Monday, March 29, 2010

Just Shoot Me Now

Jim Kelly on Tim Tebow: 'A class act, a great guy'

Bills coach Chan Gailey expressed interest in Tebow last week, saying he has "every tangible" you could ever want in a quarterback.

Kelly has been a vocal supporter of Tebow and has made it little secret he'd like to see the team draft him.

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Sunday, March 28, 2010


The Four Habs Fans present Born To Be Our Goalie.

(At this point I probably need to point out that the Four Habs Fans site might be NSFW, though the specific Bon Kovy post is SFW.)

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Your Sunday Gospel

National Post's John Lott has a discussion with Dirk Hayhurst about his childhod heroes. What we get is an iteresting insight into Hayhurst's childhood.

I've just received Hayhurst's book The Bullpen Gospels and it is next on my list of books to read. A review will come as soon as I am done.

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains Episode 6 Thoughts

In the Pantheon of Stupid Survivor Moves, three tower above all others:

1) Erik choosing to give up the immunity necklace to Natalie, only to get voted out immediately after (Survivor: Fans vs. Favorites)
2) James getting voted out while holding 2 hidden immunity idols, which were only good for the next 3 tribal councils (Survivor: China)
3) Brandon choosing to turn on his tribe to vote out Kelly instead of voting out Lex (Survivor: Africa)

Tonight, a fourth move joined them, and threatens Erik's hold on the top spot. For reasons that are still unclear to me or anybody else watching the show, Tyson flipped his vote and inadvertantly caused his own ouster from the game.

If you watched the previews during March Madness or any of the commercials, you knew it was double elimination week on Survivor, with both tribes being told that they would be headed there. Of course, individual immunity was on the line, with each tribe competing for individual immunity within their own tribe.

The results were, naturally, more interesting on how they impacted the Heroes tribe. Candace was the odds on favourite to get voted out. Naturally, she won, leaving Colby as the biggest Heroes target. Colby even gave a speech about how he knew he was next to get voted out, and he didn't want to scramble around. Fortunately for him, everybody else was willing to do the scrambling for him.

Somewhere along the way, the Heroes gained some sense (or grew a set), and realized that keeping a player who's hobbling aroud one leg and who is eating a lot of their food. This set off Amanda's warning sensors, and he ran to James to tell him that he was in trouble and needed to show eveybody that he was (a) okay and (b) able to follow the "Banana Etiquette" (which is apparently to offer bananas to everybody when you go to get them, not to eat 5,000 bananas for every 1 that your tribemates eat.)

This leads to one of the funniest moments of the season - James challenges JT to a racein order to prove that his knee is fine. Naturally, JT handily beats James, even while running backwards for 3/4ths of the race. James also ends up limping after, thus defeating the purpose of the race and leading the Heroes to vote him out.

One thing that has been bubbling under for a while is how JT is basically controlling the moves the Heroes' trie is making. In week 2, it was up to him whether Stephenie or Amanda went. He chose Stephenie. The week after, he made the move to go with Tom and Colby to vote Cirie out. Tom's elimination came when he chose to side with Rupert/Amanda/James over Colby/Tom. And this week it was his suggestion that James might not be able to perform physically that set the ball rolling on the plan to get rid of James.

Many people have been down on how wishy-washy JT has been, but realistically, his wishy-washiness has allowed him to control the game as much as possible, while still remaining under the radar. It is remarkable to watch, and I have to be honest, I'm very impressed with how JT is playing right now. He is a threat to win it all again.

The Villains continued the Boston Rob/Russell fued, with both guaranteeing that the other would be the next to go. Then Boston Rob won immunity, messing up what the production crew had to imagine to be one of the best tribal councils of all time. Instead, we were treated to a game of cat and mouse that was remarkable to watch.

Rob began by telling his alliance that Parvati would be the target, while trying to make Russell believe he would be the target so the hidden immunity idol would be flushed. Rob and Russell talk, where Rob tells Russell that Russell has to play the idol to be safe this week, since "other people" are very upset with him. Immediately Russell tells his alliance of Parvati and Double D that Parvati is the new target and they are trying to smoke the idol out of his hands. So he tells Parvati that he will give her the idol, and they can get rid of Tyson.

We're then back with Boston Rob coming up with a new plan - divide the votes 3 for Russell and 3 for Parvati. If Russell uses the idol, then Parvati goes on the revote. If he doesn't then she goes. Sound strategy. Russell then takes Tyson aside and tells him that Russell has to vote for Parvati, since he wants to stay and he knows the vote is going her way. Somehow Tyson interprets this as allowing him to vote out Parvati as well (his vote was to go to Russell).

At Tribal Council, Russell takes the immunity idol out and seems to go to play it, but instead gives a lecture about playing like Coach and using honour and integrity, which leads him to give the idol to Parvati, who then uses it. Russell seems serene, as though he's accepted that he might end up voted out. Only Tyson's stupidity keeps Russell around and ends up eliminating himself.

Which brings us back to where Tyson's play stands in terms of stupidity. It's below Erik - giving away immunity at the final 5 against a group of players who were in a tight alliance is still the height of stupidity. It's above Brendon - ultimately Brendon's stupidity would have worked if his tribe had trusted him. But is it a biggr blunder than James? James' was blindsided, and probably felt if he got past that tribal council, he'd be able to just play the idols for the next two weeks. At the same time, James could have used one and then seen what happened with immunity the next week. Tyson was just, well, dumb. There was no advantage to piling on the votes to Parvati. You might want her gone by your hands, but sometimes that doesn't work out and you have to be satisfied with the end result, even if it wasn't achieve optimally.

So there you go. Tyson made the second stupidest move in Survivor history. I was surprised to see him make the move and disappointed that he did not last longer. However, for my continued entertainment from the Rob/Russell fued, I'm glad he's gone. I hope the payoff next week is even better.

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Your feel good story of the day

Normally I have very few good things to say about any New England Patriot, but good on Ty Warren for choosing education over money. $250K is a fair amount of money to walk away from, so I applaud his stance of education coming frst.

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JayRo Watches Movies: She's Out of My League

Before seeing She's Out of My League, I read this review by Peter Howell, and was worried by this passage:
The filmmaker can't resist the gross-out gags that are endemic to modern rom-coms, and so we get appalling moments that will be referred to as "the dog scene" and "the pubic haircut scene

I was worried that She's Out of My League was going to fall into the same trap as Fired Up, and it wouldn't decide what sort of film it is.

As it turns out, She's Out of My League knows exactly what kind of movie it is - a smart romantic comedy told from the male perspective. The scenes mentioned above have nothing graphic in them - the gross-out portion of the scenes is implied, not seen.

Between the script and Jay Baruchel's strong job playing the "regular joe" who is in the middle of a lot of insanity, She's Out of My League is an enjoyable film that I highly recommend.

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Monday, March 15, 2010

JayRo Watches TV: Minute to Win It

Finally, a show that admits it is a game show, and owns it!

Minute to Win It is NBC's latest attempt to create a phenom of a show. The premise is relatively simple: You have 1 minute to complete a task. Each task wins you more monely along a ladder. Complete 10 of these tasks, and win 1 million dollars.

The hook is that you use household items to complete random tasks. For example, one task is to stack 5 apples in one tower, and have that tower hold together for 3 seconds. The draw is that these are regular people who don't have special talents that are going to help them finish these games. When watching the show I could not believe how involved I got with this show and the tasks - trying to figure out the best strategy, rooting for the contestants and just wondering if they would make it.

Host Guy Fieri is surprisingly good, managing to balance excitement, tension and compassion while giving off the everyman vibe that has made him successful as a Food Network host. The casting department deserves credit for choosing contestants who are likeable and are people who you can support.

Watch this show; it deserves to succeed.

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Sunday, March 14, 2010

Congratulations in order

My friend Mike Croft is the latest member of the writing staff at Toronto Thumbs. Here is his first article about Star Trek online.

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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Survivor Heroes vs Villains Episode 5 Thoughts

Hey y'all, there's a rumour that James just wants to win.

I say it's a rumour because his and his tribemates' actions have told a much different story. They don't care about winning; they care about self-preservation. Right now they are playing a game of "Don't get voted out before the merge, and then scramble once you reach the merge to better your position." The latest victim of this mindset is Tom.

I can't actually blame James for his attempts to save himself as he was actually the other target for being voted out. However, somebody like a Rupert has exposed himself as a hypocrite and has destroyed any claim he had on being a likeable player and/or a good player. How can you keep a player who has a brace on his knee that is meant to prevent you from bending the leg and who says that his knee is fine "but [he] can't walk on it" under the guise that he's stronger than the able-bodied fire fighter?

For that matter, under what history has James been considered a winner? I don't remember him winning individual immunity in either of the season's he's been in. I DO remember him being the stupidest Survivor ever (until Erik took the crown) for having 2 immunity idols and being voted out because he didn't play one. WHY ARE YOU TRYING TO SAVE SOMEBODY WHO HAS PROVEN HIMSELF TO BE A LOSER OVER A PERSON WHO WAS A PART OF THE FIRST EVER SURVIVOR TRIBE SWEEP?

What is interesting is to watch JT play this game for the second time. The first time he aligned with Steven, dominated the challenges and then win the million dollars. This time it seems as though he's realized that he needs to get to the merge and let his immunity run begin. So while he's made the odd move to better his game (ie voting Cirie out), he's somehow managed to follow the pack while continuing to be the swing vote. Unless both sides decide that they need tovote him out, JT is going to have played the most visible under the radar game ever.

The Villains continue to be shockingly good at these challenges that require teamwork, especially considering that at tribe, Boston Rob and Russell might destroy each other.

Rob's inexperience with the hidden immunity idol is obvious, even without him telling us every 5 minutes that he never played with a hidden immunity idol before. His answer to the assumption that Russell has the idol? Vote him out! Of course, he'll just play the idol and then get to choose who is getting voted out.Somebody who has played with the idol needs to tell Rob this so they can come up with another plan. (Then again, somebody should have been there with Russell trying to find the idol themselves. It's nice to be all "team unity" and everything, but this is an individual game.)

So while one tribe has completely melted down, another manages to stay together by sheer ability to win challenges. How long until the Villains meltdown themselves?

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Thursday, March 04, 2010

Survivor Heroes vs. Villains Episodes 3 and 4

It's fun to compare how both tribes are going about getting rid of "problem players" for lack of a better term.

In Episode 3, the villains were concerned with Parvati getting too ingrained in the tribe and beginning to set her path to the final 4. Everybody recognized her as a threat, but in the end, they chose to put the strength of the tribe ahead of the potential of a player destroying their game by voting out Randy over Parvati. In part this was because most of the villain tribe believes they are actually able to run the show and deal with "problems" like Parvati whenever they want. There was also a bit of reality setting in. They realized they were not unbeatable. If they wanted to avoid Tribal Council, it was best to get rid of the weakest player (in this case, Randy.)

In Episode 4, we saw the other end of the spectrum. The Heroes tribe had been to Tribal Council twice already, so they had already devolved into self-preserving alliance forming early on. This was driving their decision to get rid of Tom or Colby. There was no thought to what would make the tribe stronger, no matter what platitudes were being spouted by Rupert. When Tom and Colby made their move to counter the anti-Tom/Colby movement, they chose Cirie because of her mid/late game play, not to make the Heroes tribe stronger.

As the game goes on, both tribes will continue to move along the path of the Heroes - make alliances, cover your own butt. It's the bature of the game. For now though, it is interesting to watch the Heroes tribe act more like Villains, while the Villains tribe act like Heroes (well, Boston Rob at the very least.) I doubt the producers expected this, but I believe they are loving the storyline being handed to them.

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