Released twenty years ago this December, Ocean’s Eleven made $450 million dollars at the box office, and it is not hard, at all, to see why. Director Steven Soderbergh (who gave us this year’s very fantastic film No Sudden Move) made this Las Vegas heist movie fun and cool, and that was exactly what we, as a nation, needed. No one does fun and cool like Soderbergh, which is impressive considering that “cool and fun” is maybe his second- or even third- best gear. Soderbergh is aware of how successful the Ocean’s trilogy is and how well they’re known in popular culture; in his 2017 heist film Logan Lucky, he has a reporter refer to the caper as “Ocean’s 7/11”.
It is fair to say that Soderbergh stacked the deck with Ocean’s Eleven, as it seems impossible not to make a cool movie when you have Don Cheadle, Brad Pitt, and George Clooney in your cast. David Mamet (in his own heist movie, appropriately titled Heist) had a character describe a master thief this way: “My motherfucker’s so cool that when he goes to bed, sheep count him.” It’s impossible to not have these words apply to any of the three actors I listed above.
Ocean’s Eleven had a massive strength in that it had a ton of cool and fun and impressive actors all working in harmony. And while some of these actors have gone on to have more successful careers, it’s hard to imagine anyone in this movie being recast. In this film, they are all perfect. And it led me to ask myself: What are the best movies that were made from each of Danny Ocean’s (Clooney) crew that isn’t an Ocean’s Eleven movie?
Basketball was invented by God as a means to give giants something to do beyond losing fights via slingshot. From those early days, it evolved into a use for peach baskets once all the peaches had been consumed. The bigwigs at the ladder factory kept the bottom of the baskets intact for decades, citing a need to keep the game “pure, beautiful, and slower than a tortoise with his hands tied up.” That phrase doesn’t make much sense to me either, but what was once a boring, often cumbersome sport to watch has blossomed into one of the great games on this planet. The NBA, National Basketball Association for long, began seventy five years ago as the Toronto Huskies hosted the New York Knickerbockers, losing 66-68. Basketball then isn’t close to what it is now. Baseball added the curveball well over a century ago. Football did the same with the forward pass. But basketball’s true genesis of the modern, perfected sport didn’t come until just 60 years ago when the three-point arc was added in the ABA. It would be 18 years before the NBA officially adopted it and decades more before it altered the game. Now the David sons (part of me will have you laugh at that) can truly be equal with the Goliaths. And here we are, in the amber of the moment, and the damn Bucks are the reigning champions.
Sweet merciful shit. Every team from 8-20 is pretty much interchangeable. This is all just a big fuckaround. Am I going to do memes? Will I write a haiku for every team? Will I give actual analysis? Will I just do 32 different gifs of Kid Rock? Should I rank everyone based on their special teams? What about their DVOA?
On Tuesday, Dave Chappelle released his sixth Netflix special, The Closer, and that could only mean one thing: my social media feeds were intolerable for most of the week. You think it’ s bad hearing about your Aunt Janice’s nonstop bout with carpal tunnel? Just become a comedian and, I promise you, after twelve hours, you’ll be begging to hear more about wrist guards.
After a week off, we are back! Matt Drufke is feeding Brandon Andreasen and Brian Roman questions about what we have seen in the NFL and what is going on moving forward. As always, there will be Shakira references, because there is no god.
To make up for the fact that nobody seems to be reading the words I have to say, i’m going to try a different tact. This week, every team is going to be represented by a meme I made of them. That’ll show you illiterates! I made all of these memes myself, which it turns out is mind numbingly dumb. Congrats to all the people who make memes all day only to have the Grape Juice Boys steal from them. You guys are the real heroes.
“So that’ll bring up Rizzo,” a voice offscreen says as the first baseman takes the first pitch. Anthony Rizzo needs no introduction. He is the face of the Chicago Cubs and its un-charged captain. “And now he drills one deep to right field, there it goes, see ya,” the faceless voice declares. “And it gives the Yankees a one-nothing lead.” It’s July 30th, 2021. By this point in the day, MLB’s trade deadline, the Cubs’ championship core of Rizzo, Javier Baez, and Kris Bryant has been dismantled. The weeks before had felt like hospice for the should-have-been dynasty. The greatest era of Cubs baseball anyone can remember was over. Forty-nine days earlier, that core combined for one hit in a game against the St. Louis Cardinals. It was deemed ‘Opening Day 2.0’ because Wrigley Field was able to host a full stadium. His helmet still bright blue, his team down 5-4, the captain of the Chicago Cubs stepped into the box against righty Daniel Ponce de Leon.
What Alaska lacks is certainly not scenery. You can’t swing an Ulu knife around your head without seeing some sort of spectacular scenery. What it needs is direction, as in signage.
Sign Issue #1 – Directional Signage
Anchorage AK (pronounced by locals as “InkRidge”) is effectively Rockford IL (pronounced by locals as “Rockford”). Rockford has its special places, but so does Anchorage. However, Rockford has highways that actually connect to one another without the ‘aid’ of stoplights and has signage announcing said departure from one highway to another. Anchorage? A single highway rolls into another single highway, both running north-south. Does it make sense? Well, no. AK 1 aka “The Seward Highway” runs from Seward north to Anchorage. It goes from a two-lane 55 MPH road (it’s a coastal highway in an area where earthquakes are a given so this makes sense) to a 6-lane 65 MPH highway to a 4-lane “highway” with stoplights. The “C-word” (they do pronounce it Sue-word but I was calling it C-word because I’m a self-entertaining idiot) then runs its course by veering west to the Glenn Highway. There’s a sign indicating the Glenn Highway is coming up but it’s just labeled as “Glenn Highway” not “Glenn Highway next right” – which it wouldn’t be the next one – or “Glenn Highway exit 6th Avenue” – which in Anchorage it is 6th Avenue, then turns into the Glenn Highway once north of Anchorage. Does this make any sense? No.
Are you a Bears fan? Hell yea, life is a never ending school bus crash! The driver? The quarterback position. The passengers? The souls of us fans! It’s that bleak, and it’s not getting better! Let’s get to the power rankings!