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Just Off-Camera

"They respect you if you write. The dumber the world gets, the more the words matter." -Dan Jenkins


Monday, December 12, 2005

Somewhere Other Than California Dreamin'

Physically, I'm sitting at my computer in Los Angeles. Mentally, I am not even close to focused on studying for my last final. I'm on Spring Break. As usual, I have a ton of good ideas of what to do, none of which will probably come to fruition for all kinds of reasons. Those reasons notwithstanding, here are just a few of my brilliant ideas.

The "Loyal Groupie" - U2 just released some new tour dates that happen to be during my break. Hey, what do you know - they're in Australia! I hear Australia is awesome! Plus, I can do that whole "travel back in time" thing on the return flight.

The "Andy Dufresne" - Back when Andy hopped the border on his way out of Shawshank, Zihuatanejo was a barely developed town on the Pacific coast on Mexico. Now it's a resort town along with its neighboring city, Ixtapa. Mmm...Dos Equis, fresh seafood, beaches, and golfing.

The "Pacific Coast Party" - I want to live a car commercial - go from Los Angeles to Seattle (hell, why not Vancouver?) - by going straight up the Pacific Coast. Stop at some vineyards along the way, run into the ocean (only quickly, though; the Pacific is cold), take pictures, stay in cheap hotels and bed and breakfasts.

The "Pirate's Plunder" - Cruises leave all the time from L.A. I've never been on one; always wanted to. And then I can make pirate joke after pirate joke while I'm on the high seas. What was the pirate arrested for? Arrrson.

Now I have about three months to figure out what I'm actually going to do.

***

The weekend in sports, from my perspective:

The Eagles make it official and get themselves mathematically eliminated from playoff contention. Mike McMahon is not a good quarterback; I don't care how much everyone loves his mobility and arm strength. He's completed 44.3 percent of his passes. Not to get into some Rush Limbaugh territory here, but I have a sneaking suspicion people like to talk up McMahon because he's a white QB who can scramble. Just a hunch. Anyway, meaningless or not, I still plan to go to their final two games of the season.

The Colts clinched home-field advantage with three games left to go in the regular season. Will they play it safe and throw the backups out there? Well, that's probably the smart play, but I'd like to see them go for the undefeated season. I have no particular affinity for the Colts, although I do kind of appreciate Peyton Manning ever since he started to do those commercials where he switches roles with the fans. Rather, I want the Colts to go 19-0 because I think it's obnoxious as hell that the '72 Dolphins break out the Champagne and party every year when the last undefeated team loses. Really, I think it would be poetic justice if the Colts ran the string and then the 'Fins sent Manning & Co. their unused ice chest full of bubbly for Indy to party with.

The Texans have got to be trying to lose their games to ensure a No. 1 overall draft pick and Heisman winner Reggie Bush. They were gifted an opportunity to tie their game yesterday - with no time left on the clock, the Titans allowed a return into their own territory, then committed a face-mask penalty to give the Texans a free last play - a 31-yard FG attempt. The resulting shank was the worst kick I have ever seen in professional football.

Speaking of the Heisman - who was the moron who gave Drew Olson a first-place vote? Hey, I like UCLA, and Olson had a great season, but is this guy hitting Michael Irvin's crack pipe? There's no way Drew Olson is the best player in college football. He's not even the best player in Los Angeles.

UCLA kicker Justin Medlock could be in a whole lot of trouble after he was charged with DUI on Saturday. Allegedly, with a passenger in the car, he rolled his pickup truck on the 405 in Inglewood, and then left her in the car. He was found walking around a mile and a half away. The arresting officer said there was no need for a breathalyzer, since anyone who walks a mile and a half into Inglewood from the 405 at 3 a.m. is obviously drunk. No, seriously, he's got far bigger problems than being suspended for the Sun Bowl. He's facing charges for felony hit-and-run, and his passenger, a member of the UCLA women's golf team, suffered major spinal cord injuries.

What is up with the Flyers and their injuries? As soon as they get Forsberg back, Gagne's on the shelf. Esche is hurt, Pitkanen's hurt, Desjardins is hurt, and so on. This makes me feel a little better about the fact that they have no home games in the two weeks that I'll be in Philly over winter break. At least they're still 17-7-4 and looking to be on track for a playoff spot. In the NHL, it's all about hitting April healthy. Rest up, Simon.

***

As I'm studying for my last final, Alien Ant Farm's cover of Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal" came up on my computer's playlist. Thanks to law school, all I can think is, anyone who leaves bloodstains on the carpet is definitely not a smooth criminal.

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