Only two parts to this little series of posts. I'm sure you're very disappointed.
Before we get to Part 2, I want to make five more points about one of my favorite movies ever.
If Farina doesn't die last month, I promise you couldn't get Bill to give a remotely accurate description of the plot of Midnight Run today. Bill is like an eight year old, whose favorite anything is the whatever-it-is from that category he has most recently seen/heard/experienced. I suppose that shouldn't come as a surprise, given that his favorite Boston team is the one that has most recently won a title (unless the Clippers make a deep playoff run this year, in which case, get ready for his article about how it's OK to have two favorite teams and how his Celtics fandom is "in a holding pattern right now, like the planes in Die Hard 2; I'VE GOT CLIPPER FEVER AND THE ONLY PRESCRIPTION IS MORE COWBELL!!!!!!!").
1. I can't remember another comedy using F-bombs better than Midnight Run. The F-bomb is practically its own character in the movie, getting dropped nearly once a minute (119 times in 126 minutes).
Not that I would expect him to, you know, do research or anything, but a fourteen second Google search/review of top result reveals that there are dozens of comedies well ahead of Midnight Run in this category, including several everyone has seen, like The Big Lebowski.
A good way to judge the effectiveness of those F-bombs:
We don't need to judge the "effectiveness" of them. That is an idiot's faux-analytical exercise.
How much does the movie suffer when it's being bleeped to smithereens on TBS or USA?
All movies suffer when that happens. It sounds bad when there are cuts in the audio.
In Midnight Run's case … a lot. You almost feel like it's being mutilated.
But American History X? Pretty much the same movie!
If you made an F-Bomb Movie Mount Rushmore, Midnight Run probably gets the no. 4 spot behind Scarface, Goodfellas and Reservoir Dogs.
This is one of those double wrong situations--it's fucking dumb to even discuss this, and additionally, if we WERE to discuss it, any F-Bomb Movie Mount Rushmore that omits Casino is null and void.
2. Since 1996, I've been to Vegas probably 25 or 30 times.
We all care! We care so much! Tell us your stories, we're begging you!
And there wasn't a single time when I walked through McCarran Airport that I didn't want to scream at the top of my lungs, "SERRANO'S GOT THE DISKS! SERRANO'S GOT THE DISKS!"
You're a simpleton. You should be fed to wild animals.
5. When you consider (a) how shameless Hollywood is,
WATCH OUT! HOLLYWOOD INSIDER #STRONGTAKES, COMING DOWN THE PIPELINE!
(b) how few good ideas Hollywood has,
RYAN REYNOLDS IS NAWT A MOVIE STAR!
(c) how terrific De Niro and Grodin were together, and
Only time ever or since that two accomplished actors did a good job with their roles as snappy characters in an action comedy.
(d) the movie's second (and more enduring) wave of popularity once it started making the rounds on cable,
You have no idea what you're talking about.
it's surprising that Universal didn't rope De Niro and Grodin into doing a sequel.
WHO THE FUCK CARES
How easy would that have been? Serrano gets out of jail, blows up Jack's coffee shop and vows revenge on the Duke, followed by the Duke and Jack teaming up to get rid of him? Come on.
"What's that for?"
"A little inside joke between me and Alonzo."
To Zach Lowe, whose quest to call the Pelicans the "Pellies" ranked among the most goofy-entertaining moments in Grantland history. My prediction: I see their nickname unfolding much like that of Golden State, who assumed a variety of nickname forms over these past few decades (Warriors, Dubs, G-State and GSW). We'll see "Pels" (spoken and print), "NOLA" (spoken, print and Twitter) and "'Cans" (print and Twitter), with announcers calling them "New Orleans," "the Pelicans" or "the Pels." I don't see "Pellies" happening. Sounds too much like a failed Major Indoor Soccer League franchise from the mid-'80s.
It sure doesn't! I kind of feel bad for Lowe, who is a great analyst and pretty good writer (much like Grantland's Bill Barnwell). He has a sweet job, but he has to interact regularly with Simmons. That would be like someone who is actually good at this sportswriting line-by-line takedown gig being added to the FireJay staff, but also having to interact regularly with me in order to get their work published.
"How much is the coffee?"
"How much is the tea?"
"I'll have the tea."
To the lowly Bobcats, who smartly grabbed the vacated Hornets nickname so they could ride a wave of 1990s nostalgia momentum. Look, it's not often you get to write the words "Bobcats," "smartly" and "momentum" in the same sentence. Let's remember this moment.
As for the coffee/tea exchange, that's one of my favorite Grodin moments and Reason No. 79 why he should have snared a Best Supporting Oscar nomination
Sweet Mary mother of Jesus, please shut the fuck up about this.
Re: the way the Dwight Howard deal ended up turning out pretty damn well for Orlando:
Jared is right, that was an outright pillaging! At the time, I criticized the Magic for not getting Andrew Bynum and made multiple jokes about then-new Orlando GM Rob Hennigan being overmatched. You know what? I'm giving myself a quote.
I AM SELF-DEPRECATING! I HAVE SELF AWARENESS! EVEN THE VP OF CAWMAWN SENSE MAKES AN OOPSIE OCCASIONALLY!
"What should be of paramount importance to you right now is not the phone calls, it's the fact that you're gonna spend 10 years for impersonating a federal agent."
"Ten years for impersonating a fed, huh?"
"How comes no one's after you?"
To me, for doing such a mediocre impersonation of a wannabe NBA GM in this column. I wouldn't have done any better than most of these failed guys. Well, except for David Kahn. I would have done better than him.
You know full well he's still convinced that he could negotiate circles around almost any GM in the league.
Anyway, combine Orlando's Howard haul with its Harris-Redick hijacking and Hennigan could start putting "Sam Presti 2.0" on his business cards. Let's hope he doesn't trade Oladipo for 20 cents on the dollar in four years. (Sorry, I had to.)
HEY EVERYONE, JUST A REMINDER IN CASE YOU FORGOT, I STILL UNDERSTAND THAT THE THUNDER DIDN'T GET A GOOD RETURN FOR HARDEN
"You can't steal a truck!"
"You were stealing a plane!"
The riskiest part of the movie goes to this summer's riskiest team: The Warriors, who sacrificed two first-rounders to shed enough cap space for Andre Iguodala (signed to a very fair four-year, $48 million deal). I judge every contender's move by this question: Are you adding someone who could have played big minutes in the pressure cooker that I attended in Miami during Game 6 and Game 7 of the Finals?
The gratuitous insertion of the fact that he was at games 6 and 7 is so pathetic as to not need any further mockery. Slowly, he is becoming Peter King (Or is PK becoming Bill, now that he just got his own quasi-Grantlandian-ish site? Either way, America loses).
Why didn't Cleveland pick Victor Oladipo first, trade the no. 19 pick for Thomas Robinson (as he was being fire-saled by Houston),
Yeah! Why didn't they make that trade that who fucking knows if the other team would have accepted?
take Isaiah Canaan 31st (a potential impact bench guard for one-tenth the price of Jack),
Isaiah, I don't hate you or anything, but I hope you flop miserably and are out of the league next summer. Just because Bill said this.
then either make a run at Pau Gasol (for Anderson Varejao's expiring contract plus a future pick)
Again, how could they not have made that deal that the Lakers definitely would have accepted for sure?
or Nikola Pekovic (with a monster free-agent offer)?
How dare they not come to the same conclusion Bill did regarding Pekovic's value?
OR, why not pick Oladipo, sign Paul Millsap (available at a discount for whatever reason),
And obviously, we know for a fact that Millsap would have taken a deal in Cleveland, it's indisputable!
nab Robin Lopez from New Orleans (when they were fire-saling him, no less),
It's so obvious!
then keep your remaining cap space for a February deadline trade? I thought Cleveland's summer was mystifying.
This is the most popular and influential sportswriter (or should I say "sports"writer LOL) in America: the guy who writes like a caller to a local sports talk radio show, proposing outlandish trades and excoriating the local team's management for not making them. HEY THANKS STEVE FIRST TIME LONG TIME. I JUST GOTTA SAY, WHY HAVEN'T THE SOX SWAPPED ELLSBURY AND A PROSPECT FOR MIKE TROUT YET? DON'T THEY EVEN CARE ABOUT WINNING?
Also, KG and Pierce will be significantly better off on the Tim Duncan Minutes Plan (27-28 a night), and don't sleep on Pierce in a contract year and Eff You Mode.
Is "Eff You Mode" the stupidest/funniest recurring bit he's ever come up with? It's got to be high on the list, especially after the number of times during the 2007 NFL season that he used it to describe the (eventual) 18-1 Patriots. Your suggestions for other great Billisms in the comments, please.
Here's what we know: The Bobcats can build around three polished/competitive/used-to-winning college stars (Kemba Walker, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Cody Zeller, their latest no. 1 pick, which I actually liked),
Pretty much every pundit out there fell somewhere between "I don't hate this selection I guess" and "ugh, that was dumb, Alex Len and Nerlins Noel were still on the board" with regards to Zeller. Of course Bill liked the pick though, probably for the same reason he chose his winner of that online dunk contest that got publicized on Deadspin last week.
"Ninety-three bottles of beer … on … the … wall."
Look, I may or may not have been wasting inordinate amounts of time this summer on ESPN's Trade Machine making up fake Rondo trades. With Detroit out, one other Rondo suitor makes sense: the Kings. They're rebooting around a new arena, a new owner whom everyone loves (Vivek Ranadivé), a rejuvenated Boogie Cousins (at least that's the hope), and the chance to play an entire season without a Maloof involved. What about Rondo, Wallace's $30.3 million basketball cadaver and Jordan Crawford's expiring for Ben McLemore, the John Salmons–Patrick Patterson expirings, Greivis Vasquez, Jimmer Fredette and an unprotected no. 1 pick in 2014? (Thinking.)
How about an expensive guy who depends on his quickness and is coming off ACL surgery, one of the worst contracts in the NBA, and a mediocre asset for a bunch of decent assets? WHO SAYS NO?
"How much is here?"
"Neighborhood of 300 thousand."
"That's a, a very respectable neighborhood."
And here's a very unrespectable neighborhood:
Ladies and gents, introducing our eight finalists for Riggin' for Wiggins! My preseason odds for each team.
Lakers (+700): For these odds to drop, we only need a sentence that starts, "Kobe Bryant suffered a major setback today … " Plus, wouldn't it be just like the Lakers to land Wiggins and LeBron in the same summer? I'm moving back to Boston if this happens.
Can you just move to Mongolia right now instead?
Boston (+500): If Rondo returns sooner than later, I'm worried they'll be better than everyone thinks. Especially if Brad Stevens does Brad Stevens things:
IF RONDO DOES RONDO THINGS AND STEVENS DOES STEVENS THINGS AND THE LEGENDARY BEANTOWN FANS DO LEGENDARY BEANTOWN FAN THINGS, THEN, BY GOD, SOME OTHER STUFF JUST MIGHT HAPPEN!
Remember, he took Butler to within a fingernail-of-a-half-court-shot
What is that?
of winning the NCAA title. Name me anyone on that team other than Gordon Hayward. You can't.
If you mean name someone good enough to play in the NBA, there's Shelvin Mack (who I thought of off the top of my head). If you mean good enough to play pro basketball, there's Andrew Smith and Matt Howard (neither of whom I could name off the top off my head, although I did think of Howard's face, since he looks so much like Andy Samberg and was really good during those two Butler tournament runs). OOPS WAIT SORRY FORGOT, I CAN'T.
If Rondo comes back for Opening Night, there's a good chance I'm talking myself into 45 wins.
Please please please please please let the Celtics finish 9th in the East this year. Do you know how NAWT FAY-UH that would be?
Charlotte (+200): You can never count MJ's boys out of anything that involves the words "incompetence," "bottoming out," "tanking" or "flagrantly failing with the small chance of being rewarded for it."
I like how contrary that last part (about how there's only a small chance of being rewarded with the number one pick no matter how badly a team fails) runs to almost the entire premise of his recent 8,000 word "How I'd save the Lakers GOOD THING THEIR MANAGEMENT ISN'T READING THIS COLUMN THAT'S THE ONLY REASON I'M OK WITH PUTTING THIS AWESOME RECIPE FOR SUCCESS OUT IN THE OPEN" article. Part of his plan for the Lakers was "clear cap space for LeBron," but the rest of it was "you gotta suck to get Wiggins!" Suddenly he is now aware of the fact that expecting to win the draft lottery is a fool's game?
Phoenix (+150): Alex Len coming off a serious stress fracture? Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe butting heads in the same backcourt? The Morris twins? The immortal Michael Beasley? Kendall Marshall's quest to become the worst top-13 pick since Joe Alexander and Jonny Flynn?
Every year the Big East bombs during March Madness, but it becomes easier to see why when you realize how overhyped some of its best players tend to be.
Robert Sarver doing cheap-ass Sarver things?
LIKE NOT HIRING BRAD STEVENS TO DO BRAD STEVENS THINGS???
Is there a roster you'd want less right now than Phoenix's roster?
WHO SAYS YES?
"You're OK, Jack. I think under different circumstances, you and I probably still would have hated each other! We probably could have been friends."
"In the next life."
"Yeah, the next life."
My single favorite moment in Midnight Run goes to Pierce, one of the six best Celtics ever and someone who deserved to retire in Boston if that's what he wanted to do. Which, by the way, he wanted to do.
Things never said by an athlete nearing the end of his career who just got traded from the team that drafted him long ago: "So glad I'm out of there!" I'm sure it has been a lie on at least some occasion or another.
But Boston wanted to buy a Riggin' for Wiggins ticket, so they crippled this year's team by dealing Pierce and KG for three unprotected first-round picks (2014, 2016, 2018), along with the right to swap first-rounders with Brooklyn in 2017.
As discussed in a previous post, I think it's unlikely these picks amount to much.
If anything happens to Brooklyn during the middle of this decade — a real possibility considering Brook Lopez's injury history, as well as a 32-year-old Deron Williams and a 34-year-old Joe Johnson making $46 million combined during the 2015-16 season — this deal could become the "Gail Goodrich to New Orleans for two future no. 1 picks" trade for this generation.
There's fanboyism and rose-tinted glasses, and then there's trying to draw a parallel between 1) acquiring a few first round picks from a team with a super rich/competitive owner who has a good roster now and most likely intends to compete every season as long as he owns the team and 2) a decades-old trade that involved the eventual draft rights to Magic Johnson.
Still, watching Pierce (and, to a lesser degree, KG) play for another franchise is going to be brutal.
And I don't know what the right answer is here. I really don't. The Celtics allowed Bird, McHale and Parish to age gracefully together once upon a time, followed by eight solid years of misery … and I have to say, I'd sign up for that again. I loved those 1991, 1992 and 1993 teams because of the late Reggie Lewis, but also because we kept the Big Three — because we didn't trade them, and only because they were f-ing Celtics and you don't trade your guys like that.
The last part is about as close as you're going to get to the platonic ideal of self-important Boston fan retardery. The cute insinuation that the fans were in some way responsible for the actions of the front office ("WE didn't trade them"), the idea that players on Boston's teams are inherently superior to other players around the league ("they were FACKIN' CELTICS"), the part that sounds like something a tough-talking drunk guy at the bar (who in fact went to an elite prep school and has never thrown a punch in his life) making up rules for other people to live by ("you don't fackin' trade OW-UH Celtics like dat!"). It's wondrous.
Danny Ainge went the other way, just as he always hinted he would because of his experience watching the Big Three grow old. I get it. I understand it. Down the road, I'm sure I will appreciate it. But right now? It hurts like hell. Paul Pierce was our dude.
OW-UH BASKETBALL FRED LYNN!
We spent 15 seasons with him in all, and as I wrote after Game 6 of the 2008 Finals, "We watched that guy grow up.
No, you didn't.
We watched him become a man.
That's just off. That's unsettling.
We believed in him, we gave up on him, and we believed in him again."
What? Please, it's fucking sports. Cut the melodrama.
Some things are bigger than sports.
Yes. Someone who plays sports getting traded is not one of them.
I think that's why Cuban kept Dirk — because they won together in 2011, and because he couldn't bear the thought of the Best Maverick Ever playing for another team. It might not be the smartest move, but it's certainly more relatable. Human, even.
BEEP BOOP BOOP BOOP BEEP ROBOT BILL IS LEARNING HUMAN EMOTIONS
Watching no. 34 play for the Nets will never feel right, and I will never feel good about it. Alas. See you in the next life, Paul.
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
What the fuck are you talking about? Jesus Christ. What an idiot.