Tuesday, December 28, 2004
MICHAEL VICK - $130 MILLION MAN
MEET THE FOCKERS
NFL "EXPERT" PICKS
I'M BACK, KIND OF
Good morning everybody! I certainly hope that you all had a wonderful Christmas Holiday! I really did. Friday was spent with a bunch of family out at my grandma's place. Yes, we ate and then watched the Vikings game! Christmas Day involved going to my dad's church service, opening my family's gifts and headed back out to my grandma's for some board games, a bon fire in the woods and, yeah, plenty more food. Sunday was another busy day as I will further explain below. And yesterday, I got up, got all packed up and made the 3:45 trek back home. I spent most of the day trying to get all of my stuff organized and ready for a new week.
I haven't written for awhile, and I have just come off of a four day weekend, which was very nice! That said, I hope you aren't looking for a big return/comeback article today! Today, I will just cover a couple of topics on my mind. I really hope that you will stop by tomorrow when I try to put together a quality posting! Thank you once again for your patience during this slow baseball news and holiday time period.
Before then, check out the below writing, but then be sure to head over to BrentNet. If you have any interest in the NBA, you will love the series of articles Brent is working on now. He is looking back at the NBA Drafts over the last decade. So far, he has discussed the 1995 and 1996 drafts. It poses a number of interesting questions, like who have been the best picks, who have been busts, and if GMs could draft these same players now, how would they draft. Kobe Bryant or Allen Iverson? Stephon Marbury or Ray Allen? Bryant Reeves, Shawn Respert or Ed O'Bannon. Seriously, check out the lists. They're very well done and it is fun to look back and remember some of the names! Then head to the Forums and post your thoughts.
If you have any questions, comments, or ideas for future articles, please e-mail me.
MILTON SIGNS WITH THE REDS- The Cincinnati Reds have actually been a player this offseason. Last week, they signed 3B Joe Randa to a one-year contract for just over $2 million. This weekend, they inked former Twins southpaw Eric Milton to a three-year, $25.5 million contract. Yes, Milton was 14-6 with the Phillies last year, but the fact is, he was not good. The Phillies offense helped hide his 4.75 ERA. Milton came up with the Twins for Opening Day of 1998. He has a career record of 71-57 with an ERA of 4.76. Now, the Reds may have a decent offense. If you could assume health for Ken Griffey Jr and Austin Kearns (which is hard to do) and they get similar production from Adam Dunn, Sean Casey, Wily Mo Pena and D'Angelo Jiminez, they may be able to generate plenty of run support for Milton. If not, he could put up similar, or even better, numbers and his record will be far worse. Great deal for Milton. But, will this mean that the Reds are going to try to contend? For Reds fans, I certainly hope so.
VARITEK RE-SIGNS WITH BOSTON- Well, the Red Sox were able to retain one of the very key cogs of their World Championship team. They signed catcher Jason Varitek to a four-year, $40 million deal. Now, I think Varitek is a very good catcher, probably Top 5 in baseball. But $10 million a year for a 30 year old catcher? That's not even as bad as the fact that he was given four years. Catchers do not age gracefully. Another case of Scott Boras working wonders for his clients.
ALOU PLAYS FOR HIS DAD - It finally became official yesterday that Moises Alou agreed to a two year, $13.25 million contract with the San Francisco Giants. Should he stay healthy, this is a great deal for the Giants. The price is right and Alou can bat behind Barry Bonds. A side note is that Alou will again play for his father, Felipe. The two were together a decade ago in Montreal.
ECKSTEIN TO CARDINALS- Just days after being non-tendered by the Anaheim Angels, SS David Eckstein signed a three-year, $10.25 million deal with the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cards tried hard to re-sign Edgar Renterria, but he left to go to Boston. Option number two was Orlando Cabrera, but he signed with Anaheim which essentially put Eckstein out of a job. Now, I really would have liked to have seen the Twins go after Eckstein, but to play 2B (meaning they could get rid of Luis Rivas). I think that the Cardinals overpaid to get Eckstein, but there probably weren't other options available to them. The price is probably fair. I do think that three years is a bit long though!
LIMA-TIME HEADS BACK TO KC- Jose Lima has actually been very good the last couple of years. Teams have not wanted to sign him before the season, but he has done well when signed. Two years ago, after not being with anyone, Lima made 14 starts for the Royals and went 8-3. Last year, he went to the Dodgers just looking for a shot at the rotation. He ended up going 13-5 with a 4.05 ERA. So, I don't think signing Jose Lima is a bad thing. However, $2.5 million? That seems quite excessive! Then when you factor in that he is being sued for giving a woman a genital herpes, that just doesn't help!
Well, the Vikings have put themselves in a similar situation to last year. That's right, despite a fast start, they find themselves needing to win next Sunday against the Redskins (likely without Clinton Portis) to make the playoffs. Should they lose, they will need some help to make it as a Wild Card. Losing a close game to the Packers again is certainly not something to be ashamed of. The Pack is a good team with talented players. If the team doesn't make the playoffs, it won't be because of these losses. More likely, it would be because of bad losses again, like to the Bears.
That said, a win on Sunday would have clinched a playoff spot AND a home playoff game. Now, they will have to play on the road throughout the playoffs.
The big topic involving the Vikings game on Christmas Eve was just that, that it was going to be played on Christmas Eve. I understand people wanting to be with their families, and churches had scheduled their services as well. I just don't understand why the NFL is being made out to b such bad people in this? I really don't. Did you happen to see that there were college bowl games on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day? Did you think of how inappropriate it was for the NBA to schedule games on these days? Not at all. To me, this is seriously a non-issue. I feel that everyone in this country has rights that can not be taken away from them. One of them is the right to decide to go to church on Christmas Eve or whether to stay at home and watch the Vikings/Packers game. I'll be honest, I did both. My church had a Christmas Eve service in the Evening! (what a concept) Had the church service been at 2:00, then I would have had a decision to make. The NFL can schedule any way they want, just like any other league or organization.
Also, the Vikings yesterday decided to keep head coach Mike Tice in his job for another season at their option of $1 million. Finally Tice is being paid what an NFL head coach should be paid. I do have to wonder if he will make it the whole season though. Heck, I wonder if he'll get fired after next week's game is the team doesn't win and advance to the playoffs. The only reason that they made the announcement now is because Tice's contract runs out January 1st and the team plays on January 2nd. Basically, picking up his option means that he will coach the team in Week 17, and into the playoffs should they advance.
Do you have any thoughts on the NFL, specifically the Vikings?
MICHAEL VICK - $130 Million Man
Did you see that Michael Vick signed a 8 year, $130 million contract extension? I would say that is a fair deal! Of course, because of the pathetic NFL Player Union, only the $37 million signing bonus is guaranteed. People's first reaction is that this is a hugely excessive contract. I understand what an incredible talent Michael Vick is and that he can be very special. That said, he has not reached his full potential and his passing abilities have not increased to what one would consider NFL caliber. That's not to say that he won't in time. I think he will. The only reason I really have to say that this contract was too much, however, is that I feel that Peyton Manning is the NFL's best quarterback and should be paid accordingly. Manning signed a 7 year extension at $98 million that included a $34.5 million signing bonus. I don't think any QB should be paid more than that. Vikings fans remember that Daunte Culpepper, also a Top 5 overall NFL QB, recently signed a 10 year, $102 million extension.
One thing people need to remember is that the NFL is a business. Running an NFL organization is much like that. Lets be honest, in terms of marketability, no one has the star-power that Michael Vick does, and the Falcons know it. Having Vick alone has increased the value of the Atlanta Falcons by nearly $100 million since Vick was drafted #1. He certainly is not the conventional NFL QB, but when he has been healthy, he has led the Falcons to the playoffs. Hoetin one playoff game this year will likely bring almost $5 million to the team. In other words, the contract has huge numbers, but relative to what Vick brings back to the organization, it is a fair exchange.
Yesterday was my sister Heather's birthday. Each year on the Sunday after Christmas, she and I head to Detroit Lakes and watch a couple of matinees at the theatre. On Sunday, we continued that tradition and saw two excellent movies that I thought I would talk a little bit about today.
Adam Sandler is absolutely one of my favorite actors. His brand of comedy is hilarious to me. I loved the comedy Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore, The Wedding Singer, Little Nicky, Big Daddy, The Wedding Singer, The Waterboy, Mr. Deeds and 50 First Dates. I thought that Anger Management, which carried a little more drama in it, was very good. I thought Punch Drunk Love, which was totally a drama or maybe a very dark comedy, was far from good. As a matter of fact, it is one of the worst movies I've ever actually watched all the way through. Spanglish is so different from anything we've seen Adam Sandler do before. This is a complete drama, with the occasional bit of Sandler-led comic relief.
This is the story of a girl, Cristina, who in writing her college entrance essay on who most inspired her, wrote about her mother, Flor (Paz Vega). She was born to a single mother in Mexico. After a few years of raising her daughter south of the border, they crossed the border into the US and moved to Los Angeles where they lived in a very Hispanic area. But, the mother had to work two jobs to pay the bills. After awhile, she was concerned because she couldn't see her daughter growing up, so she entered the English speaking part of the city to find a higher-paying job. She becomes a nanny/housekeeper for the Clasky family. John (Sandler) is a world class chef. His wife Deborah is basically psychotic and full of issues. They have a daughter and a son who are both growing up. Flor's daughter is very cute and Deborah takes a liking to her especially because her own daughter has, what she perceives to be, a weight problem. She gets jewelry and help getting into private schools and more. But under the surface, this rich family has so many issues, each member has something they need to deal with.
My lone complaint is that, in the end, I am left with so many questions! I felt as though there were a lot of issues that I wanted to see what would happen. This isn't the type of movie that has a sequel, and it shouldn't, but I wanted to know what happens to the daughter, how Flor's life proceeds, what happens between John and Deborah and how it all will tie back together.
It is a great movie, very interesting to me and fun to watch. It was just over two hours, and I would have liked to see another hour. But I really did enjoy it! Adam Sandler branched out nicely into this dramatic role. This was probably assisted by the fact that his character was very similar to what some of his others have been, just without as many one-liners and funny situations!
This was the first US/English movie for Paz Vega and I really thought that she was incredible! What a difficult role, and she pulled it off masterfully! Not only that, but she is one of the most gorgeous women I have ever seen!
Tea Leoni is a very good actress. In Spanglish, she plays Deborah. I never understood why she never seemed to take the next step into superstardom. But I thought that she was very good in this movie. Her character was well over the edge, but she was so good at it! She has a scene with Adam Sandler (the "you don't even need me, do ya?" scene) where she makes Meg Ryan's scene in When Harry Met Sally look tame! It is so funny!
Cloris Leachman had a very small part in the movie playing Deborah's mother, but she was incredible. She plays a drunk early in the movie, but has one of the most important scenes in the movie.
All in all, this is a different type of movie for Adam Sandler fans. I think the movie is incredible, even though it left me wanting to know so much more. The acting is incredible! I would absolutely recommend this movie to anyone!
MEET THE FOCKERS
OK, so a lot of you may have seen this movie over the weekend. It was the #1 ranked show this weekend. And, that should be of no surprise to anyone based on the popularity of Meet the Parents. Now, I have obviously seen the commercials and previews for this one, but it was even more funny than I could ever have expected. I even dare to say that this sequel is even better than the original, which is really saying a lot!
Basically Greg (Ben Stiller) and Pam (Teri Polo) go to her parents' (the Byrnes') and from there, they travel to meet the Focker family and discuss the upcoming wedding. Now, we know how Pam's parents are, particularly Robert Deniro's portrayal of Jack Byrnes, the former CIA agent. Well, Greg's family is completely different. His father Bernie (Dustin Hoffman) was a lawyer before Gaylord (Greg) was born at which time he became a stay-at-home dad. His mother Roz (Barbara Steisand) is a sex therapist. The parents are on completely the opposite spectrum when it comes to dealing with many situations.
The movie had me laughing almost the entire time! Lots of innuendo and double entendre! I love it! So sure, it could offend some, but it is so funny, absolutely hilarious! Yes, they used the Focker name as much as they could have. I really enjoyed the "Dom" and "Martha" names!
This is where Ben Stiller is at his best, in a character's uncomfortable situation. He was masterful! Deniro was again classic. Blythe Danner (Gwyneth Paltrow's mom) is a highly underrated actress. Dustin Hoffman was perfect for the role of Bernie Focker. He is such a funny actor and this role fit his talents to a T. I am not a fan of Barbara Streisand, but I thought she was incredible for her role as Roz Focker. To summarize, I just really think that the casting for this movie was spectacular!
Like I said, I really thought that Meet the Fockers was even better than Meet the Parents. So of course, I would recommend it!
NFL "EXPERT" PICKS
One more week to go. 17 more games to be played, and each one will be very important for those at or near the top of our expert's standings. With a great, 13-2, week, Aaron Gleeman has put himself in contention to repeat as champion. Check back on Friday for our Week 17 picks!
Thru Week 16 Total Week 16 Over All Name Site
L Win% W L Win % Mike Brasel Fantasy FB Guru 11 5 68.8% 164 76 68.3% Melissa Olson SethSpeaks.net 10 6 62.5% 163 77 67.9% Ryan Maus Twins Chatter 10 6 62.5% 163 77 67.9% Aaron Gleeman Aaron's BB Blog 13 3 81.3% 162 78 67.5% David Bergner Baseball Savant 12 4 75.0% 161 79 67.1% Michael Labuda ChiSox Daily 12 4 62.5% 159 81 66.3% Vic Quick KDUH-TV Sports 12 4 75.0% 153 87 63.8% Ben Jacobs Hardball Times 9 7 56.3% 149 91 62.1% David Bloom Ya Gotta Believe 10 6 62.5% 146 94 60.8% Jeremy Kovash Wolf Lake Mgr 9 7 56.3% 144 96 60.0% Seth Stohs SethSpeaks.net 8 8 50.0% 142 98 59.2% John Bonnes The Twins Geek 9 7 56.3% 139 101 57.9%
Thanks again to everyone for taking the time to stop by this site. Have a great day! If you have any questions or comments on anything, please e-mail me.
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