Baring Bottoms, Building Bonds and Booing Baylor

Justin February 27, 2012 0

With the Oscars having just happened, it seems like as appropriate a time as any to discuss this issue with everyone.

Every time I get naked, I think of Donald Sutherland.

Yes, Donald Sutherland.  The Canadian born star of multiple films and television series over the past 50 years. The father of “24″ star and noted crazy person Kiefer Sutherland.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t imagine Donald Sutherland’s menacing eyes and scary white beard while I am standing nude. And I don’t use his slightly unsettling visage as some sort of mental trigger to “get myself going,” as the kids are so fond of saying.

Allow me to repeat my thesis. Every time I get naked, I think of Donald Sutherland.  It is the act of removing my clothes that brings the veteran thespian to mind.

It all stems back to the first time I saw “Animal House.” There are a lot of famous scenes from the comedy classic. John Belushi wearing the “college” sweatshirt. John Belushi starting a food fight. John Belushi breaking a guitar at a toga party. But none of them had near the impact of one scene starring the aforementioned Mr. Sutherland.

Tim Matheson goes to visit his girlfriend, Karen Allen. While they’re speaking, in walks Donald Sutherland, who plays an older professor. The film makers want to make it clear that Sutherland has just completed the act of physical love with Allen’s character. They accomplish this by having Sutherland appear in nothing but an Irish sweater. He’s naked below the waist.

This horrifying image was instantaneously and permanently seared into my psyche. It caused an immediate change in my personal behavior.

Since that first time I saw Animal House, I have never been dressed in only a shirt. When I put clothes on, I always start below the waist. When I get undressed, the shirt is always the first thing to come off.

Donald Sutherland has never won, or even been nominated, for an Academy Award. He defines the term “character actor.” By all accounts, he is a serviceable yet unspectacular performer.

He is the most important actor in my entire life.

Sports Illustrated. February 27th, 2012

Jeremy Lin, Basketball, New York knicks

AFTER THE JUMP: HOW ABOUT THIS QUOTE?

Time and again, organized religion has proven to be a contemptuous and hypocritical institution lorded over by feckless thugs out for their own well-being

IF THAT DOESN’T MAKE YOU CLICK THROUGH, NOTHING WILL!

(When you’re done reading here, why not click over to 200 Miles From The Citi? I filled in for John this weekend.)

PREGAME:

I’m going to take issue with SI writer Sarah Kwak. She wrote a rather harsh review of the new hockey film, “Goon,” starring Sean William Scott. Haven’t heard of it? That’s my main point.  It’s a straight to video comedy, written by Judd Apatow back bencher Jay Baruchel, about a guy who joins a pro hockey team to be a fighter. Kwak says it’s ill-timed and insensitive, considering the issues with concussions and the three deaths of NHL enforcers over the summer. These are fair points, but they’re made on an unfair target. If Kwak hadn’t written about “Goon,” no one would ever have heard of it. She’s picking on someone smaller on her.  Like a goon taking out an undersized winger who never saw it coming.

Dan Patrick’s “Just My Type” column is a collection of interviews from the former Sportscenter host’s radio show.  If you’ve ever listened to or watched the show on radio or cable, you know that Patrick is joined by four staff members, who he calls the Danettes. It’s a producer, a board op, another guy and a blogger named Andrew Perloff. Patrick calls him McLovin’, because Perloff looks like Christopher Mintz Plasse from Superbad and, more importantly, all of Patrick’s pop culture references are between 3 and 7 years old. Anyway, Perloff did something dumb this week. Here’s some funny video:

 

THE ARTICLES:

A Run Like No Other by Pablo S. Torre

The Jeremy Lin phenomenon continues unabated. The Knicks point guard is now the first NY athlete to ever grace the cover of Sports Illustrated two weeks in a row. This week’s article focuses more on the impact Lin’s overnight success has had on those around him than it does on Lin itself (as evidenced by the sheer joy seen on the faces of the crowd in the article’s opening picture, a point John made to me earlier in the week.) It’s an interesting approach. I was initially concerned that having the same author write about the same athlete two weeks in a row would mean there’s no new insight and no new perspective. Torre proves me wrong.

The Way We Play The Game by Karen S. Schneider

Schneider writes about Jack Jablonski, a Minnesota high school hockey player who was paralyzed by an on-ice injury, and the impact that injury has had on the high school hockey culture throughout the state. She comes at it from an interesting perspective. Schneider’s son played with Jablonski, so the article is essentially a first person account of the incident and it’s aftermath. It’s incredibly emotional and forced me to wipe my face with a towel while pretending my eyes were sweating at the gym on more than one occassion. But,  what is never made clear is who Karen Schneider is outside of this context. Is she a professional journalist? Is she a newspaper reporter who was tasked with writing a magazine article? (It sort of reads that way.) Is she just a mom who decided to do this and sold the piece to Sports Illustrated? I would have liked a little clarification.

A Bond Born At Speed by Tim Layden

Layden profiles two distance runners, one American and one British, who are training together ahead of this summer’s London Olympics. What he forgets is that distance runners aren’t famous. Nor are their coaches. I had trouble following who was who through this article about two guys building what is supposed to be an unlikely bond. I’m also not convinced that bond is particularly unlikely. They’re two young world class runners. Why wouldn’t they get along?

Coming For The Cup by Lars Anderson

NOPE!

Baylor Rising by S.L. Price

Price profiles the athletic program at Baylor, which has been enjoying a renaissance in both football and men’s and women’s basketball.  I think we’re supposed to come away feeling good about a religious school succeeding by doing things the right way. We do not. It starts with this horrifying quote:

 But even as it upgraded the faculty, the administration continued to query prospective professors about their churchgoing habits—Muslim teachers need not apply, though Baylor currently has 131 Muslim students—and remained hostile to homosexuality.

To me, that makes Baylor sound like a hateful fundamentalist institution run by angry right wingers. This is hammered home by the fact that Ken Starr,or as the article refers to him “That Ken Starr,” is the University President. So, I’m already rooting agains them. It only gets worse when the article discusses men’s basketball coach Scott Drew, who spews religious nonsense while obviously operating on the fringes of the rulebook to badmouth opposing coaches and convince bluechip recruits to attend his school.

Time and again, organized religion has proven to be a contemptuous and hypocritical institution lorded over by feckless thugs out for their own well-being. Baylor sounds no different.

Point After by Phil Taylor

Taylor writes about a high school coach in California who kicked most of his players off the team, leaving just 6 kids on his roster. They played badly and lost a lot. The coach seems unwilling to compromise with the players who left the team. I’m not really sure what the point of this column is.

 

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