Showing posts with label sports. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sports. Show all posts

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Things I have Been Watching That Are Not Movies

Jessie Spano looks on



We don't just watch movies at Signal Watch HQ.  If I'm being candid, re-employment and other things have reduced my time for movie watching.  But I'm also watching a movie or two per week for the PodCast, plus editing and posting, all of which takes time.  And I do write up stuff when I watch a movie.

This post is not your opportunity to recommend shows to me (please don't), and I am not telling you anything is essential and must be watched.  Sometimes we just say "hey, this is what we watched" when it comes to TV.

So what have we been up to on the TV side of the spectrum?

Sports

Chicago Cubs Baseball 

This is a mistake in 2022.  Since the Ricketts got their World Series win in 2016, burning through all the Cubs karma and possibly all of that for the Planet Earth to secure a win, the team has disintegrated in spectacular fashion.  They're usually 4th in the NL Central.  Which is like not being the absolute worst team in the worst division in baseball.  

Cubs gonna cub.

Austin FC Futbol

I was a massive skeptic of Austin's foray into Major League Soccer, but we got a team that started in 2021, and I've watched about 80% of their matches on TV or online.  I have not yet been to the stadium.  I now follow the team and try to make sense of a sport that I've struggled to grok in its complexity for my entire adult life.

It's still fun!  I'm kinda into it.

Saturday, April 16, 2022

Happy Birthday Kareem Abdul-Jabbar


As a kid, I was an NBA nut.  And because it was the 1980's, I watched the Lakers.  Chances were always good they were in the playoffs or the Finals.  But I watched them, the Pistons, the Bulls and the Rockets when I could (I would become a real Rockets fan when I moved back to Houston in 1990) all season long.  

I liked most of the guys you think of from that era, but my favorite Laker was always Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.   I made the crucial mistake of trying to imitate his play as a 6'3" kid, but I did play center and I wore glasses, and it all made sense in my head.  But my skyhook was not Kareem's skyhook.  And my defense was not his.

Of course, Kareem is one of the intellectuals of the NBA.  And that had an impact on me as a kid.  I understood that, like Muhammad Ali, he had abandoned his birthname of Lou Alcinder.  I understood why.  Those are both big things when you're a kid, but also helps frame it in a way that's understandable and something you're keen to appreciate when you know that's part of the story of someone you look up.  

I knew Kareem was a reader and a smart guy, and I have delighted in his post NBA career as a sort of wise elder.  I mean, no one is going to Bill Laimbeer or Dennis Rodman to get their take on current events.  They aren't writing excellent think pieces that show up in the news.  



If I met Kareem today, though, I'd probably just ask him about making The Fish that Saved Pittsburgh, and if he'd rewatched it lately.  

Anyway, I had a lot of sports heroes as a kid, but Kareem was always the top of the list.  

Its been wild watching the current series Winning Time about the people and forces that combined to become the Lakers you know and love, and to see Kareem dramatized by Solomon Hughes in a way that feels like maybe it could be right (but you'd have to ask the man himself).  

Anyway, happy 75th to one of the best in the game.  

Thursday, February 24, 2022

PodCast 185: "Winter Olympics 2022 - Part 2" - Signal Watch Sports w/ Jamie and Ryan






Jamie and Ryan pick up after the 2022 Winter Olympics to talk about the back half, the mess that was women's figure skating, the trouble with the IOC, and Ryan picks a fight with at least two countries, the IOC and NBC. And Nielsen ratings. Join us as we plummet downhill, only to be launched gloriously through the podcasting heavens!






Music:
The Olympics Theme? - The Signal Watch Players 


Signal Watch Sports!

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

PODCAST 184: "Winter Olympics 2022" - Signal Watch Sports w/ Jamie and Ryan






Jamie and Ryan delve into the coverage of the 2022 Winter Games, what's getting a gold medal, what looks like the agony of defeat. We'll talk about the weird nature of the games, why it looks weird to us from below the Mason-Dixon line, and a host of other, rambly topics. Join us for the inaugural "Signal Watch Sports Talk"!






Music:
Laff-a-Lympics - Hanna Barbera 





Wednesday, October 13, 2021

PODCAST: Ted Lasso Roundup - Seasons 1 and 2! With MBell, Maxwell, MRSHL and yours truly






We gather our forces to take on the juggernaut that is a little TV show about American football coaches shipped to England to coach football/ soccer. It's an unlikely smash hit with a pile of Emmy's, and since we were going to talk on it, anyway - we figured we'd talk out loud and y'all can listen in.

Get ready for a long episode as we go deep on how the show is structured, how it builds themes, models ideas and makes for television that challenges expectations.


Sunday, August 1, 2021

Watching the 2020 Olympics in 2021




So, our house is one of those that every few years shuts down whatever else we're doing - watching movies, watching baseball, etc...  and we watch the Olympics, both Summer and Winter.  This started when Jamie and I were dating, so you're talking going back to, like, 1996 (Atlanta).  

I've had my beefs over the years with the Olympic sports themselves, but mostly the coverage of the Olympics by NBC.  Now, NBC has multiple networks going, so you have about 3-4 options 24 hours per day, plus the Peacock app where you can watch events after the fact.

Full stop, my favorite things in the Olympics are:
  • Women's Beach Volleyball
  • Women's Soccer
  • anything during Track and Field
Look, I showed up for Beach Volleyball about 2004 for less than wholesome reasons, but that's long since in the rearview mirror.  And, yes, my favorite squad has transferred from Walsh-Jennings/ May-Trainor to Ross and Klineman.  I mean - Ross/Klineman kick ass.   

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Inspirational Watch: Eddie the Eagle (2015)


Watched:  01/02/2021
Viewing: First
Decade:  2010's
Format:  Disney+
Director:   Dexter Fletcher

"Based on a true story" is more or less Hollywood speak for "we got the three things you remember about this event right, and everything else doesn't bear up to a quick Wikipedia check".  It doesn't mean this or others movies aren't worth watching, but always always always Google the subjects of "true story" movies after finishing a film.  It's inevitably more interesting than what's in the movie.

I do not remember the 1988 Calgary Olympics at all.  I was 13 and lived in Texas where none of the sports existed, and didn't watch much TV at that time in my life.  Jamie was actually at those Olympics, so she remembers the actual events and guy.   I think I vaguely remember watching hockey.  

Eddie the Eagle (2015) is a fine movie - a decent one for kids and adults.  Unlikely guy goes to the Olympics to compete - and the glory is in trying.  I've spoiled nothing - you can still watch.  Everything is very color-by-numbers and has the edges removed.  I mean, it's fine - I enjoyed it for what it was.  





Thursday, May 30, 2019

Travel/ Sports Report: Cubs at Astros May 29. 2019



The last two years, we went to Chicago for Cubs games, but due to a few shifting things this year, no can do.  However, The Cubs came to Houston for inter-league play (The Astros used to play them all the time when the 'Stros were in the National League before deciding to mostly just play The Rangers in the American League).  We'd lost two to Houston before this evening's game, and Houston is excellent this season, but you gotta believe!

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Where in the World is The Signal Watch? Chicago 2018

the coolest kids you know.  I am moping because my Cubbies just lost, 3-2 to the Reds.

This is our second year in a row to travel to The Windy City to take in some Cubs games (and rumor has it, we're doing it again next year).  It's no secret I don't just cheer for The Cubs, but quite like Chicago.  I also happen to work for a university in Chicago (from home), so I'm up here a lot.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Sunday, February 25, 2018

We Talk Winter Olympics 2018

whole lot of skatin' goin' on

I didn't write about it, but most of our evenings - and some of our day times - of late have been filled with hours and and hours of Winter Olympics.  Snowboarding, ski jumping, luge, skeleton, curling, some hockey, and lots and lots of ice skating.

Jamie and I have been together since 1995, and prior to this, I know I watched *some* Winter Games, but nothing like what happens when Jamie gets Olympics Fever.  She particularly loves herself some ice skating, and for maybe the first decade-plus of our relationship, I sort of watched skating with her during the Olympics, but I found the scoring system arbitrary and open to (to put it politely) interpretation, and the commentators on NBC grated like parmesan over pasta.  But this is our sixth winter Olympics.  I am now pretty good at watching skating, I guess, and can see it as a sport.*

Monday, February 5, 2018

Sunday, February 4, 2018

This is the Only Super Bowl I'm Dealing With Today


Also, @#$% The Patriots.  I used to kind of like football, and they've contributed directly to me not caring anymore.  That, and, like, everything else about the NFL.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Houston Astros Win World Series 2017!


I'm a Cubs fan, but I grew up in Texas, and spent part of elementary school and part of high school in Spring, which is part of Houston.

The 'Stros were the home team, but I wasn't a baseball fan.  That said, I still remember my folks taking me to see Jose Cruz and Nolan Ryan in the Astrodome.

But this isn't about me:  it's about my friends who suffered all these years watching the Lastros.  The Dis-Astros.  Who watched the 'Stros ditch the orange for some safe color choices and wait it out til it came back again.

Houston's pro sports last saw glory back when the Astros were in the World Series in 2005.  Prior to that, you have to look to the WNBA titles by the Comets in 97' and 98' or the Rockets' wins in basketball (gulp) back in 94' and 95'.   The Texans and Oilers just never really get there nor got there.

And, of course, Houston is still recovering from Hurricane Harvey.  A lot of tough days for that city this year.

But, dang.  What a series.  I watch 98% Cubs baseball, so I mostly only see the National League, and those were the playoffs games I watched til the Dodgers took out my team.  Had the series gone Dodgers/ New York - maybe I would have watched... but I was in when the Astros bumped off New York.

I'll let you read elsewhere about the series.  But do yourself a favor and read up on Game 5, which was bizarre, and that article more or less encapsulates how it felt to watch the weirdest game I'd had the pleasure of watching - granted, I'm pretty new to baseball.

Congrats again to the Astros, but especially to my pals who have suffered with the team, year in and out.  And to my pals who were cheering for the Dodgers.  They had an extraordinary season and a series that looked to go either way during every inning of 7 games.

Oh, and:  Congrats to Carlos Correa of the Astros, who knew how to make the most of what was already a great moment, and who proposed to his girlfriend (she said "yes")! 

Friday, November 4, 2016

Cubs Win 2016 World Series



Wednesday night, November 2nd, the Chicago Cubs broke their 108 year streak and won Game 7 of the 2016 World Series.  At this point, you have no doubt heard about this win and cannot have missed the jokes and media bits surrounding the long drought for the Cubbies over the past, oh, fifty years or so.

The Cubs' 2016 season was one for the record books, with individual players earning honors and a win record that's going to be discussed for a generation or more.  At some point, books and movies will memorialize this team and this season, and those adaptations will end in what will seem to be hokey, melodramatic fashion as the series stretches to seven games, then feature a Game 7 that ties up with an outstanding hit by Davis of the Cleveland Indians, then is delayed from going into the 10th inning by a rainstorm.  A speech will be given in a players-only meeting by Jason Heyward, a phenomenal outfielder who had a terrible batting slump, but who never, ever gave up.  And, the final play will be a showcase for the same meticulous defense we've seen all season by Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo.

As was being joked about on social media with some friends, it could have only felt more like a Disney movie if they'd needed to sub in a charming 12 year old girl as the closer with her golden retriever behind the plate to catch.

I didn't grow up watching baseball - our family sport was basketball when it was anything.  But I've followed the Cubs since middle school, more off than on, thanks to the broadcasts of WGN out of Chicago.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Cubs Win!!! Clinch 2016 National League Division Series

Javier Baez pic from Chicago Tribune

If my movie and TV watching has slowed, the Cubs have been playing the San Francisco Giants for the National League Division Series, and that's taken up some time.  This evening they won the game 6-5, winning the series in four of five possible games.

I'm tired as I stayed up to watch the Cubs lose in the 13th inning last night, giving up in the middle of the 13th as it was past 1:30 AM.

But, tonight, when it looked like all was lost, in the 9th inning they came back with 4 runs and won the game!

I've selected a pic of Javier Baez, 2nd base for the Cubs, as he's been a superhuman this whole season, and his powers seem to just be growing in the post-season.  The guy is incredible on both offense and defense.

All right. Bed time for me.  Go Cubs!

Here's the link to the Tribune story on the game.  The game was one for the ages.  Seriously.

This was about an hour after the game ended in San Francisco...





Monday, September 5, 2016

UT Beats Notre Dame 50-47 in Double Overtime

Tyrone Swoopes makes the winning TD!


It's been a heck of a day. Weekend. Week. Whatever. But certainly this evening was interesting.

As we often do, we had a few folks over for "the game", which, in this part of Texas, means The University of Texas Football game. This was the first week of NCAA Football, and as UT has been in a transitional period the past few years, the two most recent under Head Coach Charlie Strong, getting geared up to see what this year's squad would do on the field was something I was approaching with cautious optimism.

Part of our get-together included an impromptu celebration for some good friends, Matt & Nicole, who got engaged on Saturday.  So, we kicked off before kick-off with some champagne.

Back during our post National Championship season (2005), UT Football was taking some criticism for packing the pre-conference schedule with lightweight teams we were likely to beat, usually to guarantee a few W's on the year's record, to get the team in fighting shape for conference play, and to work out the kinks before facing Oklahoma.  Well, greed for TV deals and our own arrogance got us to sign with Notre Dame for some pre-Conference games (and Ohio State as well, but I think that's over with), and in our hubris, I guess we thought we'd just wander out there and beat those well-respected teams.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Blogging Slow Down - The Olympics Are On



It's that time again.  Every two years I disappear for a bit as the Olympics come on and we slow our TV and movie watching to make time for sports we normally wouldn't watch if you paid us.  But not Beach Volleyball.  I always watch Beach Volleyball if its on.  We can make jokes about the uniforms being less than modest, but Kerri Walsh Jennings and new partner April Ross are amazing.  Tune in.

Jamie is also a fan of gymnastics, and if you don't like your athletes standing over 5'10", I have good news for you.

Simone Biles is a ninja

And these gymnasts did A-OK in the team competition, doing the U.S. proud


Also been enjoying Michael Phelps' return to swimming in top form, the amazing performance of Katie Ledecky, catching some sports I don't usually watch like handball, field hockey, etc...

And as Jamie long ago determined - after Beach Volleyball, I really, genuinely enjoy track and field coverage.  Which is weird, because UT has a great track and field program, but I never, ever go watch and we put people on the team every four years.  Go figure.

So, yeah.  Olympics!


Sunday, June 5, 2016

Baseball Watch: Field of Dreams (1989)



I didn't grow up in a baseball family.  We never watched baseball on television, and my baseball career lasted one season of T-ball.  I did make it to an Astros game and saw Nolan Ryan pitch, both a  great memory and maybe the single most common experience in baseball as the man pitched for about 8 decades.

During high school I returned to the Astrodome to catch a game, and it was there where I internalized that I really didn't know a damn thing about baseball.

But when I'd go see movies as a kid, baseball was no different to me than law-enforcement or flying an airplane - it was just something I hadn't learned about yet.  So why wouldn't I go see movies about baseball?

I did see Field of Dreams (1989) during its initial theatrical run.   Aside from a general appreciation for the movie, I'm somewhat surprised at the movie on this review, that audiences filled cineplexes to see it and it was a big enough movie that it became cultural shorthand, leaving us now only with the misquoted bit of "If you build it, they will come" (it's "If you build it, he will come."  And it's weird that should be misquoted given the underlying tension of the film.).   But that's comparing today's audiences to audiences of 2016 who wouldn't stand for this sort of thing.  Or, rather, wouldn't show up in droves for a movie about mysterious voices instructing people to build baseball fields.