Finally! After four long cold months of summer, ESPN's resident science fiction commentator is back in the saddle. AND HE'S GOT SOME THOUGHTS ABOUT WHETHER OR NOT "JOHN CARTER" WAS REALISTIC THAT WILL MELT YOUR BRAINS.
Suspended coaches, defamation claims, thousands of former players suing the NFL, sickening crimes and a cover-up at highest levels at Penn State, retired NFL stars saying they wouldn't let their own sons play football -- it's been a tumultuous offseason. Football generates more news than some entire nations.
Wild, isn't it? You don't really hear much about Finland or Uruguay or Malawi on American news networks, but you do hear a lot about college and pro football. Who would have thought that would be the case in a country obsessed with celebrity and athletic achievement?
But football's really important offseason development occurred on the field behind your local elementary school. The Pop Warner organization decided to limit contact in practice.
As evidence continues to mount of the long-term danger of concussions -- both from big hits and from the accumulated impact of lesser blows to the head -- anything that makes football safer trumps all other concerns about the sport combined.
I'm pretty sure a super high-level coverup of institutionalized child rape that more or less happened because of football is at least as important as that.
As Tuesday Morning Quarterback endlessly reminds, there is no law of nature that says football must be popular.
What a fantastic straw man that little lecture is built around. As if there are football fans out there who say "Who cares about all this concussion stuff? Even if the NFL lost a $50 billion class action lawsuit related to concussion safety, nothing would change. There is a 100% guarantee that pro football will always exist and be popular, no matter what! It's in the Bible I think!"
If large numbers of Americans become disgusted by neurological harm caused by the sport, the popularity of football could wane.
Holy shit! Move over, Adam Smith! If millions of Americans stopped being interested in football, the level of interest millions of Americans have for football could drop!
As for Tuesday Morning Quarterback, I'm back and I'm bad! Well, I'm back.
No, no, don't sell yourself short, we go through this every year. You definitely suck balls.
To kick off the return of the football artificial universe, below is TMQ's annual review of offseason lowlights.
"Here's a bunch of shit, most of it unrelated to football, because it's football season again."
"We'll Have Fun, Fun, Fun 'Til the Assisted-Living Director Takes the T-Bird Away:" Brian Wilson, founder of the Beach Boys, a band that celebrated endless summer, turned 70.
/game show buzzer
Come on man, save your A material for later in the show! Warm the audience up a little before you start hitting them with zingers like that.
Few Know the "S" in ESPN Stands for Sciences: Three times as many Americans watched the Super Bowl as watched the Academy Awards. Possible explanations:'
The Super Bowl ended before dawn, Zulu time.
The Super Bowl is presented by the NFL, not by the Academy of Gridiron Arts and Sciences. The Oscar organization still insists on calling itself the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Sciences!
The Super Bowl was entertaining.
Stop! Stop! You're killing up there! Also, we all know the real reason Gregg likes to take shots at Hollywood.
Knicks Management Has Taken Prompt, Decisive Steps to Ensure the Playoff Appearance Is Not Repeated: The Knicks got their first playoff win in 11 years. Will the Bills, New York state's only NFL team, get their first playoff appearance in 11 years?
I enjoy his borderline obsession with pointing the state in which teams play. He does that "records by state" thing at the end of every season, he's got that fucktarded Jersey A/Jersey B thing going, etc. GUYZ THE CHIEFS ARE ACTUALLY FROM MISSOURI AND THE REDSKINS PLAY IN MARYLAND. JUST THOUGHT YOU SHOULD KNOW HOW CLEVER I AM. Not only is it a dumb waste of time and brain cells, but to the extent that it's interesting (not much of one) it only applies to a handful of teams. Chiefs, Jets, Giants, Patriots (sort of) and Redskins. With everyone else, it's like, yeah, call me Ken fucking Jennings if you must, but the Broncos actually play in Colorado. True story. FUCK YOU GREGG.
is when dead characters suddenly are alive again, with little or no explanation. On "Fringe," William Bell is a mad scientist played by Leonard Nimoy, who was Mr. Spock in the original "Star Trek." The recently concluded fourth season brought Nimoy back from the dead for the second time.
Nimoy is the Big Bad of "Fringe": He keeps unleashing mass-murder biological weapons, triggering natural disasters and loosing evil shape-shifters, all for unclear reasons.
I bet it's actually really clear if you pay attention to the show. He's just too busy sipping brandy out of a crystal glass and savoring the aroma of his own gassers to pay proper attention.
Perhaps now that "Fringe" has been renewed for a fifth and final season, viewers finally will find out what the Nimoy character is up to. First, the writers have to find out.
Who the fuck watches "Fringe?"
Curiosity Rover Lands on Mars to Search for "John Carter" Greenlight Memos: "John Carter," the most expensive motion picture ever made -- despite no location shooting on Mars! -- was a bust at the box office. TMQ thinks computer-generated special effects are ruining the movies, because when extended portions of films are obviously fake, the Hollywood magic is gone.
If you are OK with equating "presence of Hollywood Magic" (I capitalized the M because the way he used it in his previous sentence makes it sound like True Yankeeism) with "something that moviegoers find very appealing and will pay to go see," the argument that CGI bullshit is ruining the Magic falls apart pretty quickly thanks to that delightful old jagoff James Cameron. If you would prefer to define the presence of Hollywood Magic in a different way, you're welcome to, but I think you'll be pretty lonely.
Consider 2012's "Red Tails," whose CG action scenes were so fake they didn't vaguely resemble flying. Compare to the 1927 flick "Wings," which had flying scenes that are still thrilling because they were done in the air with real planes.
And fewer Jews involved with production! OK, I'll stop, I just can't believe this guy is still employable by a major corporation after what he wrote. Fucking astonishing.
You've guessed by now that TMQ thinks "John Carter" was a good movie. The Edgar Rice Burroughs books about Mars depict multiple civilizations: "John Carter" included too many, making initial sequences hard to follow. The trailers were incoherent, and the title was a dud. Still, "John Carter" was a movie well worth seeing -- haunting and exotic. If you skipped this flick in theaters, rent it.
He doesn't seem like an overly aggressive company man, or the type to be bought off easily. But let us never, ever forget who owns ESPN and who also produced John Carter. Let us just keep that in mind.
Eyelids heavy. See you tomorrow, sci-fi fans and people who enjoy reading about low to midlevel government scandals.