely

DATELINE: CONTRACTUAL HUMOR

Image

Following Josh Beckett?

Jon Lester may be having pipe dreams.

He wants to remain a member of the Red Sox till the cows come home, or at least until they rip the Sox jersey from his back—as he demurely put it.

The cows in Boston have a better chance of returning to the Boston Common where they last grazed during Colonial times.

Why would Texan Jon Lester want to stay in Boston? He noted that his growing son now refers to Boston as his hometown. That’s enough for any Texan to pull up stakes and build a ranch in the South End.

But, hold your horses, pardner. Smarmy Ben Cherington, one of the meanest hombres this side of Amherst College, is not champing at the bit to sign Lester.

Indeed, he has not even bothered to contact Lester about an extension before free agency hits. No, that Cherington is a cool customer. He will sign no players before their time.

As a consequence, old Ben has ice water in his veins. If Jon Lester is sentimental, he is so at his own peril. Love of Boston will not make Cherington one whit more apt to sign a pitcher to a long-term deal.

Though Lester cites Dustin Pedroia’s contact that keeps him a Sox player forever, pitchers are a different breed– if you care to ask pitchers like Pedro Martinez or Justin Masterson.

Don’t ask Bronson Arroyo who signed a deal to stay with the Sox for the rest of his career, only to find himself traded shortly thereafter.

Lester needs his agent to wake him up and hand him the coffee mug. Better yet, he should join the Scott Boras list of clients. That will guarantee him a one-way ticket out of town for millions.

Reading RED SOX 2013: NAKED CAME THE LINEUP will put everything into perspective. Now available at Amazon.com.

Ten Years with Rondo?

DATELINE: HUMOR!

Image

Right before the Oklahoma City Thunder dropped one of Thor’s hammers on the Celtics (without Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant clashing like Titans), that other star played 21 minutes.

Rajon Rondo continues to shake off rust, dust, and must.

In the meantime, Rondo speaks volumes nowadays. His latest interview discussed a 10-year extension with the Celtics, which Rondo “wouldn’t mind.”

Off-hand, we thought of another 10-year deal. That contract to Alex Rodriguez over with the billion-dollar payroll addendum by the New York Yankees seems folly.

The President of the United States is given two four-year contracts—and then sent packing to a library of his choice in a city of his former home.

Ten years with Rondo might rival the now favored movie for Oscar: Twelve Years a Slave.

Another long ago movie told of The Best Years of Our Lives, which ironically were lost years during World War II.

Would the Rondo years become The Wonder Years?

More important to us, could we continue to churn out Rondo books until NASA sends a man to Mars?

We are hard at work on our third Rondo book after Rajon Rondo: Superstar and its companion Rajon Rondo & The Green Nebula. We never envisioned another ten books detailing every nuance of Rondomania.

Of course, we are really telling the stories of the Boston Celtics in our little books, and Phil Pressey, Jared Sullinger, and Kelly Olynyk surely would give us a few anecdotes along the way.

Ten years with Rondo almost sounds ominous, if not cruel and unusual punishment. Would the United States Supreme Court step in and provide a commutation? Would the President give a pardon? Not to Rondo. To the fans.

Dr. Sam Mudd was allowed to leave Shark Island after four years, but Rondo would make the Celtics another Devil’s Island for a decade.

Who knows? In ten years even Aaron Hernandez might be a free man, and Rondo would still be with the Celtics.

Clever Conundrums Beating the Detective in You

DATELINE: MOVIE MASHUP!

 Image

OUR GANG: Branagh, Law, Caine, &  Pinter

We took in Sleuth again, not the Joe Mankiewicz film with Michael Caine, but the update by Kenneth Branagh with Michael Caine.

In an essential two-character entertaining play, Caine had the distinction of playing the younger role in the 1970s and the older role in 2007. He also had the dubious honor to costar with Margo Channing, perhaps the only actor to do that since 1950. Yes, she plays Andrew Wyke’s wife in the earlier version.

In the update, the role goes uncredited, but she may be the key to the mystery. Is she or isn’t she in on the double cross? As a matter of fact, after watching the film for perhaps the fourth time since it was released, we are still unsure who has been double-crossed by whom.

We do know there are losers among the characters, but the real winner is the audience. Branagh’s update includes all the technological marvels that a millionaire writer can put into his playpen house. Caine’s Wyke has an elaborate security system with cameras that nearly are as invasive as his wit.

Jude Law gives what must be his seminal performance as Milo Tindle, the hairdresser—or is he an actor? Is he really sleeping with Wyke’s wife or Wyke himself?

Caine’s diabolical character is a gameplayer with any number of propositions, not the least of which is to put the make on his wife’s lover. Whether Tindle is a bisexual gigolo or just a chameleon who loses more than he bargains for remains hidden between the witty lines of dialogue.

From the get-go, the glass of Scotch is waiting for Tindle, already poured even after Caine asks him what he wants to drink. From the opening volley, we knew we were in deep.

We leave it to Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot fans to observe and to resolve the mystery. Indeed, we dare them.

What an enthralling mental exercise, featuring Anthony Shaffer’s brilliant play and Harold Pinter’s more brilliant screenplay. Pinter also has a cameo as an actor in one of Wyke’s mystery books that have been adapted for the screen.

It’s an enigma wrapped in a mystery. Absolutely delicious.