Saturday, February 26, 2011

Dome Pondering Movie Review: A Serious Man (2009)

DPMovieReviewASeriousMan What is it about?

A professor searches for answers to his problems as his life unravels through various, sudden incidents. 

Who is in it?

Michael Stuhlbarg – Professor Larry Gopnik

Richard Kind – Uncle Arthur

Fred Melamed – Sy Ableman

Friday, February 25, 2011

Dome Pondering Import – Carmelo Anthony MSG Commercial

Although, this might not mean much to many, Knick fans and DP devotees who know the pain, agony, strife, and headaches that were cause on yours truly by my beloved Knicks will understand. I found this video after viewing it on the MSG network following Carmelo Anthony’s Knicks debut and knew it would be something, along with the Amar’e Stoudemire press conference from this summer, that I would look back on in a few years with a smile. Sometimes, I still can’t believe the New York Knicks now have a lineup that includes both Stoudemire, Anthony, Chauncey Billups, and arguably the purest rookie in the game, Landry Fields. Winter suddenly, have become that much more exciting again.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Open Letter to Knicks Fans and “Knicks Fans”: Where Were You?

DPLettertoKnicksFans

From: A Long Time Die Hard Knick Fan

To: Other Long Time Die Hard Knick Fans; Frontrunner Fans; Fraudbags;

CC: Lee, Spike; Syracuse University Basketball Fans;

Subject: WHERE WERE ALL OF YOU?

Dear Knicks Fans…and “Knicks Fans”,

I’ve been waiting to write this letter for what has now become ten long years. Yes, that’s right, a full decade. It was during that time when it seemed Allan Houston’s running buzzer-beater over the Miami Heat was the beginning of a new era in New York Knicks basketball. Little did I know that I was right, except, it was for the worst. Following that memorable 1999 playoff run where our Knicks team made NBA history by becoming the first eighth seed to reach the Finals, a ten year curse known as Scott Layden and Isiah Thomas came over the franchise.

From the grand days of enjoying Ewing, Starks, Oakley, Mason, Harper, Childs, Camby, Houston, Sprewell, and Johnson, we were now saddled with names that cause nightmares such as Harrington (Othella), Eisley, Longley, Knight, Weatherspoon, Marbury and Curry. We witnessed Scott Layden make disastrous move after disastrous move. Only to be preceded by Isiah Thomas who well, we all know how that nightmare went. After it all, the place that kept the winters warm until baseball was being played, now had a heartbeat as cold as the New York City winter it once protected us from.

And while during that time, it brought die hard Knicks fans to a place of humility, and a greater sense of appreciating a winning product, we learned to cope and become loyal to our team in trying, and often, very frustrating times. It was the type of loyalty Jet fans have and continue to show. The kind of loyalty Mets fans today are going through. The kind of loyalty strictly based on hope that one day things will be right again.

Now while the last ten years has had some bright spots in what is a very gloomy period, (personally for me, a great player by the name of David Lee), the period showed us who the true Knicks fans were.

It was you, the die hard fan that watched a West Coast game at 11pm Eastern in the middle of March as the Knicks battled for their twenty-some-odd win.

It was you, the die hard fan that writhed in pain and anger every time an ESPN “expert” took a shot at the Knicks and their then, current futility.

It was you, the die hard fan that defended your team when you talked basketball with the then Cavalier fans, who then announced they were simply “LeBron fans”, who are now wearing Heat Jerseys.

It was you that sat in the 300-400 section of the Garden with others like us, that truly believed on any given night our players with that orange with blue outlined lettering of “New York” across their chest, could actually defeat the Spurs. Or the Lakers. Or the Celtics.

It was you that cringed (and still does) at Knicks owner, Jim Dolan, and the sound of his name.

It was you that know the meaning of names like Isola, Berman, and Hahn. Especially, Hahn.

It was you that chanted “Fire Isiah” at every awakened opportunity.

It was you, that believed that clearing caps space for two years was worth it in hopes of one day landing two “superstars”…

…and it is you that truly believe that “if LeBron doesn’t want part of this City, then we don’t want him here anyway.”

It was you, the die hard fan that rolled your eyes at Lakers fans, and yes, “Lakers Fans”, when they discussed their tough season of being eliminated in the Western Conference Finals or losing in the NBA Finals.

It was you that understood that the Knicks championship drought is approaching 40 years, and intense yearning for just one – just one – championship in this lifetime.

Yes, it was all of us.

It was all of us that carried the orange and blue colors proudly when doing so was not cool, hip, cliché, taboo, or pop culture to do so.

And now, that Stoudemire, and recently, Carmelo Anthony are on board, the exact plan that Donnie Walsh laid out several years ago which was scoffed at, it seems that we - we -now have company.

Now before I go where I’m sure all of you know where I am headed, let me just say, it is refreshing to once again hear the New York Knicks as being credible and relevant. We do appreciate the Knicks being discussed in positive ways. What Donnie Walsh has done is amazing. In fact, I always thought if Walsh was indeed able to follow through on his plan, we here at the DP would definitely find a way for him in some sort of DP Hall of Fame. Until, there is one, Walsh will simply have to settle for my gracious appreciation.

Nonetheless, there are only a few of us that will actually appreciate Walsh’s work as President of Basketball Operations for the New York Knicks. After today, with the official completion of the New York Knicks trade acquiring Carmelo Anthony, it seems the front runners and fraudbags are finding a new bandwagon to hitch their fraudulent ways to.

These fans, these “Knicks fans”, they –- they -- are the ones that are now claiming the orange and blue as their colors now that things are great, bright, and vibrant again at the Garden.

They are the same fans that often come aboard now that times are good.

They are the same fans that believe everything ESPN and other Carmelo enthusiasts have been saying about the then current Knick team.

They are the same fans that want the label of fan hood without the loyalty and tough times that come with the product.

They are the same fans that think of Isiah Thomas for what he did, and not how he made you feel.

They are the same fans that now arrogantly discuss the chances of the current team in the playoffs.

They are the same fans that speak of the Garden “magic”, and suddenly have City pride.

They are the same fans that rave about Stoudemire, and scoff at the meaning of Gallinari, Chandler, and Felton.

They are the same fans that would have never appeared if the Carmelo blockbuster fell through.

They are the same fans that will now tune in to be part of what is now the “in thing.”

And unfortunately, and sadly, they are the same fans that have no idea if they are they, or us.

Well, you can find out by simply answering this one question:

Where were you the past ten years?

We – us -- well, we are dying to hear your excuse story.

All the best the rest of the NBA Season.

Go Knicks!

Sincerely,

A Long Time Die Hard Knicks Fan

Sunday, February 20, 2011

2011 Bucket List - #12 Design a Workout/Training Program For Someone/Team

After completing Graduate school, which included many physiological and exercise science courses, I developed a new found respect for exercise, fitness, and anything physiologically related. As I once stated in the post, New Beginnings, I now often find myself with a keen eye for any type of movement, especially when I am watching the elite athletes on television or recreational ones running/jogging or playing in nearby parks. With less usage for applying such knowledge besides my own workouts, I continue to build upon the education I’ve acquired by reading and keeping up on new developments in fitness and exercise. 

To harness this new found interest, I’ve decided that in the year 2011, I would attempt to come up with a workout/training regimen for an individual or sports team. A regimen that is not based on cliché fat burning or muscle building tricks or shortcuts that often flood our society, but one that is designed and tailored toward proper building, improving and accomplishing the goals of the individual, but developing a foundation for further wellness. Over the past three weeks, I had the opportunity to develop a program for my former roommate and teammate in college, who now coaches JV baseball in upstate NY.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Dome Pondering Import – 2011 NBA Dunk Contest

For the past few years, the NBA Dunk Contest (Forgive me if I failed to mention trusty sponsor Sprite) has become an event that many felt was on the way out. There were many debates that the contest needed an overhaul, needed superstar power, or flat out needed to be done away with – as everything that could have been done, had been done. This year, the inclusion of “dunk coaches” and some real talent with Blake Griffin, DeMarr DeRozan, JaVale McGee, and Serge Ibaka, the contest was bound to rebound to the entertaining spectacle that its always been. And it was. In fact, let’s be honest, the entire weekend was, as no other league or sport does an All-Star game or celebrates the game’s best players the way the NBA does. David Stern get’s it.
Nonetheless, while Blake Griffin walked away with the title (despite an obvious bias), there are two dunks that left my jaw on the floor. The first, was performed my pick to win the entire thing (and hopeful to be a New York Knick) in JaVale McGee, who dunked two balls into side-by-side backboards/rims. The other, was a dunk that had me complaining the entire night at the mercy of my tag-team partners  as the biggest travesty in the history of the competition. Serge Ibaka’s free throw line dunk, in which he took off beyond the line, and received a 45. A travesty! Anyhow, the DP appreciates awesomeness, and with such being displayed in those two dunks, we brought it here to the DP for your, and my pleasure. Enjoy. 

Friday, February 18, 2011

2011 Bucket List - #38 Attend a Hockey Game

I’ve admitted several times in the past here on the DP that the sport of hockey is one of intrigue to me. While being one of the major four sports here in America, hockey always seems to be “the sport that could”. By that, I mean hockey has many reasons why it is often an after thought when it comes to the major four sports, and always seems to have so much potential to have a larger piece of the pie than it currently does. While this is no blame on the National Hockey League, or hockey players themselves, there just seems to always be that missing “something” that hockey lacks that the other four have. 

I’ve been to one hockey game in my lifetime, and it was during my college years. At that time, I never really had any feelings toward the sport itself. I was very indifferent. After all, besides a short-lived experience of playing street hockey growing up (which I was terrible at), and the occasional hockey video game play with a few russian friends growing up, the sport was never really on my radar. Besides Wayne Gretzky, and a few others, I really could not point out hockey players if them were sitting in my living room.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

“Finally, The Rock Has Come Back…Home!”

DPTheRockReturn “Finally, The Rock has come back…Home!”

Despite the usual catchphrase for The Rock, it is a statement that every single wrestling fan has longed to hear ever since he left for Hollywood seven years ago. And because of his comeback, and due to the title of this post, we here can follow that up with a…

“Finally, The Rock has come back…to Dome Pondering!”

Ok, I’ll calm down. I’m just excited the Rock has come back, period. 

Last night when that infamous theme song beginning of “If ya smelllllll…” hit over the airwaves, there was a sudden jolt of excitement, goose bumps, and shock for yours truly. As The Rock came through that curtain, that excitement tripled. Albeit being much older, yet, very much in shape, The Rock stood before 19,000-plus fans in Anaheim who gave him a 3 minute standing ovation, including the millions (and…millions) of wrestling fans at home who I am sure felt like this was all a dream. 


As this was happening, I sat on my futon in full gaze at the television. Yes, the Rock is entertaining, yes he is what he says, "the most electrifying man in all of entertainment”, and yes, he has a special place in the heart of wrestling fans (more on that later). However, viewing his return made me feel like I was fourteen years old again. Cheesy? Of course. However, it’s not something I wouldn’t expect a non-wrestling fan to understand. Or even a newer fan to that extent. 

This was evident as I sat there gazing and hanging on every single word The Rock said,  my tag team partner stood there wondering, with our wedding now less than eight months away, what she was indeed getting herself into. And of course, that was right before I decided to ask her a random question, then cutting her answer off with the proverbial, “It doesn’t matter…”

[Blog Sidenote: How ironic is it that the woman I call my tag team partner, has very little care for pro wrestling as a whole. After all, to her, Monday Night Raw is simply two hours of not being able to watch “better things". But I digress.]



However, the fact is, only a pro wrestling fan can truly enjoy a moment like that. Pro Wrestling fans are very similar to a society within itself. We are true to the product. We have opinions on the business. And when we meet up with other loyal fans, its exciting. Most importantly, much like any society, we stay loyal to those who became known from us – because of pro wrestling. 

As The Rock said last night, even as Dwayne Johnson, the biggest support he had were from his wrestling fans. No matter what he has gone on to do, wrestling fans have supported him. It is the same way we have supported Brock Lesnar. No matter what any MMA die-hard/anti-pro wrestling individual attempts to argue, Brock Lesnar was made by pro wrestling, is popular because of pro wrestling and will always be linked to pro wrestling, just like The Rock. That is a statement even UFC President, Dana White, must admit as fact.

Unlike other sports and entertainment facets, it is rare for a talent to receive the type of homecoming that Wrestlers do, especially, after an extended leave of absence. Very few, in their art form, can appear in the present and make their fans feel like it is old times once again. And finally, very few can have a legend in their industry return after seven years away, and still perform as well as they ever have, all while creating new found excitement in the entire product. 

Only in this society that we call pro wrestling. 

A society, which last night welcomed home and celebrated one of its own in The Rock.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

A Four Step Plan To Revitalize The Sport of Boxing

DPRevitalizingBoxing1 Recently, I’ve become hooked on the television drama, Lights Out, which airs on Tuesday nights on FX. While, many of you DP devotees know, I am never been one to follow any type of drama series, or much less, devote myself to a television program, the show has captivated me for more that it’s excellent writing and acting. Lights Out has been a series that is intriguing and interesting. The show, which is based around a former championship boxer that is now struggling to keep his family afloat after losing all his money, puts the viewer on the real inside workings of the boxing industry.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Remembering The 2010 NFL Season

DPNFL2011Review With all the confetti and streamers on the ground in Cowboys Stadium, the 2010 National Football League season is now over. After a great Super Bowl XLV game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers, the dreams of Aaron Rodgers and the rest of the Green Bay Packers is now a reality – Super Bowl Champions. Entering the playoffs as a number six seed and having to win three games on the road before finally winning the big one is an amazing feat. A feat that included the progressing maturity of what could be the next elite quarterback in the NFL for years to come in Rodgers. Although, the 2010 NFL season will always be remembered as the year that “could've been” for Jet fans like myself, it was another year of great stories and moments. And with a 2011 season up in the air due to an expiring Collective Bargaining Agreement and unresolved issues, holding on to the memories and moments of 2010 cannot be taken for granted. With that said, here are the moments yours truly will remember from the 2010 NFL Season.

  • Waiting and hoping Darrell Revis would end his holdout.
  • Knowing, like every other sports fan that Bret Favre pushed his luck coming back for one more season.
  • …and watching Favre, a legend, dissolve, and embarrass himself.
  • …and one more thing about Favre (What is this, ESPN?), from the Jen Sterger texting scandal, ending his consecutive streak, gaining a reputation as a coach killer, and witnessing Aaron Rodgers lead the Packers to a Super Bowl victory, how can 2010 not be the worst season of his NFL career?
  • Speaking of controversial quarterbacks, the 2010 NFL season was the continuing disrespect of Donovan McNabb. His return to Philly was an emotional one where Philadelphia, for one night only, showed some class. However, did not care as they had an even better story in…
  • …Michael Vick. The 2010 DP Comeback of the Year Award winner. His rise as one of the NFL’s premier and most exciting players was fun. Including that memorable Monday Night Football game where he destroyed (historically destroyed!) the Redskins. 20-28 passing for 333 Yards for 4 TDs. 8 Rushes for 80 yards for 2 TDs. Crazy.
  • Watching yet another great talent in Randy Moss, finally get his wakeup call when he was shipped out of New England. Then Minnesota. Then to Tennessee. Eventually into irrelevancy.
  • However, that one handed catch over Darrell Revis at the New Meadowlands stadium– good stuff.
  • Live game Souvenirs in football? Apparently Brandon Jacobs thought so, throwing his helmet into the stands in frustration.
  • Cringing at the sudden rise and danger of helmet-to-helmet hit, after hit, after hit. Especially, the one of Austin Collie for the Indianapolis Colts.
  • Just as bad was watching the New York Giants destroy quarterback, after quarterback,  after quarterback.
  • Speaking of crushed quarterback, how about Jay Cutler? Having to leave that NFC title game will forever haunt his soul.
  • And oh yeah, speaking of crushed souls, did I mention Bret Favre?
  • Watching the Jets on national television get destroyed 45-3 in a much anticipated game.
  • Only to rebound to get the biggest win they have ever had in my entire existence. (First Time Ever (In a lifetime), Jets Are Soarin’)
  • Bart Scott delivering a promo that even upstart pro wrestlers would be jealous of…CAN’T WAIT!
    A 2011 Pondy Nominee? Absolutely.
  • Seattle’s subpar season, only to upset the defending champs. Of course, highlighted by Marshawn Lynch’s run which included breaking tackles from eight Saints, five camera men, seven cheerleaders, two referees, and a ball boy. Well, Okay, maybe not so much, but it sure seemed that way.
  • Another defenseless Pro Bowl…
  • A great Super Bowl game between two historic franchises, and two hard working cities.
  • Finally, leaving a  lasting wonder ponder about how a small city like Green Bay, Wisconsin can be on top of the world in the nation’s biggest sport, all in the face of modern arguments of small vs. large market comparisons. Amazing.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Losing One More From The Core

DPAndyPettiteRetirement

Andy Pettitte is now retired. It is a statement that is very hard for yours truly to grasp. It seems as long as I’ve been in love with this game called baseball, Andy Pettitte has been a name, a talent, a pitcher, that I have always enjoyed watching, and sometimes, learning from. Dating back to 1993 when I began to really love and understand the great game played in the summer, the Yankees weren’t very good. While I managed to catch Don Mattingly towards the end of his career, the hope that was for Yankee fans at the time was tied up in names like Roberto Kelly, Kevin Maas, and Russ Davis.