Welcome to Sucktown- Tucson’s Losing Tradition

Tucson sports are in the toilet (and I am not just referring to the stink that surrounds their chosen locale.)  The former territorial capitol took several more steps toward the complete collapse of all athletic programs associated with the city this week as it now appears that several baseball programs have decided that it is time to pack their gear for greener pastures.

With the Arizona Diamondbacks’ Cactus League affiliate, the Tucson Sidewinders, already having announced a move to Reno, NV when their contract is up at the end of this season, the Chicago White Sox this week announced that they are looking to move their Spring Training home North to Goodyear at the earliest convenience as well.  The only question I have regarding this new information is, can anyone blame them?

For evidence that Tucson athletics’ esprit d’corps are currently at an all-time low, one need look no further than the sign which Arizona Tribune writer, Scott Bordow, recently witnessed workers erecting just inside city limits along I-10 stating, “Welcome to Tucson. Kick me.”

Indeed with the University of Arizona Wildcats having come off a year that marked their football teams third consecutive loss to their hated rival, Arizona State, and closing in on a decade without a bowl bid, the UofA athletics program suffered further hardships as both their men’s and women’s basketball teams were swept by the Sun Devils this season.

Adding insult to injury, the Wildcats’ recent loss of several top football recruits (Ryan Bass-RB, Jarrell Barbour-WR, Gerell Robinson-WR) to ASU after having received verbal commitments from all three spurred coach Mike Stoops to make what was probably his worst mistake since hiring his idiot brother to the team’s coaching staff.  Stoops is still feeling the heat from his scathing comment, made in response to the renegging of the recruits, that Arizona State has “turned into a JC school.”  A JC school, Mr. Stoops?  It would appear to me that ASU is one JC with which your pride-and-joy is incapable of competing both on the playing field and in the AD’s office.

With the steady decline of Tucson’s collegiate athletics and the closest thing the city has ever known to the professional ranks heading North to Maricopa County faster than Mexican drug-runner, one can only wonder what possible pride is left in town.

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So, as doubt continues to grow around the intelligence of Gadsden’s famous purchase, the people of Tucson can still find some solace that their city has one nice asset– the view North up I-10 towards hospitable confines of the Valley of the Sun.

 

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Tucson Sucks!

UofA Sucks!!

GO DEVILS!!!

Democrats: The Party of Racism & Ignorance

So I am in a cab this morning on the way to the airport and the driver has on the local NY affiliate for National Public Radio.  I am not a big fan of NPR, if only because I have never understood why the few outlets of broadcast media being propped up by our federal tax dollars (NPR, PBS) have been so historically to the left of center in the political spectrum.  Given that the last two U.S presidential elections have been decided but such a markedly thin margin, does it not make sense that our nation’s media market reflect both ends of the political measure (or at least show some semblance of compromise between the two?)

But, in spite of myself, I admit that NPR does put out some genuinely interesting programming from time to time and the mere fact that it was the radio station selected by my cab driver is not what is irritating me at the moment.  What proved troublesome for me were the comments made during an interview of some Maine voters regarding their state’s recent presidential primary.

Specifically, the NPR representatives were asking African-American voters from the Democratic primary who they had chosen to vote for and, more importantly, the reasons why they had done so.  The selection of interviews was small (it was not a very long report) but nearly every one of the comments irked me to some degree.  It seemed as though, when asked for the reason they supported him, nearly every African-American Barack Obama supporter’s predominant reason for voting for this man was that he is black.

What the hell kind of reason is that to vote for someone?  Casting your vote for one candidate or another based on the color of their skin is not only ignorant but it is also, by definition, racist.  I understand that many people (of all races) are excited to see the first serious African-American contender for the White House in our nation’s history but by making this man’s race into a selling point for his campaign you give legitimacy to the very racial differences against which you claim to fight.  Does this not fly in the face of the concept of all men, regardless of race, creed, age, socio-economic status, etc. being created equal?  Isn’t the point of equality to ensure that each of the candidates has a level playing field from which to woo potential voters?

This is not to say that such prejudiced votes are not cast by many other groups of people for many other reasons.  I know that Mitt Romney recently swept through the Utah Republican primary with nearly 90% of that state’s vote due, to a large degree, to the fact that Romney was the sole Mormon candidate running in a state known to be the Mecca of the Mormon religion; but that does not seem to be quite as knee-jerk of a vote as the African-American issue.  Mormons are a religious group whose family and social ideals are clearly defined by their adherence to the rules and norms of their church.  Moreover, they are a group in which membership is a matter of choice, not genetics.  To say the same about black people would be to imply that their entire race is predisposed to act a certain way.  That is, of course, not true and is also a racist sentiment.

Many African-Americans are obviously going to share some set of social norms and values as they are (for the vast majority) born into African-American families who pass on these traditions from one generation to the next (just as any racial, religious, family group does.)  Americans are not, however, voting to decide who should be the head of African-America or the leader of the Mormon religion; we are voting to decide who should run this nation and as much as I may be inclined to vote for a white Catholic from Massachusetts (as such a person would be wholly representative of my personal background,) I have never voted for anyone with the last name Kennedy because none of these people represented what I wanted for my political leadership or governance.

Perhaps the most disturbing sound-byte from the whole NPR segment came from an African-American woman who expressed her reasoning for choosing Hillary Clinton over Obama.  She stated that she “loves Obama” (without delving into any reason for this admiration) but that she was voting for Hillary because the New York senator has pledged to “double funding to black universities” if elected.

There are two serious issues with the sentiments expressed by this woman.  First, why is there such a thing as a ‘black university’ that receives any public funding?  This is an institution whose very goal is to further the progress of one specific racial group above all others in a nation where ‘all men are created equal.’  How does one justify that?  Such an institution is either attempting to unbalance the already level field of racial play in America or trying to advance a racial group which they themselves have determined to be inferior to the others in some way.  Can you even begin to imagine the outcry if someone attempted to start a ‘white university’ let alone secure its funding from tax dollars?  Those involved would be lambasted as evil racists and probably convicted of some sort of ‘hate-crime.’

The second issue I have with this woman’s reason for choosing Hillary is that she wants to see the funding for these ‘black universities’ doubled.  This begs many questions:  What is the deficiency in these schools that has caused them to need twice the funds currently allotted to them by our government?  Will doubling this funding really solve these problems or just set the stage for further financial increases down the line?  How much of an increase in funding will the public university system as a whole see under President Hillary?  How should I, as a Caucasian-, Hispanic-, Middle Eastern-, or Asian-American, feel knowing that my tax dollars are being set aside for group of people who wish to exclude me based solely on my race?

The bottom line here is that if you feel you have been disenfranchised in some way because serious candidates for the American presidency have always been white males then you should really have some sort of concrete evidence as to what you have missed out on.  With all the whining I have heard from the anti-Bush lobby over the past eight years about how the President duped the nation into launching an unnecessary war or how he is a moron incapable of leading anyone you would think that these people might be able to come up with a slightly better rationale for choosing our next president than race or gender.  If you don’t want to see our nation at war then why not choose Ron Paul, a former Libertarian candidate whose political ideals would certainly not have the U.S jumping into any overseas conflicts.  If you think that George W. Bush is an idiot then why not review the GPAs and IQ scores for each candidate and simply choose the one who is the most intelligent?  It’s odd that in spite of all the years of Bush-bashing and the current trend of voting along racial- or gender-lines I cannot recall a single instance of Bush being called ‘too-white’ or ‘too-male’ of a Commander-in-Chief.

In spite of voting for him in both elections, I do not agree with many things that President Bush has done over the past eight years.  I do believe, however, that I would be facing a much longer personal laundry list of issues with actions that Bush’s alternatives would have taken had they been residing in the White House.  That being said, I know that I can feel confident that I have made the correct decision each time I enter the voting booth by selecting the candidate who best represents my desired leadership style and personal values rather than someone whose skin color or chromosome make-up matches mine.

Conflict of Interests

It is never easy to decide where you allegiances lie in the world of sports fandom.  Being a rabid Arizona State Sun Devils fan it is only natural that I also possess a violent disdain for the school’s rival, the University of Arizona Wildcats.  That rivalry does not present much conflict in and of itself but when college stars inevitably enter the world of professional sports problems can arise.

I have spent much of the past decade cheering on several former Wildcats as they play for my favorite pro teams, most notably Tedy Bruschi of the New England Patriots and Terry Francona (manager) of the Boston Red Sox.  Well, the conflict has reached a head recently due to some comments made by Bruschi regarding the Patriots practice schedule placing them in Sun Devil Stadium the week ahead of the big game.

During the off-week, the New York Post quoted the Patriots’ definsive-back as saying, “Coach Belichick told us we’re going to be practicing in the Arizona State practice facility and I was thinking, Arizona State, the Scum Devils.” Bruschi added that he would need to “shower twice” after practices.

Perhaps someone should remind Mr. Bruschi that the stadium where his team was practicing (they were in Sun Devil Stadium, and not the practice facility as he implied) has been home to several PAC-10 Champions (including a co-championship this season) and two Rose Bowl teams.  It is understandable that Bruschi overlooked this face as he and his fellow Wildcat alums have never achieved such successes.

There was, however, a bright spot that shone from the Devil-Wildcat rivalry during all the Super Bowl hoopla out in the desert this week.  PGA golfer, and proud Sun Devil alum, Phil Mickelson, showed true class by giving away his ticketsto the game to a father and son who showed up to cheer him on at the FBR Open golf tournament in Phoenix just hours before the game.

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The pair were given the tickets by Mickelson’s caddy just after ‘Lefty’ launched his first drive from the third tee of the FBR.  Mickelson explained his decision, “I thought it would be fun to give it to a father-son (group).  I cherish the time I have with each one of my kids, and I thought it would be a cool experience for them.”

Way to go, Phil!  You are a true class-act and continue to instill pride in the Sun Devil faithful in what you do both on and off the links.

GO DEVILS!!!

Jerry O’Connell is a Hater

Jerry O’Connell has suggested government intervention to break-up what he is calling the city of Boston’s “monopoly” on professional sports.  Speaking from Maxim magazine’s massive pre-Super Bowl party (a popular pulpit for invoking government-imposed restrictions of civil rights,) O’Connell expressed his dissatisfaction with the successes of Boston-area sports teams this season.

Being from New York, I am certain that O’Connell is quite familiar with sports monopolies as the city has been home to the most overpaid, owner-produced monopoly in the history of sports.   However, with the Red Sox having won the the World Series this past season and the undefeated New England Patriots on the door-step of another Super Bowl victory and a piece of NFL history, Mr. O’Connell feels something needs to be done. “It looks like the Celtics are going to win the season as well,” O’Connell said. “If the Boston Bruins, the NHL team, wins, the federal government has to break them up. They have to take a team away — they have to.”

In spite of Jerry O’Connell’s ability to win prominent roles in such Hollywood blockbusters as Joe’s Apartment and Kangaroo Jack, I still have a hard time taking a man who makes statements, like those above, too seriously.  However, without lending too much credence to this idiot’s call-to-action, I would like to remind him of the following facts:

  1. The Boston Red Sox have won two World Series titles in the past four years due to their strong development of farm talent within their own system.  During that same time, the Yankees have continued a steady trend of throwing all of their money at the latest flavor-of-the-week in hopes that he will be the ‘missing piece’ that will put them back on top.
  2. The Boston Celtics have spent the last two decades in total mediocrity after their heyday in the 1980s.  The team only truly became a consistent contender again this season with the acquisition of Kevin Garnett, a league MVP and the most highly sought-after player on the block this off-season.  The Celtics made a good move with the Timberwolves to get KG and are now reaping the benefits.
  3. The Boston Bruins are not a dominant team.  Their current record is 27-20-5, putting them third out of the five teams in their division and sixth among teams in the play-off race.  While it appears the B’s are in good shape to make the play-offs, they will certainly be a long-shot once they get there.
  4. The New England Patriots are undefeated all year and playing in today’s Super Bowl game, their fourth Super Bowl of the decade (so far.)  The Pats are just that good; there is nothing more to say about that.

That being said… stop the hate, Jerry.  It is your city’s turn to suck at sports for a while. Get over it!

‘A Boy and His Dog:’ One Man’s Review

This was one of those movies that had slipped under my movie-watching nerd radar for many years but after finding it streaming on the web the other day I decided to finally dedicate the 90 minutes it required.  As a result, I was very pleased with my decision;a_boy_and_his_dog.jpg Time well spent.

The setting.  It is the future (somewhere around 2032, I believe) and the world has been destroyed after World War IV (and apparently a lot of Kennedys in the White House.)  The city of Phoenix, AZ has been reduced to a desolate, smelly wasteland which has become uninhabited save for a few ignorant, rape-crazed thugs roaming the desert (much like Tucson, AZ in our current time.)

The plot.  Vic is a loaner wandering the desert with his dog, Blood, with whom he can communicate telepathically (of course.)  Blood acts as a female-finder who sniffs out females, in a world that has become a bigger sausage-fest than a UofA frat party, for Vic in exchange for the food that Vic, as the human, can steal.   This is the type of movie, however, whose plot somewhat defies relation in the written word (certainly in as few words as I intend to write on the subject) and so suffice it to say that having a wise-ass, telepathic dog in your story can never be a poor decision.

The Commentary: Not necessarily a huge Don Johnson fan myself, I thought that Ol’ Sonny Crockett played the part of Vic very effectively and had some excellent back-and-forth ‘dialog’ with Blood.  I have often heard this movie compared with A Clockwork Orange but, for the most part, it reminded me a lot more of Repo Man (perhaps due to the character similarities between Vic (Johnson) and Otto (Estevez) from Repo Man.)  Once Vic ventures into the bizarre underground world things do become a bit more acid-trippy and reminiscent of the aforementioned Kubrick film but these scenes occur very late in A Boy and His Dog and appear in rather stark contrast to what has been a very Mad Max type of movie up to that point.  The last line is truly what defines this movie and if you like the line, you will like A Boy and His Dog, if not… well, good luck to you.

The Verdict: I will rate the film using the standard Bruce Campbell (BC) scale.  A Boy and His Dog was very entertaining and, moreover, my kind of cult movie.  It’s probably not for everyone but, then again, what is? I give it four out of five BCs and a proud pat on the back.

The Bruce Campbell Scale of Film Excellence:

bruce-campbell.jpgbruce-campbell.jpgbruce-campbell.jpgbruce-campbell.jpg  / 5

PSA – “Dictated But Not Read is from What Movie”

In checking my blog stats over the past week, I have noticed that many of the hits I receive each day (approx 20%) come from people searching either for the term “Dictated but not Read” or from people searching for something to the effect of “Dictated but not read is from what movie.”

I can only assume that the click-throughs that I get from this latter group of search results are from people attempting to discover the origin of a certain line from a film and who, consequently, are disappointed by the lack of answers in the content within. Well, we here at the Dictated blog aim to please so, in addition to providing some of the most provocative editorials on the web, we will now also supply the answers to your questions about movie quotes.

I can only assume that the movie from which people are recalling the phrase “Dictated but not read” is the 2004 Wes Anderson film, “The Life Aquatic: with Steve Zissou” starring Bill Muarray, Owen Wilson, and Anjelica Huston.life_aquatic_with_steve_zissou.jpg

The phrase in question occurs in the film when Ned Plimpton (Wilson) presents a letter he received in reply to one he wrote to Zissou (Murray) as a child. The response from Zissou is rather generic and capped-off at the end with the notation that it has been “dictated but not read” adding to general lack of personal interest being shown in the text.

So, there you have it. Let it never be said that we give nothing back to the community and, to that end, I would like to offer up the special skills of the staff of Dictated: But Not Read. If anyone else out there in cyberspace has any movie quotes to which they can not quite put a title, send a question our way and I guarantee that we will be able to help. (Note: Not an actual guarantee– but we will do our best.)

‘Cloverfield:’ One Man’s Review

Well, I had a few hours to kill this evening so I went to see Cloverfield. I call this ‘One Man’s Review’ because I was the one man in the theater. Actually, that is not entirely true. A young couple joined me about ten minutes into the film and alleviated the solitude of the massive auditorium. Unfortunately they also did not show up until after the half-dozen “Please be quiet to avoid disturbing the other viewers” messages had already rolled and I was forced to watch the movie beyond the screen of their PDAs as the texted incessantly.

cloverfield-poster-thumb.jpgAnyway, the movie itself was enjoyable. I was somewhat leery about going to see this as it was not only less than 90 minutes long but none of the previews had showed the slightest glimpse of the ‘monster’ either. I half-expected to show up to the theater to learn that the monster destroying NYC turned out to be some emotion like ‘hate’ or ‘intolerance’ personified (or perhaps, ‘monsterified’) into a destructive being. Well, without revealing too much, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that there is a ‘real’ monster and it was not overly evident that it was an allegory for anything irritating.

The shakey-cam and overall first-person dynamic was reminiscent of The Blair Witch Project or the handy-cam footage from the morning of 9/11 and was effective without requiring the application of any Dramamine. The is an general human drama going on throughout but, as you might expect, the film relies heavily on the action and dramatic special effects to carry the plot.

The most frightening aspect of the evening turned out to be the idiot on Route 577 who came at me going the wrong direction on a divided road-way on the way home. Then again, I guess that’s just part of driving in North Jersey.

I will rate the film using the standard Bruce Campbell (BC) scale. All in all, Cloverfield was enjoyable, but not great. I give it three out of five BCs.

The Bruce Campbell Scale of Film Excellence:

bruce-campbell.jpgbruce-campbell.jpgbruce-campbell.jpg / 5