Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Coming Soon

TigerBlog mentioned "The Sting" last week when he was talking about Robert Redford, and there it was, like magic, on Turner Classic Movies Saturday night at 8.

So what did TB do? He watched it again.

TigerBlog wishes he had a way of knowing exactly how many times he's watched certain shows or movies. Is it possible that he's watching something at least 100 times? At least 50 times? What has he seen the most?

On his iTunes, it's easy. There's a counter that tells you how many times you've heard a song. In TB's case, "Do You Hear The People Sing" is No. 1, having played 332 times. As an aside, of the top 10, four are by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band and of the top 50, only three - all by Train - are from this century.

As for movies and shows? Well, he's seen a lot of them enough times to have memorized them. What has he seen the most? For a movie, he'd guess "Rocky." Or "Casablanca." For a TV show? Maybe old episodes of the "Odd Couple?"

How many times has he seen "The Sting?" The only answer he can come up with is "a lot."

He's seen it enough to know basically every line in the movie. He knows exactly when his favorite parts are going to come up. He's seen it so many times that he realizes that if the guy playing the Fed was really a con man who was supposed to fool Snyder, the local cop, then he wouldn't have done some of the things he did when Snyder wasn't around.

TB's favorite line in the movie belongs to Paul Newman, whose natural cool just overwhelms the movie. As you know, TB considers Paul Newman one of the three coolest actors of all time, along with Steve McQueen and James Garner.

Anyway, TB's favorite line is when Lonnegan is walking through the train station in New York and Newman and Redford are watching him for the first time. Redford, in his toughest bravado, sneers "he's not as tough as he thinks."

Newman, sounding a lot like Princeton women's track and field coach Peter Farrell, says matter-of-factly "neither are we."

"The Sting" won the Academy Award for Best Picture of 1973 and six other Oscars, none of which was for an acting category. Still, it also has great characters and great performances, even beyond the two stars. Eileen Brennan is great. Ray Walston is really great. Harold Gould is really, really great.

It is a series of great scenes that tie together at the end perfectly. TigerBlog has never met a person who saw the movie who saw the end coming, which is a the whole point of a movie about con men, right?

So that was Saturday.

As for Sunday night, TB watched the final of the Copa America between Chile and Argentina. TigerBlog's short assessment is that it was as wild a 0-0 game as you'll ever see.

The first half was all about the ref, who was handing out cards of yellow and red like they were Halloween candy. The second half was about not making the killer mistake off of a counter for Argentina and for not allowing Lionel Messi to use the extra space on the field to create a layup for Chile.

Not that this would ever happen, but international soccer desperately needs a replay ref to decide not goals or offsides but cards. Yellows and reds have a major impact on events like Copa America or even the World Cup, and an official who can see the replay can tell if a card is deserved or not. In the game Sunday night, almost all of the card calls were wrong, and replay showed that instantly. 

In the end, it went to penalty kicks, which TigerBlog hates. It's an awful way to decide a major championship. If the teams knew they couldn't win without actually scoring, then the way the game is played would be different and someone would score. Plus, maybe they could take a few players off the field for the overtimes, opening up more scoring chances.

Chile ended up winning, 4-2, and one of the Argentine misses came from Messi, who later said he was done with international soccer. TB doubts it.

The game drew 82,000 fans to Met Life Stadium. TigerBlog was actually at Giants Stadium when nearly that many would go watch the New York Cosmos play in the 1970s.

TB has been to one international soccer game in his life, and that was in Costa Rica, back in 2012, when the Princeton men's lacrosse team was there. It was a World Cup qualifier between Los Ticos and El Salvador, and it was, in a word, wild. In three words, it was very, very wild.

So that was Saturday and Sunday night's TV watching.

As for Princeton Athletics, TigerBlog could go into big detail about it, but he'll actually wait til later in the week.

Just now that something big is coming for Friday, and let's leave it at that for now ...

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