It started yesterday with half of the games starting and continues today with the others.
In the East we begin in the Atlantic Division with the Tampa Bay Lightning, winners of the Presidents’ Trophy taking on the Columbus Blue Jackets. Tampa Bay won all three games during the season, but winning the Presidents’ Trophy isn’t the best indicator of success in the playoffs as in the past decade only 1 team has managed to win both, the Blackhawks in the lockout in 2012-13 season. In the next game out of the Atlantic it is the Boston Bruins playing the Toronto Maple Leafs. Boston took three of the four games during the season, and this is a rematch from last year when the Bruins advanced in seven games, however Toronto has won eight of the previous 15 playoff match ups. Over in the Metropolitan Division we’ve got the Washington Capitals playing the Carolina Hurricanes. Washington took all four games during the season. In the other game we have the New York Islanders facing off against the Pittsburgh Penguins. They split the games during the season. This is the fifth playoff meeting between the two teams with New York winning three of the past four, they last met in 2013 where the Penguins won.
In the West we begin with the Central Division with the Nashville Predators facing the Dallas Stars. Nashville won three of the five games during the season. The other pair is the Winnipeg Jets and St. Louis Blues. The Jets and Blues tied overall during the season 99 points with the Jets winning three of the four games during the season. Out in the Pacific Division we have the Calgary Flames matched up against the Colorado Avalanche. During the regular season the Flames won all three games they played. The other series is San Jose Sharks facing the Las Vegas Knights, this is a rematch from last year where the Knights won in six games. They split the regular season meetings.
It is pretty cool that five of the match ups are for the first time in the playoffs. A lot of people are saying that the Lighting are the team to beat in the East while in the West it could just be about anyone.
First round predictions: Tampa Bay wins and will play Toronto in the second round while the Capitals will take on their old Coach and the NY Islanders. Over in the West Nashville will be playing the Jets and Calgary will see the Sharks in the next round.
The College Basketball season is over and boy were the last couple of games exciting on both the men’s and women’s side. We knew we’d see a first time winner on the Men’s side and there was plenty of excitement the tournament. On Saturday we have The University of Virginia get fouled on a three down two with .3 seconds left after leading by about ten, the University of Auburn overcame that and it seemed like they would be going to be Championship game. However, Kyle Guy from UVA hit all three shots on that foul to be up one and go on to win. Sunday in the Women’s Championship game we had a similar moment as Notre Dame was on the line with the chance to tie but missed one of the shots and lost to Baylor by 1. Monday night Texas Tech and UVA played a very close game we got to overtime in the Championship game for the first time since 2008 and the Virginia Cavaliers almost lost it in regulation but took home the trophy. Many are talking about the shock of how they were the first 1 seed to lose to a 16 seed last year and this year they come out and win the National title. It’s pretty cool and all you can say is “Wahoowa”
Well, technically this is a week overdue as there were two games this year in Japan where Ichrio Suzuki and the Mariners beat the Oakland Athletics in both of those games then the legend himself, Ichrio, retired from baseball in a fitting manner. Then a week went by with no real games and now it’s time to play ball.
As the season begins we say farewell to Chief Wahoo in Cleveland who has been pushed to the sidelines although die hard Indian fans can still get him if they look for it. This season marks the 150th anniversary of professional Baseball with the founding of the Cincinnati Red Stockings. The Reds will be breaking out 15 different throwback uniforms this year ranging from 1902-1999. The season also has games played in Monterrey, Mexico; London, England; Omaha, NE; and Williamsport, PA. That is ten games at different locations so it is pretty cool.
It’s a bit too early to make any real predictions about what’s to come at the end of this season but it looks like the NL East is going to be tough with the Nationals, Braves and Phillies all upgrading this off-season. Teams look good on paper but who knows what that means in real life.
In the third and final entry of the Space Trilogy, That Hideous Strength subtitled A Modern Fairy Tale for Adults we stay on Earth for the entire book. This book is about the same length of the first two books, Out of the Silent Planet and Perelandra combine. Once again I found that this book is appropriate for reading in the Lenten season as it deal with good and evil. Lewis puts it nicely that “Good is always getting better and bad is always getting worse: the possibilities of even apparent neutrality are always diminishing.”
This story picks up after the Second World War around 1948 or so at Bracton College in the University of Edgestow, where we meet one of our two main characters a fellow of sociology at the College named Mark Studdock, the Fellows of the University are meeting as the National Institute for Co-ordinated Experiments (N.I.C.E.) wants to buy some of the land that the College owns which includes Bragdon Wood, which is an ancient woodland believed to be the resting place of Merlin. After the deal is agreeed upon Mark is asked if he would want to take a job at N.I.C.E by Lord Feverstone, we later learn that he is Dick Devine from the first book. Our other main protagonist is Mark’s wife Jane Studdock is a PhD student at the university who is having dreams, Jane and Mark are in a rocky spot in their marriage. One of Jane’s former teacher’s wives Mrs. Dimble, having been evited from her house since the sale, suggests that Jane go to St. Anne’s to talk with a Miss Ironwood about Jane’s dreams. At this point the book shifts between these two stories with Mark working for N.I.C.E and Jane working with those at St. Anne’s.
It is in St. Anne’s where we find another familiar face as Ransom the main character from the first two books is now the Director at St. Anne’s or the Pendragon. Ransom surmises that the dreams of Jane are clues to help win the day that those at N.I.C.E. are looking for Merlin to be resurrected and hopes that he’s on their side. Although the same is true with those at St. Anne’s. It is cool to see Merlin and the Arthurian legend being brought into modern times.
This book was difficult for me to get into as the first couple of chapters seem to be about College politics and that but once we get to NICE and St. Anne’s it get a bit easier to follow. Some say that this book is flawed as there are too many deaths and characters. While it is a bit different from the other two book being set on Earth I think makes the deaths and abundance of characters seem real, as Earth or Thulcandra is the realm of the bent Oyarsa. If you liked the Chronicles of Narnia as a kid these three books might hit the spot as an adult.
The Razzies and Oscars were this past weekend. On Saturday night Holmes and Watson picked up the most awards with four while Donald Trump picked up a pair himself as Worst Actor and On Screen Combo, Now to the real things the Oscars.
Bohemian Rhapsody was big winner of the night taking home four awards followed by Roma, Black Panther and Green Book with three each. It was nice that they spread the awards around this year it seems like most of the awards held from the Golden Globes once again proving that the Oscars need to be earlier or there need to some difference between the two. I mean the only half surprise was with Best Actress but at the Golden Globes they give out two awards and Olivia Colman and Glenn Close have split them in the previous award shows and the other half was Green Book winning over Roma after Roma seemed to have it in the bag.
It was great to see Spike Lee finally take home an Oscar he has done so much for movies that it is nice to see Spike get a real Oscar finally, he took home an Honorary Oscar back in 2015. Unfortunately, the Best Picture went to Green Book, I think this has more to do with Roma being a Netflix movie and it not being in English then it being a great film. Disney/Pixar was shutout of Animated Feature Film for the first time since Rango won back in 2011. If the Oscars wants the show to end earlier perhaps start it earlier or limit who get to talk on stage like when a group of people win an award we don’t need the all of them to thank the same people at other awards they limit who gets to speak and that might help or go back to 5 nominees for best picture since it doesn’t seem that with the extra nomination for ‘popular films’ has really changed anything. Also if The Academy is still thinking about adding/re-adding a ‘popular film’ category in future years why not go back to 5 for both and add an award for stunts as well.
Well, the Patriots won again which really didn’t surprise anyone who follows the sport. Tom Brady is the Greatest (System) Quarterback of All-time with this his 6th win in his 9th time going, Brady’s got most all of the records in the Super Bowl for the sheer fact that he’s been to about 1/5 of them. The Patriots joined the Steelers as the teams with the most Championships with their sixth. The Patriots also hold the records for the most appearances and losses as well. The game, commercials and halftime show were all sort of letdowns. Bud light hammered Corn Syrup in their ads, Michael Buble cashed in on Bubly water and there weren’t that many movie ads that I really remember, sure Captain Marvel and Avengers: Endgame offered a bit more information about the films but that was it. Maroon 5 and company were horrible and it seems like Pepsi should be fired from sponsoring the halftime show. I guess the NFL gets this for that horrible call in New Orleans game two weeks ago when the Saints should have won the NFC Championship and perhaps them the Patriots might not have won again.
It’s that time of year again. The Patriots are back in the Super Bowl for a record time and this time it’s a rematch of Super Bowl 36 when ‘The Greatest Show on Turf” lost by a field goal. It was the Super Bowl after September 11 and I’ve always thought that it ended with the Patriots winning with the Red/White/Blue color scheme was planned by the NFL. It was the Patriots first Super Bowl win and they gone on to win a couple more since. If we were going by post season experience it would be stupid to pick against New England as a majority of the team was in the Super Bowl last year where as the Rams have stunk as of late.
Prediction while it would be cool if it was like 20-17 mirroring the first game but I expect a high scoring game with the Patriots coming up a yard short at the end, and the Rams winning. Sure this would hurt all those in St. Louis yet again with the Rams having moved out so recently.
Once again it’s that time of the year The Oscar and Golden Raspberry Award nominations are out. Highlighting the Best and worst of film in 2018.
We begin with the Razzies as they were announced on Monday and will be given out before the Oscars. The Worst films of the year are among the following Gotti, The Happytime Murders, Holmes & Watson, Robin Hood and Winchester. Now among these are some of the films that lost the most money of the year. A noteworthy nomination is Donald Trump who picks up two as well as Kellyanne Conway and Melania Trump. Trump could be the second sitting President to take home the award for a Michael Moore film.
Enough of that for the 91th Academy Awards a show which won’t have a host for the first time in 30 years. The Best films of the year are among the following Black Panther, BlacKkKlansman, Bohemian Rhapsody, The Favourite, Green Book, Roma, A Star is Born and Vice. This year I’ve seen 3 of the 8 films nominated so that’s a lot for me. It’s the first time that a “superhero” movie picked up a nomination with Black Panther, Spike Lee has finally picked up a Best Director nomination. With Animated Feature it’s between Incredibles 2, Isle of Dogs, Mirai, Ralph Breaks the Internet and Spide-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, This could be the first time in a long while since Disney/Pixar might not win with Spider-Man picking up some big awards so far this season. In Best Foreign Language Film it’s between Capernum (Lebanon), Cold War (Poland), Never Look Away (Germany), Roma (Mexico) and Shoplisters (Japan). If you noticed Roma is nominated for both Best film and Foreign Language Film and it has a good chance to win them both and this would be the first time that it would ever happen.
We will have to wait about a month for both of these events to happen so stay tuned.
Today we’ve reached the penultimate week of Professional Football season until the Alliance of American Football kicks off on February 9th. It begins with the NFC and the Rams facing the Saints in New Orleans while in the AFC the Patriots travel to Kansas City to face the Chiefs. Now both of these games are rematches from earlier in the season, in the NFC the Saints hosted back in November and won by 10, in the AFC the Chiefs traveled to New England back in October and lost by 3. It seems like the NFL might be hoping for another rematch in the Super Bowl with the Chiefs and Rams who combined for 105 point back in the middle of November. I’m sure that most of the nation would like to see Brady and Belichick not make it to the Super Bowl for their ninth time. They have struggled on the road this season and on the road in the Championship game as well. It would be great if Kansas City could get back to the Super Bowl after almost a half century.
Predictions: Saints and Chiefs make it to the Super Bowl.
Well the past weekend was rough for the home teams with only Dallas coming out on top. However this weekend the home teams have a better edge since they’ve had a bye week, though others argue that playing and having the “hot” hand gives you the advantage. This weekend there is only one rematch from the season.
Today we have the Chiefs hosting the Colts, now Kansas City has struggled against the Colts in the Playoffs having lost every time they have played. Now I’d love to see the Colts win but it would be nice to see Andy Reid actually get back to the Championship Round but in the AFC and I really hope that he can win a Super Bowl before he retires. The other game is the Rams hosting the Cowboys, here’s hoping LA wins.
On Sunday it’s time for the Patriots to take the field where they host the Chargers, this it a match up of the old guns with Brady and Rivers having played for quite a long time. As I said earlier it would be great if Tom Brady and New England weren’t in the Championship game or Super Bowl for once. The other game is the only rematch of the season when the Saints host the Eagles. The last time Philly traveled to New Orleans it was an ugly game and hopefully it won’t be as one sided this time around.
Predictions: Chief, Rams Chargers, Saints.