Saturday, July 22, 2006

I went and picked up my copy last night at Target. The Girl was in Chicago last weekend and we hadn't gotten to see each other much the week before so we went out Tuesday instead of me sitting on my butt in front of the TV. I was quite surprised when I was able to hold out til the weekend to rush for a copy, but she needed to go to Target after we went to dinner last night and so I took advantage of the opportunity. I played a half against Auburn when we got back to my place and fought them to a 0-0 standstill. The defensive controls are roughly the same, though the R stick now calls defensive audibles and I kept having my DTs dropping into coverage by mistake. The offensive controls seemed weird, though they are basically the same. I gave up in frustration (and because she was yelling at me to watch my language from the other room) and then started back this morning with some practices. The new "scrimmage" feature was helpful, and so I started on my Bama dynasty with a 45-10 beat down on Hawaii.

A Few Initial Thoughts:

- The kicking game is annoying as all hell now. The power/accuracy meter seems lame, and returning kicks is way more difficult. Maybe if it was a first person perspective it wouldn't be as bad, but not being able to see what's in front of your return man is idiotic.

- Are defenses faster this time around, or is Bama's O-Line just represented a little more accurately?

- Also, does it seem like the ball flies through the air a little slower to anyone else?

- All the extra graphics that flash on the screen make this look like a Fox Sports production. The "impact camera" is cool the first two or three times, but then it's just annoying. Keep the game going already.

- I'm liking '06 better right now.

Some upcoming movies I'm looking forward to, in no particular order (click the name for the trailer):

Borat: Release Date: November 3rd, 2006
Borat Sagdiyev, Kazakhstan's sixth most famous man and a leading journalist from the State run TV network, travels from his home in Kazakhstan to the U.S. to make a documentary. On his cross-country road-trip, Borat meets real people in real situations with hysterical consequences.

Ghost Rider:
Release Date: February 16th, 2007
A motorcycle stuntman, Johnny Blaze, makes a pact with a dark force, selling his soul to save his girlfriend. When the bargain goes sour and the girl isn't saved, Blaze is transformed, gaining raging superpowers. Based on the Marvel comic series.

Strangers With Candy: Release Date: June 28th, 2006 (NY. WHY NOT HERE, LORD? WHY?!)
The story of Jerri Blank, a 46 year-old ex-junkie and ex-con who emerges from her long prison stay with a special goodbye prison riot with her cellmates and returns to high school in a bid to start her life over, only to confront the most dangerous gang of all--the cool kids. After a long bus ride, Jerri arrives at her childhood home to find that her father is now in a coma and has re-married and fathered a child. Although mortified by her stepdaughter's return, his new wife begrudgingly allows Jerri to move in when the family doctor suggests that her presence might bring her father out of his thirty-two-year coma.

The Prestige:
Release Date: October 27th, 2006
In 1878 two young stage magicians clash in a darkened saloon during the course of a fraudulent séance. From this moment on, their lives become webs of deceit and exposure, secrets and revelations, as they feud to outwit and destroy one another. Their rivalry takes them both to the peak of their careers, but with terrible consequences.

The Children of Men:
Release Date: September 29, 2006
A futuristic society faces extinction when no children are born and the human race has lost the ability to reproduce. England has descended into chaos, until an iron-handed warden is brought in to institute martial law. The warden's ability to keep order is threatened when a woman finds that she is pregnant with what would be the first child born in 27 years.

Release Date: March 30th, 2007
The tale of four turtles who mutate into bipedal creatures. Trained from their youth by Ninja-master rat, Splinter, the turtles are given the names of great Renaissance painters: Raphael, Michelangelo, Donatello and Leonardo. Fully trained, they eventually emerge, from the sewers into the strange, dangerous world of humans.

American Hardcore:
Release Date: September 22nd, 2006 (Limited Release, cross your fingers Bham)
Generally unheralded at the time, the early-80s Hardcore Punk Rock scene gave birth to much of the rock music and culture that followed. There would be no Nirvana, Beastie Boys or Red Hot Chili Peppers were it not for Hardcore pioneers such as Black Flag, Bad Brains and Minor Threat. Hardcore was more than music--it was a social movement created by Reagan-era misfit kids. The participants constituted a tribe unto themselves--some finding a voice, others an escape in the hard-edged music; some sought a better world, others were just angry and wanted to raise hell.

The Science of Sleep:
Release Date: September 15th, 2006 (NY, LA. Road Trip?)
Life seems to be looking up for shy and withdrawn Stephane when he is coaxed to return to his childhood home with the promise of a job, in the mundane world of copy setting. Wildly creative, his fanciful and sometimes disturbing dream life constantly threatens to usurp his waking world. Stephane is quickly drawn to his neighbor, Stephanie whose imagination easily matches his own. As their relationship blossoms, the confidence Stephane exudes in his dreams begins bleeding over into his real life. Unable to bear the prospect of a waking world without Stephanie's love, and with no satisfying solutions coming out of his dream world, Stephane faces a dilemma he may not be able to depend on the science of sleep to help him solve.

The Lost City:
Release Date: April 28th, 2006 (Limited. Damn it.)
During the Cuban Revolution of 1958-59, the three brothers of the Fellove family are ruined: brother Luis supports Castro as a clandestine terrorist and is killed by the forces of Batista; brother Ricardo joins Castro's forces as a freedom fighter and kills himself when he realizes that Castro is just another power-hungry dictator; and wary brother Fico, a nightclub entrepreneur, stays apolitical during the Revolution and sees his life's work confiscated by Castro's puritanical and acquisitive goons.

Release Date: November 3rd, 2006 (NY, LA. Seriously, what the crap?)
Set in Spain, a generational story of three women--a good mother who is desperately in love with a man who is far from being a saint, a young mother carrying a hard life upon her shoulders and an illegal hairdresser whose shop is the meeting point for all the neighborhood gossips.

Release Date: September 1st, 2006
Chev Chelios is about to begin his morning with an unexpected wake-up call. Groggy, practically unable to move and with a heart that's barely beating, he hears the voice of thug Ricky Verona, who reveals Chev has been poisoned in his sleep and only has an hour to live. As it turns out, Chev is a hit man who freelances for a major West Coast syndicate. A run of the mill job the night before instead went awry: he let his target slip away in an effort to quit professional killing and start a new life with his girlfriend Eve. Now, Chev must keep moving to stay alive: the only way to prolong the poison from stopping his heart is to keep his adrenaline flowing. As the clock ticks, Chelios cuts a swath through the streets of Los Angeles, wreaking havoc on those who dare stand in his way. He must rescue Eve from danger, stay two steps ahead of his nemeses and search for an antidote to save his own life.

Little Miss Sunshine:
Release Date: July 26th, 2006 (Limited, fingers so crossed...)
The Hoover family treks from Albuquerque to the Little Miss Sunshine pageant in Redondo Beach, California, to fulfill the deepest wish of 7-year-old Olive, an ordinary little girl with big dreams. Along the way the family must deal with crushed dreams, heartbreaks, and a broken-down VW bus, leading up to the surreal Little Miss Sunshine competition itself. On their travels through this bizarre landscape, the Hoovers learn to trust and support each other along the path of life, no matter what the challenge.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Blazer Names to Know: #34 Dan Burks

In at #2 on the depth chart is RB Dan Burks. After an excellent performance in 2004 (gaining 880 yards with a 5.4 ypc average, including a 69 yard TD run against Baylor while splitting time with Corey White) Burks was hampered by injuries in '05, decreasing his rushing attempts to 67 in eight games. He did manage a decent 4.8 yds per carry (321 yds total) including a 115 yd performance in the loss to Marshall and 78 yards on 12 attempts in the win against Rice. If Burks can remain healthy and get back to his '04 form, he and White can look to dominate C-USA as the Blazers run the ball more.

Maybe there's something we can learn from soccer...

With all the hullabaloo over the World Cup over for four more years, there won't be a lot of talk on the various CFB blogs about how we could learn a thing or two from the soccer fans of the world about fandom/passion/whatever. I tend to disagree, since the only thing I think I could learn is how to literally live and die by my team's performance instead of just metaphorically.

And you thought burning couches to support your team was hardcore...

So the other night I was thinking about the NFL pre-season and how it would be nice if college football had something similar; Obviously it wouldn't be feasible to play a five game pre-season schedule, but that's where soccer comes in. Why not allow college teams to schedule a "friendly" before the start of the season? Instead of playing an NCAA mandated 12th game, they could schedule a friendly the week before their season opener and play a scrimmage against the cupcake they usually open with (or in the case of the cupcake, get their lumps in from a BCS team before starting their reign of terror in the Sun Belt). This way banning the scheduling of D1-AA opponents would have even more weight (seriously Auburn, you already played Western Kentucky once this year), and rules about BCS teams scheduling other BCS opponents would be an easier sell. The money's the same for the teams involved, the only change is that it doesn't count on the regular season record. Just a thought.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Five more days 'til Carnavas and I can't believe how excited I am. Fox Confessor is probably the only other album I've looked forward to this much since The Rising, but I'm on pins and needles wishing this damn album would drop already. Anyway, here's the video (quicktime format) for "Well Thought Out Twinkles."

Blazer Names to Know: Corey White

To start things off, we'll look at the one of the few positions that isn't a huge question mark. White is currently listed at the top of the depth chart at RB after taking over starting duties from the injured Dan Burks at the end of last season. He's a power runner that resembles a fullback more than the running back position he plays, but he has shown good, if not great, break away speed. His 30 yard scamper in the waning seconds of the 4th quarter against Memphis in 2004 sealed a UAB victory. Last season he amassed a respectable 632 yards on 130 attempts (averaging 4.9 ypc) and 7 TDs while splitting time with Burks, and also caught 10 passes for 79 yards. With Hackney's cannon arm lost to graduation and UAB looking to move back into a power run/option offense, look for White to play a significant role.
In an effort to give some sort of focus to this blog (and as a coping mechanism as we near the last month before the start of the season), I'll be running down the UAB Blazers schedule and offering up my take on it and some of the players and coaches. Believe it or not I'm pretty excited about the coming season for the Blazers. Ostensibly Watson is on the hot seat after going 5-6 in what should have been a breakout season for UAB (and Darrell Hackney) with boneheaded and baffling breakdowns in the defense and special teams. Firing DC Wayne Bolt (the fattest of ALL Bolts) is a step in the right direction, and some other coaching moves have me encouraged, but when the rubber meets the road on game day there's just no telling which UAB Blazers are going to show up. Hopefully he can get us above .500 again and to a postseason appearance, but we'll just have to see.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

I can't make up my mind on whether the Junk Brothers are mentally challenged or just Canadian. Definitely the worst show HGTV has come up with lately.

So what if we ate a lot of paint as kids, eh?
Today's Odd Sighting: Two Amish women buying a buggy load of bagged lettuce at Sam's.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

I've always suspected it was the lame jokes and gooberish manner that drew the ladies rather than my rugged good looks, and now I have proof.

Got something on your shirt!