Saturday, September 29, 2012

Observations from the Window 9.29

A beautifully dreary fall morning in the Village, beautiful because the air is clear, dreary because it's cloudy and not supposed to get above 70° today. Maybe also a little dreary because the Flyers' should be hosting Boston next week in the season opener but instead the NHL players remained locked out in what Yahoo Sports today called Day 14 of dumb. Nothing like the spectacle of millionaires fighting millionaires over millions of dollars, but wait, this is the NHL so I doubt millions of dollars are involved which makes it all the more laughable. Laughable if you aren't a peanut vendor or parking attendant or just a hockey fan stuck in a fall without hockey. At least the NFL refs are back, there is that.

In football Penn State (2-2) travels to Illinois (2-2) in an interesting Big Ten opener for both teams. Penn State will try to give Bill O'Brien his first Big Ten win as head coach and also his first winning record. But what makes this game so intriguing is something that happened over the past summer. The day after the NCAA announced its sanctions seven schools had coaches waiting outside after State's football practice to try and entice players to their schools. Legal? Technically yes because the NCAA had not, and still hasn't, come up with any rules regarding teams "recruiting" Penn State players. In bad taste? According to O'Brien very much so. Only one Big Ten school was among the seven, Illinois.

Also this weekend is the New York Art Book Fair at MoMA PS1, I know I'll totally spend too much there but I'm looking forward to going. I do love my books so what could be better than art books? What I found to be fun last time is that everybody is pretty much the same, art fans there because they love art or love books. There aren't any big-ticket auctions, no lounges to schmooze in, and no ulterior reasons to be seen, just lots of awesome books. I'll update this later with anything exciting.

From the MoMa PS1 website; "Free and open to the public, the NY Art Book Fair is the world's premier event for artists’ books, catalogs, monographs, periodicals, and zines presented by more than 250 international presses, booksellers, antiquarians, artists, and independent publishers from over twenty countries."

So maybe not such a dreary day at all. Football and books, I just have to cram beer and food into it sometime. And, speaking of beer, did you happen to see Krystal Ball drinking a bottle of Sam Adams on The Cycle yesterday afternoon? Sadly it wasn't a Corona.

update - Penn State defeated Illinois 35-7 in a game that wasn't at all that close, it's a cliche I know but also true.  There was no coaches handshake before the game and very perfunctory one after. More like Coach O'Brien wanted Tim Beckman to personally know he had just had his ass kicked. Maybe Beckman should have spent more time coaching the players he had over the summer and less at PSU recruiting.

Observations on Sports 9.29

It's a given that I can sometimes be sports obsessed but this movie would look awesome even if I wasn't. It's a documentary about the Lithuanian basketball team during the 1992 Barcelona Olympics which was and is dominated by the original "dream team" in American sports lore. I first heard of the movie because it was selected for the 2012 Sundance Film Festival but I didn't remember the story. At ten I may have already been sports crazed but I hadn't yet discovered politics, hard to believe I'm sure. this is a much more compelling story than a group of millionaires doing what was totally expected of them.

From the Sundance website; "After leading the USSR to a gold medal (and victory over the U.S.A.) at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, Sarunas Marciulionis and Arvydas Sabonis were poster boys for their oppressor’s sports machine. Four years later, after the fall of the Soviet Union, they emerged as symbols of democracy, helping their country break free from the shackles of Communism, and willing newly independent Lithuania to the medal stand at the Barcelona Olympics...." (full story)

The Other Dream Team


Release Date: 28 September 2012
Genre: Documentary
Cast: Greg Speirs, Jim Lampley and Bill Walton
Directors: Marius A. Markevicius
Writer: Jon Weinbach, Marius A. Markevicius
Studio: The Film Arcade