Recent Updates Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kenny 12:18 pm on December 11, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Top 10 Most Puke-Inducing Christmas Songs Of All Time 

    Now, I’ll catch shit for this post from at least one of my 6 readers, but this one is a long time coming. As a resident of Bethlehem, PA, also known as Christmas City, U.S.A., I have always been very much into Christmas. Traditionally, I’ve spent the entire month of December listening to Christmas music. If you life in mid to south Eastern PA, you probably listen to your Christmas Music on either 98.1 WOGL or 100.7 WLEV. Both are decent, but both have a penchant to overplay certain songs while hardly airing others. Over the past four or five years, I’ve compiled a mental bank of the songs that literally push the bile to the edge of my throat. Some of you may like some of these songs, and I guess that’s why they exist. Here’s my list. As always, I know not the order going into it, but I will admit that I do know #1, and a lot of you will disagree (oh fucking well, it’s my list). And away we go!

    10. Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer: This song is just pure and simple white trash. The only thing that keeps this fairly low on the list was a late ’80’s lyrically-changed version, entitled “New Kids Got Run Over By a Reindeer.”

    9. All I Want For Christmas Is You: This song seems to be a staple for female wannabe divas who sing as though they are the greatest thing since Mahalia Jackson. Plus, it’s really kind of a corny song.

    8. Feliz Navidad: Look, nothing against a Christmas song in Spanish. Nothing in the least. However, I am allergic to the sound of Jose Feliciano’s voice. It seeks out the base of my spine, and not in that good, tingly way!

    7. Baby It’s Cold Outside – SPECIFICALLY The Rod Stewart & Dolly Parton version! A Christmas Song that pretty much insinuates date rape is questionable, even when the great Dean Martin sings it. Honestly, I can’t believe in today’s overly PC universe, that stations even still play it. However, that version is more than palatable if you can get past the “I’m forcing myself on you” innuendo. But when the song is sung by the overrated, sandpaper voice of Rod Stewart, whose only contribution to radio is that he has a face for it, it’s gotta make the list!

    6. Blue Christmas: Sorry, Elvis fans. Fact of the matter is that the so-called King Of Rock And Roll was a clown in the 1950’s when he spastically gyrated his hips while singing Hound Dog. From then on, he just became more of a clown with each passing year. I’ll give Elvis two things. He was decent looking when he was young, and had a pretty good voice. Having said all of that, Blue Christmas, like everything else Elvis, is virtually unlistenable!

    5. Merry Christmas Baby: The Beach Boys. What the fuck do people from California know about Christmas? Listen to this song, especially the “Christmas comes this time each year” lyric, and you’ll know what I’m talking about. Their hearts simply were not in it. It’s almost as depressing as The Christmas Shoes, which was meant to be depressing!

    4. Dominic The Donkey: Italians have made so many important contributions to the world. This song was not one of them. The only thing that keeps this ridiculous piece of crap at number 4 is that it’s just a ridiculous piece of crap. It’s not downright offensive, like the top 3.

    3. Santa Baby: I’d like to change the title of this song to High Price Hooker Bimbo. Seriously, I know things in the 1950’s weren’t exactly progressive for women, but damn! Bitch wants a car, bitch wants a house, bitch wants a ring, and basically promises Pimp Santa that she’s been a good girl because she’s only blown 18 guys in the past year. For those that think I got a little harsh on that one, just wait!

    2. The David Bowie & Bing Crosby “Little Drummer Boy”: Bing Crosby was a true legend. This song is no reflection on him. As a matter of fact, it is my distinct belief that having to collaborate with Evil, cock-sucking David Bowie is what ended up killing ol’ Bing. Did you know that that lame-ass “peace on earth” passage that Bowie sang was something he insisted upon to “show off his voice.” Listen, you punk-ass, sold your soul to Satan fuck, you were lucky to be in the same song as Bing Crosby, who, if he’d known what he was getting into, would have only insisted on getting out of it. David Bowie, you’re evil, plain and simple, and have no business singing an even borderline religious song! And if that weren’t enough …

    1. Do They Know It’s Christmas? BAND AID. Fucking BAND AID!!!! Bunch of rich, well-fed 1980’s rock stars telling US, the little people, to “Feed The World.” You’ve got to be fucking kidding me. Now, I know some people (including my own wife) love this song. Sorry, but you’re just flat-out wrong. “Tonight, thank God it’s them instead of you?” I guess it’s good that a prick like Bono sang that line. Here’s my favorite. “The only gift they’ll get this year is life.” Uh, if you were starving your ass off, with flies constantly buzzing around your head, would you consider life to be a gift? This song is so fucking pretentious it’s frightening. But if you look at the participants, it’s really not all that surprising.

    Okay, so those are my picks, such as they are. I probably got a little frustrated, but then, not every song can be “Christmas Wrapping.” Incidentally, my favorite of the secular tunes. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season, except for those who vehemently disagree with me. For all of you, I hope your holiday season is hopelessly mediocre 🙂

     
    • Ron J 8:01 am on December 23, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Great List, however some mention of “The Christmas Shoes” should have been made… Hope you have a mediocre Christmas as well!

    • Kenny 9:04 am on December 23, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Ooh, good addition!!!

  • Kenny 11:14 am on May 23, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Top 10 Prison Movies Of All Time 

    Before I begin what will, no-doubt, be a disputed list, I must give a small list of ground rules.  For our intents and purposes herein I will define a prison movie is a film that has at least 50% of its setting inside of a prison or some kind of prisoner of war camp.  As with all of my lists, I will begin with #10, with little to no idea of what will be #1, which leads to the the organic nature of the list, but sometimes tends to upset people due to omission.  Hope you like!  Kenny

     

    10.  The Green Mile (1999):  I’ll get flack for not putting this one in the top five, I’m sure, but it’s just that the movie is a little bit too sickly-sweet for my taste.  It seems like the type of movie Ron Howard would direct, though it was not directed by Ron Howard.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s a terrific, well-made movie.  You simply cannot go wrong with Tom Hanks.  Again, just a little bit overly pussy for my taste.

     

    9.  The Dirty Dozen (1967):  Now how could I possibly put this movie above Green Mile?  Simply put, The Dirty Dozen could quite possibly be one of the coolest action movies ever made, with one of the coolest casts of characters.  Lee Marvin, Charles Bronson, John Cassavetes, Borgnine, Trini Lopez, Sutherland … not to mention the greatest football player who ever lived … and virtually all of them die while killing Nazis.  Now that’s how you make an action flick.

     

    8.  The Longest Yard (1974):  One of the greatest football movies ever made, and one of the only truly good Burt Reynolds movies ever made.  It could be Burt’s finest performance outside of Deliverance and maybe Boogie Nights, and Eddie Albert brings new meaning to the words evil warden.  While it is true that it has its moments of being a bit dated, and even a bit campy, it’s still a great one.  The worst thing about this movie is that it was remade with a bunch of hacks.

     

    7.  Escape From Alcatraz (1979):  I’ll admit it, I’m a Clint Eastwood guy.  The fact that this prison classic is actually based on the true story of the only man/men to ever escape from the maximum security penitentiary is a bonus.  Fantastic, almost documentary-like directing, providing a very realistic look at the pen.  Outstanding performances not only by Clint, but also by Patrick McGoohan, Larry Hankin, Fred Ward, Paul Benjamin et al make this thriller worth your two hours, even 35 years later.

     

    6.  “Stalag 17” (1953):  The movie that won William Holden the Academy Award for playing the enigmatic Sefton, and also a precursor to the hit television show, Hogan’s Heroes, Stalag 17 is one of Billy Wilder’s most scathing and satirical best.  The film uses its 120 minutes efficiently, developing characters and schemes with but a few shots, and manages, successfully, to straddle the line between thriller and comedy!

     

    5.  “The Great Escape” (1963):  Another amazing cast shines in this 1963 John Sturges classic, including McQueen, Coburn, Bronson (again), Garner (in perhaps his finest role ever), Attenborough, Pleasance and pretty much every other main cast member.  One of the first truly great action movies, with a smart plot, carried out expertly by actors and filmmakers alike.

     

    4.  “Papillon” (1973):  In a career of ground-breaking performances, Dustin Hoffman’s chops are in full flex in Papillon, though the movie is often overlooked in his career.  The same cannot be said for Steve McQueen.  Along with The Sand Pebbles, this is probably the finest acting job he’d ever delivered.  It is an action movie, yes, but it is also a riveting story that sprawls over years.  When the plot is described, you would think that the film would be boring.  It is anything but.  Like the title character, this one is not to be denied.

     

    3.  “Cool Hand Luke” (1967):  This movie has as much shimmering charisma as does its main character.  Newman gives perhaps his most likeable and memorable performance in a career chock full of them.  Many of his previous characters had been troubled but still relatively likeable.  However, when you watch Cool Hand Luke, you cannot help but think that Luke is the only character in the picture not troubled.  Aided by once in a lifetime performances by George Kennedy and Strother Martin (“What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate,”) this 1967 classic lives on and is every bit as relevant today is it was 47 years ago.  But I still don’t believe that there are too many non competitive eaters out there that can eat 50 eggs.

     

    2.  “The Shawshank Redemption” (1994):  This may be one of the only times I put a movie as number two on a list and catch hell for it.  I know, it’s EVERYONE’S favorite prison movie.  Well, obviously not.  It is a fantastic, nearly immaculately-made film, directed superbly and performed with a quiet ferocity.  The only problems I have with the movie are Morgan Freeman’s voice-0vers, which I think can be a bit corny at times, and … no, I guess that’s it.  Outstanding story, carried out effectively, and a fantastic, well-made, character-driven movie.

     

    1.  “Bridge On The River Kwai” (1957):  No self-respecting Irishman (or English or Scot, for that matter) can watch the corned beef and whiskey scene and not salivate.  Why is this movie #1?  Two words.  It’s perfect.  Alec Guinness gives one of the greatest performances in screen history.  Sessue Haykawa is charmingly ruthless, and William Holden is, well, William Holden.  Unline some of David Lean’s other sprawling epics that are somewhat boring and rely too much on visual stimuli, this 161 minute piece of cinematic virtuosity engages its viewers the entire time.

     

    So there we have it.  Those are my picks.  Please feel free to share, comment and dispute!

     

     
  • Kenny 6:22 am on February 16, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    About 191

     
  • Kenny 6:21 am on February 16, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    TOP 10 PIZZA JOINTS IN BETHLEHEM, PA (AND SURROUNDING BURROUGHS) … UPDATED AGAIN!!!! 

    Top 10 By Ken

    If you’re from our semi-holy Steel and Christmas City of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, then no doubt, you’ll want to read this, if for no other reason than to completely dispute my list. Pizza is not unlike music, sports or politics, in that people tend to get very passionate about it, and always feel as though their opinions are the only ones. Well, in Bethlehem, this dilemma is compounded exponentially, because, at least in my opinion, there really is no GREAT pizza in Bethlehem. There are at least 25 different pizzerias in the city of Bethlehem, and in burroughs surrounding it, and though most of them are good, solid places to get a pie, I sincerely believe that none of the places offer true pizza immortality. This fact will probably make this list a bit harder to construct, but much easier to dispute, so that’ll be fun!

    This is the updated version…

    View original post 1,380 more words

     
  • Kenny 10:42 pm on February 24, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    TOP 10 BOXING MOVIES OF ALL TIME!!!! 

    This is a list that was originated in the minds of my boss and me. We started out trying to make a list of the 10 greatest sports movies. Hah! Good luck with that one. Thusly, I decided to split up the sports and do lists for all that are doable. Here is my list of boxing movies, with which, I’m certain nobody will concur. I’d like to start out with two statements. Firstly, I’ve never seen “Hurricane” or the Marky Mark movie in which he plays Mickey Ward, so those two movies are out for this list. Secondly, I have a no sequels rule, the reasons for which shall become evident as I construct this list. As a former amateur pugilist, I do take boxing movies pretty seriously, as you’ll notice. As always, I have my 10, but in no specific order. I’ll do that as I go so as to make the list fairly organic. Enjoy!

    Honorable Mention: “The Great White Hope”: Pretty much a thinly-veiled story about Jack Johnson, this is a strong boxing movie featuring a young James Earl Jones … just not strong enough!

    10. “The Boxer”: Very strong movie, though not essentially about boxing. However, if a movie contains my favorite thesbian (DD Lewis), I’m going to do my darndest to include it. As far as the boxing end goes, here is why “The Boxer” made the list. As he does with every role, Daniel Day Lewis went out of his way to completely throw himself into his part. He probably did the best job that ANY actor has ever done at portraying a boxer IN THE RING. His movements are authentic and totally believable, especially as an Irish boxer, as the Irish boxer is known for three things, outstanding fundamentals, a rock hard chin, and virtually no punching power!

    9. “Ali”: This movie is absolutely exceptional, as is Will Smith’s performance. He LOOKS like Ali, he SPEAKS like Ali, and he acts like Ali in every way … until he gets into the ring. Daniel Day Lewis was the best ring portrayer of an actual boxer, and Smith is the absolute worst. In every other aspect, this movie is outstanding, and it would be in the Top 5 if Will had learned how to throw a damned jab! Angelo Dundee was still around then, so there is no excuse.

    8. “Streets Of Gold”: This COULD be the top performance by a supremely talented Klaus Maria Brandauer. It is a touching story that I will not ruin on here, as I know that probably 95% of you have not seen this. If you are a fan of boxing movies, find this movie, watch it, and you shall not be let down. A young Wesley Snipes is one of two boxers trained by Brandauer’s character (the other ably played by Adrian Pasdar), and the three of the actors together form a bond both as characters and as actors. This is one of the truly most finely-acted boxing films in history!

    7. “Diggstown”: There may be some that laugh at this choice. If you’d like to do that, it is your prerogative, but I’d just like to say that the PREMISE of this movie is without question the most original of those on this list. The combination of James Woods, Lou Gossett and Bruce Dern is absolutely magical, and it even comes complete with a twist at the end. If you like to see an over the hill underdog take on TEN different opponents in one day, then there is nothing not to like about this movie. It honestly does have everything, from drama and suspense to timely humor! Personally, I’m talking myself into wanting to watch it!

    6. “Million Dollar Baby”: Great movie. Not much more needs to be said. The only probably I ever had with it is that it just seemed like it was contrived to win Academy Awards .. .and win, it did! Eastwood-directed movies are always Academy favorites, as are Freeman and Shwank performances … and all for good reason. These people are exceptional at what they do. I might even go so far as to say that I think this might be Morgan Freeman’s greatest performance ever, and that is saying something. I’ve seen it once, and that is enough, as I don’t like to watch movies that depress me THAT much, but it is truly an exceptional movie!

    5. “Gentleman Jim”: I’m going to get flack for saying this, but BEST ERROL FLYNN PERFORMANCE EVER!!!!! His ring movement are believable, which is saying something, because he really portrayed the first true “boxer” ever. Before Corbett, boxing was a bare-knuckle, bar fight inside of a ring. Corbett was so goo in real life that he dethroned legend John L. Sullivan, who outweighed him by some 40 pounds. This 1942 movie IS about the boxing, but it is also a tender love story, so there’s something for all!

    4. “Cindarella Man”: Warning: unless you’re “dead in the chest”, this recent classic WILL make you cry. I will admit that Russell Crowe and Renee Zellweger are “love ’em or hate ’em”, polarizing-type actors, but Paul Giamatti is most-assuredly not! He may, quite possibly, be the very best character actor in the last 30 years, and he is beyond perfect as Braddock’s manager. The movie sheds light on a remarkable career and life of a man that was only widely-known previously as the man who lost the title to Joe Louis. Crowe is very strong as James J. Braddock and Zellweger may give her finest performance as his wife. It takes you on an emotional ride with the protagonist, and isn’t that what we all desire from a movie?

    3. “The Champ”: No, not the dreaded late ’70’s John Voight/Ricky fucking Schroeder movie. I’m talking about the original 1931 Wallace Beery/Jackie Cooper movie. If you’ve not seen this movie, and you like boxing movies, all I can say is … see this movie! Jackie Cooper, in my not so terribly humble opinion, give the finest performance from a child actor that has ever been seen. Don’t believe me? All you need do is watch him for about 2 minutes at the end. I’m 38 and couldn’t do what he did in the “after last fight” scene. As for Wallace Beery? Well, he was the only man for just under 50 years to win an Academy Award (tie) for a performance as a boxer, and Cooper STILL steals the show!!! Beware, this is another big time crier!

    2. “Raging Bull”: Now, I KNOW there are going to be a lot of people that are apalled that I’ve put this movie #2 instead of #1, and I’m not going to be able to change their minds. All I can say to that is … hey, my list! It is one of the most impressively-directed movies ever, and Scosese totally got shafted at the AA’s (Ordinary People? Seriously?) and DeNiro has one of his 2 or 3 finest performances, not to mention Pesci and Moriarty. Without a doubt, an American Classic and probably one of the 20 greatest movies of all time! However ….

    1. “Rocky”: There is a reason that this list was a “no sequels” list. Remeber the first “Rocky” before each sequel took more and more away from what should have been a lasting reputation? I know, people say things like, “Hey, the second one wasn’t bad!” Yes, it was! Not so much as a movie by itself, but because of what it did to the first. The first Rocky movie was, in a word, perfect. Why? BECAUSE HE LOST!!! It was almost an anti-Hollywood movie, in that the writer and star of the movie was NOT a star in Hollywood, and the movie ended on a triumphant downer. How can you get better than that? Remember this movie before the sequels killed it, and I think you’ll at least partially agree with the sentiment.

    Well, as always, those are my picks. Let’s hear yours!
    K

     
    • Karen 10:54 pm on February 24, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Nothing to argue, but I am glad “Cinderella Man” made the list, Kenny. It was the first movie I took Maddy to see. (It was a parent/baby matinee that the Loews by Boston Common offered. Those movies were a Godsend to a new mom in the throes of PPD.) It’s near and dear.

    • Karen 10:58 pm on February 24, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Did you never see “On the Waterfront”?

      • Karen 10:59 pm on February 24, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        Would “The Quiet Man” be a boxing movie?

      • Kenny 11:00 pm on February 24, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        If I’d counted them as boxing movies, they probably would have been top 5, “On The Waterfront” would have been #1

        • Karen 11:00 pm on February 24, 2012 Permalink

          Why were they excluded?

        • Kenny 11:05 pm on February 24, 2012 Permalink

          I just didn’t look at them as being “boxing movies”, although they did include the element …

        • Karen 11:12 pm on February 24, 2012 Permalink

          Gotcha. Hard to draw the line when describing types of movies. I think of them as “boxing movies” because the boxing was an important element to the character development, but you look at it differently.

    • Lisa 1:15 pm on February 29, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      So, now you are going to be amazed to hear tha tthe only movie on your list that I have actually seen is “Rocky”…yes, I need to get out more. I have planned to watch some of these, only to get sidetracked. Million Dollar Baby is one that I have been really wanting to see, but I’m the type that has to watch when no one is around…because of course I’m the type to tear up at these type of movies….and I have a feeling that this one is pretty predictable to be a tear-jerker. Thanks for the list of the must sees!!

    • Kenny 1:16 pm on February 29, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      thanks for reading, Lis!

  • Kenny 10:54 am on January 6, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    TOP 10 PIZZA JOINTS IN BETHLEHEM, PA (AND SURROUNDING BURROUGHS) … UPDATED AGAIN!!!! 

    If you’re from our semi-holy Steel and Christmas City of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, then no doubt, you’ll want to read this, if for no other reason than to completely dispute my list. Pizza is not unlike music, sports or politics, in that people tend to get very passionate about it, and always feel as though their opinions are the only ones. Well, in Bethlehem, this dilemma is compounded exponentially, because, at least in my opinion, there really WAS no GREAT pizza in Bethlehem. Note that I just said WAS. The original list did, in fact, stipulate that. Since the original has come out, I now believe that there are actually two pizzas out there, specific pies at two different locations, that have achieved greatness. There are at least 25 different pizzerias in the city of Bethlehem, and in buroughs surrounding it, and most of them are at the very least, good, solid places to get a pie. This fact, combined with the admission that I’ve still not tried each and every one of them, has made this list a bit harder to construct, but much easier to dispute, so that’ll be fun!

    This is yet another updated version of the original list. I kind of have to do this, as my #1 from the original list is no longer there. Also, there have been a couple of additions that really deserve inclusion, one in particular on this new Winter 2014 list!

    As always, I have rules for this list. The places discussed and judged will be confined to the city of Bethlehem, and the surrounding buroughs and townships (Bethlehem Township, Hanover Township, Fountain Hill, Saucon Valley, Center Valley, Palmer Township, Lower Nazareth), but no other actual city (ie, Easton, Allentown, etc). It must be a “mom and pop” joint, with 3 or fewer locations, and there are absolutely NO chains allowed! (not that any of that garbage would ever make a list such as this) As always, I make this list as I write, so even I will dispute it when I’m finished. Remember, I still have not tried a few places in the qualifying areas, so if you have suggestions for me, go for it, and I will make it a point to try!!! Okay, here we go!

    10. Matey’s Pizza, Broadway, Fountain Hill: This Fountain Hill establishment is such a staple in the Lehigh Valley that they actually sell the frozen pizzas at Giant supermarkets. These frozen pizzas are served hot in the pizza/cheese steak establishment of the same name, and the super unique “real tomato” sauce and crispy thin crust are what truly sets it apart..

    9. Penn Pizza, New Street, Bethlehem: There is nothing amazingly unique about Penn Pizza in Bethlehem. So why is it on this list? For the same reason that it’s been around seemingly forever. It is as consistent as they come, and it is a solid pie, all the way around. There is something to be said about a solid pizza that you can always count on!

    8. Mario’s Pizza Cafe, rte 378, Saucon Valley: Mario’s is very unique unto itself, based largely on its crust. It is, for lack of a better word, braided on the outer crust edge, making it perfect for dipping. Of all of the pizza places listed here, Mario’s may provide the most consistent pie. I’ve been there at least 30 times, and I think it’s been almost identical every time. That counts for a lot with most people!

    7. El Greco’s, 1822 Stefko Boulevard, Bethlehem, PA: If you want fresh, brick oven pizza in Bethlehem, you only have a few options, and the best, BY FAR is El Greco’s Pizza. Long-time residents, like myself, will remember the original El Greco’s in the Stefko Shopping Center, which truly made some of the best Neopolitan pie out there. However, new owner Anthony Tsamoutalidis took the risk, moved the place down the street, and transformed this Bethlehem staple into something completely different … brick oven pizza. If it were not as good as it is, people may have been seriously put out by this change, as the old El Greco’s was enormously popular, but to Mr. Tsamoutalidis’ credit, it really IS that good. He uses nothing but the freshest, most natural of ingredients, and you’d seriously have to go to Bleeker Street in Manhatten to find a brick oven pie as good! (Yes, I’m talking about John’s 🙂

    6. Martellucci’s Pizza, 1419 Easton Avenue, Bethlehem, PA: Want to know how good this 30+ year Bethlehem establishment is? Well, it sits within 2 blocks of Domino’s, Pizza Hut AND Little Caesars (yes, ALL of them), and is still thriving as a local business. What’s the key? Super high quality ingredients, and, quite possibly the most unique-to-itself pizza pie in the city. Some may find the sauce slightly bitter as you will find a healthy amount of oregano. I, personally, do not find it bitter, and I enjoy a very sweet sauce, just as an FYI. The cheese is high quality, and the pie is VERY consistent, but the most unique thing about Martellucci’s is their unmatched crust. It is soft and so incredibly paletable on the inner body, but still manages to have a crispy edge. It is a thinner crust pie (though not a “thin crust”) but is as hearty and filling as thicker crust pies. It is this kind of unique construction and meticulous attention to detail that puts this pie a “crust” above! This is the type of place that has super loyal customers, that will travel miles upon miles for their weekly pie!

    5. Lou’s 50 Yard Line Pizza Como, 2626 Easton Ave, Bethlehem, PA: I may be partial, as my rhythm section partner in our band, Mike, is the kitchen manager of this long-time Bethlehem establishment. Before it became Lou’s 50 Yard Line Sports Bar as well, this place started as simply “Pizza Como, USA”, and it’s been around, I believe, even longer than I have. If you go to Lou’s Pizza Como, you know that the thing that sets this pie apart is the sauce. I won’t reveal any secrets herein, but this is a simply gorgeous, bright red, sweet marinara that absolutely MAKES anything you put it on. The cheese is of a high quality, and the softer crust makes for some of the better comfort food around!

    4. Jack’s Brick Oven Pizza, 191 Nazareth Pike: Technically, this counts as Nazareth, but it’s really Lower Nazareth, at best, and it’s so close to Bethlehem Township that I must include it. This place sprung up about 18 months ago, and it is VERY good. The only flaw that I can find is that sometimes it can be slightly over-cooked. When it is cooked perfectly, it is one of the best pizzas in the area, as the sauce is as good as it gets, and the cheese is top notch. One could probably include the Broad Street Pizzaria in this slot, as it is owned by the same people. I’ve yet to have Broad Street, but it is probably very similar, if not the exact same. If they can get the consistency down with the oven times, they might just crack the top three!

    3. Nona Lia Italian Ristorante & Pizzaria, 4011 William Penn Highway, Easton, PA. Again, the “city” is really technical, as Nona Lia is in Palmer Township and thus qualifies for this list (hey, my rules here!) The owners (The Calantoni’s) are clients of my wife and brought a pizza for the family one day. Now, here is the very best compliment I can give to Nona Lia. My son actually likes their pizza! So what, you say? Well, odd as it may seem, this child of two pizza-addicted adults actually does not particularly like pizza of any kind. He doesn’t hate it, but until we first tried Nona Lia, he has never truly liked any local pizzeria. Great, soft crust, a unique, authentic Italian marinara, and high quality cheese. This is a new addition to the list, and to debut at #3 really says something spectacular!

    2. Sicily Pizza Restaurant, 4460 Easton Ave. Bethlehem Township: This is a new place, opened within the past year, and they have immediately shot to the top! If I may recommend a specific pie, you simply must try their Margherita (sp?) Pie. I’ve never had its equal. It is the first truly GREAT pizza I’ve ever had in this area. But if you want the regular, plain ol’ Neopolitan, you cannot go wrong here. It is a unique taste that I honestly cannot quite place (a cop out, I know), but I only know that I love it. When my wife and I get pizza for the family, we often fight about #1 or #2 on this list!

    1. Bella’s Pizza, Willow Park Road, Bethlehem Township: These “off the boat” Italian pizza makers moved into the area a little over two years ago, and have done quite well for themselves. Originally #6 due to some initial inconsistencies, these guys have seriously come into their own, and are pretty much the same product every time around. To use an overused phrase that I normally hate, these pies are truly cooked to perfection. Not too hard, not too flimsy, and top notch sauce and cheese! They recently have introduced a new Sicilian pie dubbed the Grandma Sicilian. It is only a few months old, and it is already their best seller. It is almost twice the price of a regular pie and worth every penny and then some. There is no way to describe “the Grandma” except to tell you to try it. It is a thinner crust sicilian, and is honestly up there with pizzarias in Brooklyn. That is the highest compliment I can give. This is a truly GREAT pizza!!! On my original list, I said that inconsistency was the only thing keeping these guys out of the #1 slot, and, true to my word, now that the product has achieved said consistency, they are there!

    Those are my picks, such as they are. I welcome all comments and complaints!!! Thanks for reading!!!!!

     
  • Kenny 3:09 pm on December 1, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Top 10 Christmas Movies Of All Time! 

    I’m from the Christmas City of Bethlehem, PA. As such, I am a Christmas fanatic, and for every reason.  Aside from traffic, there really is nothing I don’t love about the month of December, and what it brings.  Not the least of these joys is the Christmas Movie.  Thanks to wonderful channels like ABC Family and Hallmark, I’m able to take in as many as I can during these 25 incredible days, and this is my “from the hip” Top 10 Christmas Movies list.  I’m trying to give a taste from different eras and styles, so I hope you like.  Also, this list is strictly for movies, not specials.   As always, please send your suggestions on how I’ve messed this list up:-)

    10.  “Scrooged” (1989):  A new take on the old “A Christmas Carol” tale when it came out, this newer classic features Bill Murray in one of his most memorable roles, and an older Robert Mitchum as his ruthless boss. 

    9.  “Home Alone”  (1990):  Say what you will, but this movie was popular for a reason, and really, it still is.  Yes, young Macauley Culkin would not have had half the charm without the counterbalance of Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern, but you must admit, the kid did have you rooting for him!

    8. “Christmas With The Kranks” (2004) : This recent Christmas Comedy starring Tim Allen, Dan Aykroyd and Jamie Lee Curtis sees the classic Christmas Comedy from a new angle, and really does not disappoint.  Excellent comedic elements combined with sentimentality (especially at the end) make this one a winner for the season!

    7.  “Miracle On 34th Street” (1947):  Admittedly, I only saw this classic one time, and it was last year (again, thanks, ABC Family), and it is just that, a classic.  Memorable performances by Edmund Gwenn, Maureen O’Hara and a very young Natalie Wood

    6.  “Christmas Vacation”  (1990):  Nobody brings disaster and familiy together quite like National Lampoon combined with Chevy Chase.  This is probably his last truly funny movie, and he made it a good swan song.  As you get older, I think you appreciate this one more and more!

    5.  “Bad Santa”  (2003):  This movie gives new meaning to the word irreverant.  Billy Bob Thornton creates a character that may only ever be rivaled by the notorious grinch.  It’s one of those funny yet highly disturbing movies, but I’ve yet to meet someone that didn’t like it!

    4.  “White Christmas”  (1954):  Another classic that, admittedly, I never saw until last year.  The magical combination of Danny Kaye and Bing Crosby could melt even the most anti-musical people out there. 

    3.  “The Polar Express”  (2004):  An instant classic based on the classic short story, The Polar Express combines some seriously amazing effects with an amazing vocal performance by the incomparable Tom Hanks.  It is a simple story, and somehow, a good Christmas story doesn’t need to be anything but.  If you’ve never seen it, I would recommend the 3D version!  And don’t forget the hot chocolate!

    2.  “A Christmas Story”  (1983):  Another modern classic, you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone out there that doesn’t love this period piece, set in 1940 America, and following one young boy’s dream to have a Red Rider BB gun for Christmas.  Memorable performances by Peter Billingsley, Darrin McGavin and Melinda Dillon combine with the Norman Rockwell like setting to bring an instant classic with just as many memorable lines as any classic ever!  This movie is so great, it could only be topped by ….

    1.  “It’s a Wonderful Life”  (1946):  Was there ever a doubt?  A good man loses his way, forgets what is truly important and is shown what the world would be like without him.  Highly innovative for it’s time, but also timeless largely due to an amazing story, carried out by the All American James Stewart, as well as one of the very best villains in film history, portrayed by Lionel Barrymore, make for one of the greatest MOVIES of all time, let alone movies about Christmas!

    Okay, folks, those are my picks, let me know what you think, and, of course, what I’ve missed!

     
    • Lisa 3:39 pm on December 1, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Love your choices, although I have to say that I could not make it through “Bad Santa”. We shut that movie off before it was halfway through. I don’t know if it was me or what, but I have yet to see the entire movie. I also have never seen “The Polar Express”. My son swears that I have to see it in my robe, slippers, and of course, with the hot chocolate 🙂

    • Kenny 3:46 pm on December 1, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks, Lisa. You definitely should watch Polar Express with your son. I think I really liked Bad Santa, b/c he actually makes me look not so bad 🙂
      Forgot “The Santa Clause” too!

  • Kenny 6:07 pm on February 15, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Top 10 Defensive Lines in “modern” NFL history! Oh yeah … I’m going there! 

    I am not a fan of today’s NFL. That said, I still know a bit about the game, and in my humble opinion, 93.224% of the time, football games are won and lost at the line of scrimmage. Win the battle of the lines, win the game, it’s ALMOST that simple. I’ve seen some great D lines in my time, and learned and read about some more. To me, the modern era of football begins with the 1958 season, the season that culminated with “The Greatest Game Ever Played”, the ’58 NFL Championship between the Colts and Giants. Of course, one of those teams will be represented herein, not too coincidentally. So, without further wordplay, here is MY list of the 10 Greatest Defensive Lines in the modern era. Remember, I welcome, and encourage vehement discussion, disagreement and debate, and, because this is from the top of my head, I sometimes even disagree with myself afterward!

    10. “The New York Sack Exchange”: There may never be a Hall Of Famer plucked from this foursome, but in the early to mid 1980’s, nobody rushed the passer like the quartet of Marty Lyons, Abdul Salaam, Joe Klecko, and the “sack dance king”, Mark Gastineau! Gastineau always seemed to grab the headlines with his flamboyant personality and on-field antics, but Klecko was definitely the best of the group, and is the one guy with Canton plausiblity. Never to be underestimated, Lyons and Salaam were very solid, occupying O linemen effectively while Klecko and Gastineau did the brunt of the damage.

    9. 1992-96 Dallas Cowboys: This defensive line created absolute havoc for opposing offenses, largely due to two factors. Factor #1: Charles Haley … and later, the combo of Haley and Leon Lett. Haley was an absolute BEAST, a speed demon, with a seemingly never-ending motor … and Lett? Well, when he wasn’t clowning or being suspended, he was, without question, the most dangerous DT of his time. Lightning quick, ridiculously strong, and just plain better than any offensive lineman who was unfortunate enough to draw him as an assignment. Factor #2: The rotation of the “other guys”, who were all pretty damned good. The faces remained pretty much the same, with DT stalwarts Russell Maryland, Tony Casillas, Jimmie Jones and Chad Hennings, as well as DE’s Tony Tolbert and Jim Jeffcoat. These guys were rotated so well (especially during the first two Super Bowl years) that nobody ever seemed to get tired, and everyone was able to keep up with Haley’s motor. The result of this line? Uh, 3 Super Bowls?

    8. 1983-87 Chicago Bears: The 46 defense was a brilliant scheme, an original idea based on expansion of fundamentals. As with any scheme, it needs the players to work to its apex. And the Bears had the players. Duerson, Fencik, Marshall, Wilson, SINGLETARY … but the defense spread outward from the incredible five man rotation of Dent, McMichael, Hartenstine, Perry, and HOF’er Dan Hampton. I’m a little partial here, since Mike Hartenstine is a friend and a wonderful guy. He was also a heck of a player … and he didn’t even START for the famed ’85 Bears. Perry was a tackle, Dent an end, and pretty much everyone else could play both positions, and did rotate from time to time. Perhaps someday, Richard Dent will find his way into the Hall Of Fame, as well. I began watching football over 30 years ago, and the ’85 Bears defense is still the very best I’ve ever seen. That had a lot to do with these five guys!

    7. “Doomsday I” 1966-72 Dallas Cowboys: The original late ’60’s to early ’70’s Dallas Cowboys defense was a truly great one, built upon Tom Landry’s now famous Flex 4-3 style. It was very innovative for its time, but relied heavily upon the pass rush brought by ends Larry Cole and George Andrei, tackle Jethro Pugh, and HOF defensive tackle, Bob Lilly. Lilly is one of the 3 greatest to ever play the position. Don’t believe me? Get some footage someday, and you’ll see what a “man among boys” this guy really was. Perhaps the strongest player of his era, he also possessed lightning quick speed, and really made his 3 Pro Bowl calibur linemates look pedestrian in comparison. Doomsday I brought the Cowboys many “also rans”, and a SB VI title in 1971, and it all began with that relentless pass rush.

    6. 1987-1991 Philadelphia Eagles: That same brilliant 46 defense that Buddy Ryan implemented in Chicago was brought, with Ryan, to the ‘Birds in the late ’80’s. Now, the rest of the Eagles D was far superior to that of the Bears, but one could argue, and I do, that the Eagles defensive line was a little better. Featuring solid tackle Mike Pitts, Pro Bowl end, Clyde Simmons, and two guys that met their ends WELL before their time, Jerome Brown and, of course, HOF’er Reggie White, (I could be a jerk here, but I’ll mention backup Mike Golic, as well … he worked hard:) these guys got after the QB as though their very lives depended on it. Like many great things in the NFL, it was far too short-lived, as the party came to an end when Jerome Brown died, and when White left via free agency for the Green Bay Packers, so ended the vaunted Eagle defense. Like too many of these great defensive lines, this one never got to the brass ring … and one of the biggest disappointments to Eagles fans, they never even won a postseason game.

    5. “The Steel Curtain” 1974-80 Pittsburgh Steelers: The foursome of Dwight White, Ernie Holmes, should-be HOF’er LC Greenwood, and the great Mean Joe Greene was the catalyst for one of the greatest defenses in history, the great Steel Curtain swarmers of the 4 time Super Bowl Champion Steelers of the 1970’s! Yes, they had other amazing players on defense, with 3 other Hall Of Famers, and even more Pro Bowlers, but without the furious pass rush and deafening run stopping of this foursome, perhaps the Lamberts, Hams and Blounts of the world would not be quite so effective. I’m SURE that there are Steelers fans that will wonder not only why they are so “low” on this list, but why they’re not number 1. Four Super Bowl victories is quite an argument, and I’ll not refute it … but this is about defensive line play, and the team results are but one gauge of that.

    4. 1956-60 Baltimore Colts: The one question that even enthusiasts have when regarding this line is “who’s the other guy?” The “other” guy was Pro Bowl defensive end Don Joyce, a force in his own right. Why is he essentially forgotten? Well, probably because he played with two Hall Of Famers, and another player who probably would have been had he not died at age 30. The Hall Of Famers consist of “football’s greatest ambassador”, the one and only Art Donovan, a ferocious 275 lb tackle when 275 lbs was considered HUGE … and the first truly GREAT defensive end, the one and only Gino Marchetti! The man who would have probably made it was legendary Eugene “Big Daddy” Lipscomb, a mountain of a man, who struck fear into the hearts of the most fearless of Offensive Linemen. This is truly the first defensive line of note, and one that gave opposing quarterbacks fits. Never was this more evident than in thier championship campaign of ’58, when their defense allowed just a bit more than HALF of what their offense scored. There were no other Pro Bowlers or Hall Of Famers on that defense. It pretty much had everything to do with the performance of those 4 guys!

    3. “Purple People Eaters” 1968-74 Minnesota Vikings: There are other things that could be said here, but this could probably sum it all up: 19 Pro Bowl Appearances, 4 Super Bowl Appearances and 2 HOF’ers! And while 15 of those Pro Bowls came from HOF’ers Alan Page (9) and Carl Eller (6), Gary Larsen and Jim Marshall were certainly no slouches, each garnering 2. As a matter of fact, ALL FOUR were Pro Bowlers in their NFL Championship season of 1969, and had 50 sacks betwen them. Yes, the Vikings lost all four Super Bowls that they went to over this period, but they never would have gone to one had it not been for this quartet. Here’s a good story that everyone knows. In a game against the 49ers in ’64, Jim Marshall recovered a fumble and ran the wrong way, only to throw the ball out of the end zone upon what he thought was a “touchdown”. Here’s the part most do not know: After the 49ers got the ball back, Marshall sacked the quarterback and forced a fumble that was recovered by Page, who ran 45 yards for a touchdown. THAT’S the kind of line these guys formed!

    2. “The Fearsome Foursome” 1963-67 Los Angeles Rams: They never won a Super Bowl or an NFL title. They never even appeared in a Final for such accolades. Somehow, it hardly seems to matter. Other lines had been known as the “Fearsome Foursome” prior to Rosey Grier joining the team in ’63, but after these guys got together, the nickname became theirs for all time. The great Dick Butkus called them the most dominant line in football history, and it’s hard to argue when you consider that DT Merlin Olsen is Top 3 All Time, DE Deacon Jones is Top 3 All Time, and Pro Bowlers Rosey Grier and enormous 6’7″ Lamar Lundy. Rosey Grier actually helped aprehend Sirhan Sirhan follwing the RFK assassination. Just another day for an NFL Great!

    1. “Doomsday II” 1975-82 Dallas Cowboys: The foursome of Ed “Too Tall” Jones, Harvey Martin, John Dutton and HOF’er Randy White struck terror into the hearts of pretty much everyone for 7 years. Never was this more evident than in the Cowboys’ victory in Super Bowl XII. The defense as a whole forced a record 8 turnovers and only allowed 8 pass completions from a stunned and dejected Broncos squad. It was the first time that the Super Bowl MVP was bestowed upon a defensive lineman, so why not make it 2? White and Martin split the award, but many argue that it could have been split 3 ways with Jones as well. Dutton, the unheralded 4th member of the line was an extremely solid run stopper, while Jones was a true intimidator, and, at 6’9″, possibly the best pass-blocking DE of all time. White will go down as one of the 5 or 6 greatest tackles in history, providing immese strength in an admittedly small 250 lb frame. The biggest tragedy is Martin, who is probably the greatest defensive lineman NOT in the Hall Of Fame. He had 27 sacks in one season, a number that dwarfs any sack total that has come since, and was incredibly talented though troubled for a good portion of his life. In my opinion, no D line in history stopped the run and thwarted the pass by injecting shear terror into opposing quarterbacks than the late ’70’s “Doomsday II”.

    Okay, folks. Those are my picks. Let’s hear your arguments. You KNOW I want them 🙂

     
    • Chuck 2:19 pm on February 16, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I like the article, Ken. Well written and sound arguments for every line on the list. I, of course would put the Bears first, but I am biased. When does Luke get to meet Hartenstine? 🙂

      • Kenny 2:35 pm on February 16, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks, Chuck. Still waiting for the Steelers fans I know to come on here and rip me for “The Curtain” … can you tell I’m a recovered Cowboys fan? I know that Mike usually comes into town twice a year, once during the summer for a golf thing at Saucon. I’ve only seen him once since I quit the bar (God, that’s almost 4 years ago!), but I’ll ask my dad if he knows when he’ll be around. For some reason, he always remembers me … I think because I ask him questions that nobody else does. If and when I see him, I’ll try to get something for you guys!

        • Kenny 10:47 am on February 20, 2011 Permalink

          ——————————————————————————–

    • Alex 4:29 pm on April 23, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Steelers fan here. I’m somewhat partial, however I believe the Steelers should be higher. But I think that this IS a well thought up list, so I’m not going to give you so much lip about it.

      • Alex 4:35 pm on April 23, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        Also, I think the fearsome foursome should be the highest. They had, altogether, 25 pro bowls.

    • A#1 10:53 am on February 15, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Sorry, folks, but the Detroit Lions had the original Fearsome Foursome of Williams, Brown, Karras and McCord. If you don’t think they were bad asses, just ask Bart Starr.

    • Ken 4:45 pm on June 8, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      While i agree in general with who’s on the list, the best defensive line I’ve ever seen and I’ve been watching since 68, was the Vikings of the late 60’s early 70’s. That defensewas one of the best in history and it was almost exclusively, unlike the others you named, because of that line. go to profootball reference .com and search ” best defense line to play together” and you’ll get a wealth of evidence.

    • Ken 10:28 am on March 16, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Well, i saw almost every one thats listed and i must say that one of the greatest decenses of all time was so almost solely because of their line, the Vikings of 69 thru 76 or so. 69 thru 71 is probably the best three year run any defense ever had. For more details cbeck out profootballreference . They have them as best line ever. Easily. Top 6 places actually

  • Kenny 8:39 am on January 25, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Top 10 Pitching Staffs since 1900 … this one’s going to be fun! 

    As most of you who know me know, I am an “enormodome” Phillies Phan, and with our recent acquisition of Cliff Lee, we have formed one of the most amazing foursomes of arms ever assembled. I’d like to do a Top 10 for pitching staffs (or is it staves?) since 1900. We COULD go back futher than that, but before the turn of the century, most teams only had 2 starters, so …

    TOP 10 Pitching Staffs (Staves) Since 1900: (Remember, I do these lists right off the top of my head, so that it is as spontaneous as possible … ie: sometimes it doesn’t even come out like I thought it would 🙂

    10. 1972-74 Oakland A’s: The only reason that they are down this far is because, in actuality, there really only WERE three top notch starters, but WOW, what a 3!!! HOF’er Catfish Hunter, Ken Holtzman and ’71 AL MVP Vida Blue combined to help this A’s team become the ONLY NON YANKEE team to win 3 World Series in a row. Enough Said!

    9. 1986 New York Mets: When Rick Aguilera is your 5th (and pretty much only a spot) starter, and still manages 10 wins … and the rest of your staff is 15+ wins, you’ve got a pretty good combination! Ojeda, Gooden, Fernandez and Darling combined for 66 wins, and the ’86 Metropolitans went on to win 108 games, the World Series, and pretty much destroyed anything in its path!

    8. 1905 Philadelphia A’s: Again, the only reason they’re this low is because there were, essentially, only 3 of them … but they are ALL enshrined in Cooperstown! Included are 300 Game Winner, Eddie Plank, big game star and Chippawa Indian, Chief Bender, and baseball’s all time lunatic/idiot savant, the incomparable and enigmatic Rube Waddell! And people said Connie Mack was a great manager … Hell, I could have won with those guys!

    7. 1927 New York Yankees: There is a reason that this team set an AL record with 110 wins … and it wasn’t ALL Ruth and Gehrig! HOF’ers Waite Hoyt and Herb Pennock led a very deep staff that also included former star pitchers Dutch Ruether, Urban Shocker, and 30 year old rookie relief specialist Wilcy Moore, who, oh yeah, also won 19 games as well!

    6. 1971 Baltimore Orioles: Now, I know there are those that are going to say that I’m putting this team WAY too low on the list, as they had FOUR 20 Game Winners. However, Pat Dobson (the 4th guy that nobody ever seems to remember) was little more than a journeyman who had a career year. Jim Palmer won 3 Cy Youngs and earned a trip to Cooperstown, and Dave McNally and ’69 Cy Mike Cuellar were 2 of the most formidable lefties of the era!

    5. 1993-2003 Atlanta Braves: There was a reason that this team won like 95 straight division titles .. great starting pitching, specifically three future HOF’ers: John Smoltz, Greg Maddux and Tommy Glavine. Yes, they always seemed to have a decent 4th (see Avery, Milwood, et al), but these three guys made this team not only a contender, but a dominator through every single regular season!

    4. (Tie) 2011 Phillies: Yes, here we are. Yes, I’ve put them high up on the list. In this group of 4 ace pitchers, you’ve got a 2 time Cy Young winner and almost certain Hall Of Famer in the incomparable Roy Halladay, an NLCS MVP in Roy Oswalt, an NLCS and World Series MVP in Cole Hamels … and ANOTHER former Cy Young winner in Cliff Lee. Though it is not anywhere near definite, ALL four pitchers actually have a chance for the Hall Of Fame, though all still need more in the way of numbers.
    1950’s Yankees: Again, there is a reason that these teams appeared in 8 World Series over the decade, and won 6 of them … and it wasn’t all just Mantle and Berra. Now, Whitey Ford is the only one of these guys that made the Hall, but if you ask any players of the era, they’ll tell you exactly how good the combo of Vic Raschi, Allie Reynolds and Eddie Lopat were three of the top pitchers in baseball. The 20 win seasons were almost never there for any of them, as the Yankees were a very cheap organization, and never wanted to pay out the bonuses, hence the starters would be held back at season’s end, with the excuse of “preserving their arms” for the World Series … BUT this is truly the most underrated staff in baseball history!

    3. 1954 Cleveland Indians: This team broke the AL wins record with 111 wins, due in NO small part to this amazing collection or arms! FOUR Hall of Famers … if you count then-relief specialist Hal Newhouser, with Early Wynn and Bob Lemon in the prime of their careers, the great Bob Feller with enough in the tank to go 13-3 … AND 19 game winner Mike Garcia! Fairly impressive!

    2. 1906-08 Chicago Cubs: The reason that these guys were #2 instead of #1 is that they pitched in the Dead Ball Era, which DID keep ERA’s pretty low. But when you combine HOF’er Mordecai “Three Finger Brown”, with top notch pitchers of the era, Jack Pfeister, Ed Reulbach and Orville Overall, oh … and the guy who holds the ALL TIME record for most consecutive complete games (187 .. and no, that’s not a typo), Jack Taylor … was their FIFTH STARTER!!!! If you had an ERA that went above 2.00, you were demoted from THIS staff!

    1. 1920 Chicago White Sox: They were the first staff (and one of only 2 in history) to sport FOUR 20 Game Winners … in actuality, all four won 21 or more, including HOF’er Red Faber, would-be HOF’er Eddie Cicotte, Lefty Williams, and Dickie Kerr. What’s even more amazing? They were pitching for a team that was throwing games ALL SEASON LONG … and two of THEM were throwing games, and STILL managed to win 20. Takes a real artist to crookedly WIN 20!

    That’s my list and I’m sticking to it! I’ve had fun … I hope that all you baseball fans out there had fun reading it … now disagree with me. I want you to!!!

    LK

     
    • Karen 12:04 pm on January 25, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I know you are a diehard Phillies fan, but you need to give the 1966 Dodgers credit where credit is due. Koufax, Osteen, Drysdale, and Sutton were quite the powerhouse. Hell, Koufax won 27 games and got the Cy Young that year.

      • Karen 12:05 pm on January 25, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        I read that in the leaflet about great Jewish athletes. 🙂

        • Kenny 5:28 pm on January 25, 2011 Permalink

          PS – Can you name the 4 jewish baseball players that are enshrined in Cooperstow (bet you can get at least 2)

      • Kenny 1:11 pm on January 25, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        Ah, good “Airplane!” ref! And yes, that WAS a dominant staff … with two pitchers (Osteen & Podres) who later became Phils pitching coaches. I had actually been contemplating the ’63 combo of Koufax, Drysdale and Pods … simply because they dominated … and subsequently SWEPT the mighty Yankees in the Series … but there were only 3 …

        • Chuck Satterlee 10:24 am on January 26, 2011 Permalink

          Wow…you know your stuff. 🙂 All I know is that the pitching trio of Maddux, Prior and Wood didn’t help the Cubs in the clutch. 🙂

        • Kenny 3:53 pm on January 26, 2011 Permalink

          I forgot that Maddux was on that ’03 staff … God, Zambrano too, now that I think of it … and Prior was incredible that year. I’m not even a Cubs fan, and I’m STILL upset at Steve Bartman … that, and ’66 Dodgers, both oversights on my part, and both were probably better than those ’70’s A’s teams … good calls, Chuck and Karen!

  • Kenny 9:28 pm on October 15, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Top 10 “should have won”s at the Academy Awards: 

    One of the great things about this blog is that I can take a while off. Well, I’m back with a new sports/entertainment Top 10. Thanks for joining me. As with pretty much all of my lists, they are done “spur of the moment”, and rather off the top of my head so that I can keep it fresh. I don’t even know what #1 will be when I start, I just think of a topic and go. Thank God I haven’t gotten to cities in Europe, Philosophers, Economists, News Channels, or anything else that I know jack or next to jack shit about!

    So Here’re my picks for the Top 10 should have won films for the AA’s. We’ll simply deal with Best Picture for this one, as, well … you have to draw the line somewhere, and 10 is not enough for all of the major categories.

    10. 2002: “Chicago” over “Gangs Of New York”: The 1960’s featured FOUR different musicals to win Best Picture, and the Acedemy probably was not happy, as no musical had won since 1968. “Chicago” is a quality musical, not remotely in the league of a “Dancer In The Dark”, or in my opinion, even a “Newsies”, but quality. Just not so special, and relies WAY too much on its star power. “Gangs Of New York”, to me, was by far and away the best picture of that year, along with the year’s best acting performance. Then again, when Daniel Day Lewis is in a movie, it is USUALLY the year’s finest acting performance!

    9. 1997: “Titanic” over “LA Confidential”: The only truly great film noir since Chinatown, LA Confidential was a gritty story about a pretty real time and world in ’50’s Los Angeles. Undeniably perfectly performed by Crowe, Pearce, Cromwell, Spacey, Basinger et al. Simply an ideally crafted film. Likewise, “Titanic” was honestly an extraoridinarily made movie, and aptly performed, but even with incredible special effects, it is not necessarily a memorable film or classic, IMO

    8. 2004: “Million Dollar Baby” over “Sideways”: I’m sorry, folks. I know that most of you out there probably liked “Million Dollar Baby” a lot, and with good reason. It’s a terrific movie, but an Academy Award winner? Man, I don’t know. There’s nothing really unique about this story. It’s heart-wrenching, and that always helps pump it up in the “that was a great movie” sense. And it is a great movie. “Sideways”, to me, is a better movie. It’s about real people, maybe not people like you or me, but definitely people that I can see existing on a semi-regular plane, even in California. Might be the best of a lifetime of great performances by Paul Giamati, and the same could be said for Sandra Oh, Thomas Haden Church and the TIMELESSLY HOT Virginia Madsen!

    7. 1977: “Annie Hall” over “Star Wars”: The only reason that this one is so very low on the list is because “Annie Hall” is SUCH a tremendous movie. It’s Allen at his absolute apex, in a career that has been extraordinary. It’s probably a top 100 all time. “Star Wars”, however, was a phenomenon, the likes of which has never been seen before and will not be seen again. “Annie Hall” might even be the better movie/story, but there’s just something magical about “STAR WARS”!!!

    6. 1975: “One Flew Over The Cukoo’s Nest” over “JAWS”: “Cukoo’s Nest” is an all time great, a classic. “JAWS” is, in my opinion, one of the 15 greatest films in history, one of the 5 greatest directed, one of the 10 greatest performed. The very rare symmetry and chemistry between the 3 main actors of Shaw, Sheider, and Dreyfuss, coupled with some of the most classic scene sequences in history, and some of the most haunting shots in a movie … oh, and that John Williams guy (again)

    5. 2000: “Gladiator” over “Almost Famous”: This is my sentimental pick. I do not think that “Gladiator” is any great movie. As good as Russell Crowe is in many other films, I simply do not like him in this one, and they gave him BEST ACTOR TOO!! Almost Famous is to me a great flick, and IMO Cameron Crowe’s best … far superior to “Jerry Maguire” … and it wasn’t even nominated. “Wait, I didn’t say I’m a Golden God ……………… or did I?”

    4. 1996: “The English Patient” over Every other movie nominated, and many not nominated: Possibly the worst movie to ever win … and definitely the most boring. Interesting story about this one: I was at the NY Miramax Academy Awards party that year. When they announced that “English Patient” had won Best Picture (incidentally, the first Miramax Picture to win … bear that in mind), I screamed out “NO WAY!” and many people turned around and looked at me as though I just gave everyone a terminal disease … sorry, but it was horrible!

    3. 1941: “How Green Was My Valley” over “Citizen Kane”: Wow! Talk about not being nearly appreciated enough in your own time. Though “Kane” was nominated for many awards, including Best Picture of the Year, it did not win … and unlike minor snubs in which the winner was ALSO a great film … well, this one is kind of a travesty! And when I say kind of, I mean EXTRAORDINARILY!

    2. 1964: “My Fair Lady” over “Dr. Strangelove: Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love the Bomb”: “My Fair Lady” is a really good musical. It’s so good, Rex Harrison’s annoying way is actually charming … and THAT says something. Having said that, “Strangelove” is a GROUND-BREAKING comedy … a black comedy and a political satire … with one of the greatest comedic performance in film history … actually 3!

    1. 1928: “Wings” over “The Crowd”: The very first Academy Awards got it wrong. That’s for those of you who keep asking why they seem to get it wrong so often? “Wings” is a decent movie, sentimental, but by no means a classic. I can say about “The Crowd” is that if you’ve never seen it, and you consider yourself a classic film buff, then you need to acquire it ASAMFP! It is a silent film, and is, in truth, more heart-breaking in it’s stark realism and statement of true reality than just about any film that has sound, if not all of them. I am not a silent film fan. There have been a few that I liked, and only one that I truly LOVED. You owe it to yourself to watch this movie!

    Well, those are my picks. Please chime in on what I may have missed!

     
    • Karen 11:31 am on October 17, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      1998 – “Shakespeare in Love” over “Saving Private Ryan” was a crime. “Shakespeare” was good, but “Private Ryan” was what dramatic movies should be…thought-provoking, gut-wrenching, and leaving you appreciative of the world you live in. I refuse to see “Private Ryan” again, because I just want to hold the memory of the experience.

      1995 – “Braveheart” over any of the others. Sorry, the story did not even come close to what actually happened. I am not a historical purist in cinema, but the story of William Wallace did not need the Mel Gibson anti-English spin to make it compelling.

      1994 – “Forrest Gump” over “The Shawshank Redemption”. “Forrest Gump”…Baby Boomer cultural masturbation at its finest.

      1990 – “Dances with Wolves” over “Goodfellas”. No explanation necessary.

      1980 – “Ordinary People” over “Coal Miner’s Daughter” or “Raging Bull” A film about a family who has hurt pussies won out over two of the best biographical films in movie history. Bad Academy….Bad, Bad!

      I am sure there is more, but I am sure you wanted to hear my knee-jerk opinion. 🙂

      • Kenny 1:58 pm on October 18, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        All great examples, Karen. Had I thought if it, I certainly would have used 1994, but for “Pulp Fiction” and not “Shawshank”, which, admittedly, is a fine film (look for Top 10 Prison Movies … coming soon!) TOTALLY agree w/ 1990, 1980, and especially 1995 … the saddest thing about 1995 is that “Leaving Las Vegas was not even nominated … yet, “Babe” was!
        I might also suggest 1967, when “In The Heat Of The Night”, a strong film, beat out not only “The Graduate”, but also “Bonnie And Clyde”, and 1976 when “Rocky” (which would still be considered an all time great had the sequel not ripped its credibility into shards, beat out “Network” AND “Taxi Driver” (still, in my mind, the greatest score ever written by the unheralded Bernard Hermann)

        • Lisa 2:49 pm on October 18, 2010 Permalink

          All I have to say is that I seriously need to start watching more movies…ha ha. 😀 I think I have seen maybe 5 of all the ones listed here. And now that you have brought up “Rocky” I definitely need to see that again. That theme song has been going through my head all day!

c
Compose new post
j
Next post/Next comment
k
Previous post/Previous comment
r
Reply
e
Edit
o
Show/Hide comments
t
Go to top
l
Go to login
h
Show/Hide help
shift + esc
Cancel