Monday, December 12, 2011

If Tom Is The Devil, Can Tim Be ... ?

"Broadcast News" was on the other day, and like every other time it shows up, it's hard for TigerBlog to change the channel.

The movie is about the inner-workings of a major news network and the people who work there. It's mostly about the relationships that develop from working long hours together, combining great humor and great storytelling, all with nearly perfect character development.

It was nominated for seven Academy Awards, winning none. In one of the great Oscar snubs ever, Albert Brooks did not win Best Supporting Actor, which went that year (1988 Oscars) to Sean Connery for "The Untouchables." Also, the movie did not win Best Picture, which went to "The Last Emperor."

There are so many great moments in "Broadcast News," most of which center around Brooks and his character, Aaron Altman, the completely professional, completely decent, completely lovable guy who is getting nowhere in his job or with the woman he loves. At the same time, Tom Grunick (William Hurt) has no talent no intelligence and no depth and of course he's vaulting over Altman, at work and with the woman (Jane, played by Holly Hunter) they both love.

The scene where Aaron and Tom are on the patio and Aaron quizzes Tom over general knowledge is hysterical; so is the scene where Aaron anchors the weekend news and thinks it's his big break. The scene where Aaron finally lets all his bitterness towards Jane show through is also tremendous, as is the ending, which is even better because it's not quite what the audience suspects will happen.

And hey, what about when Aaron is shut out of the special report about a Libyan bombing, so he watches it at home, calling into executive producer Jane to give her a tip, which is repeated by Tom on air, as Aaron says "I say it hear; it comes out there." And how he is reading book while Gladys Knight's "Midnight Train To Georgia" is on the stereo and, to the music, Aaron offers: "I can sing, while I read. I'm reading, and singing, both."

The movie is dotted with other great lines spread here and there, such as:
"It takes a special kind of courage to talk to the boss that way." - Aaron

and ...

News president: "It must be nice to always believe you know better, to always think you're the smartest person in the room.
Jane: "No. It's awful."

Still, without question, TB's favorite moment is when Aaron is trying to talk Jane out of being with Tom, and he offers up this logic:

Aaron: "I know you care about him. I've never seen you like this about anyone, so please don't take it wrong when I tell you that I believe that Tom, while a very nice guy, is the Devil."
Jane: "This isn't friendship."
Aaron: "What do you think the Devil is going to look like if he's around? Nobody is going to be taken in if he has a long, red, pointy tail. No. I'm semi-serious here. He will look attractive and he will be nice and helpful and he will get a job where he influences a great God-fearing nation and he will never do an evil thing... he will just bit by little bit lower standards where they are important. Just coax along flash over substance... Just a tiny bit. And he will talk about all of us really being salesmen. And he'll get all the great women."

Of course, is Tom is the Devil, then why can't Tim Tebow actually be the opposite?

TB is semi-serious here. Well, not really semi-serious. But hey, what if Tim Tebow is either the Almighty, or sent by the Almighty to liven up the NFL?

How else can anyone explain what Tebow does every weekend, without fail now. Like yesterday, when his Denver Broncos were down 10-0 to the Bears in the waning minutes. So what happened?

Of course, Tebow threw a touchdown pass, the Bears fumbled (divine intervention?), the Broncos tied it on a 59-yard field goal to force OT and then the Broncos won it on a 51-yard field goal.

It all left TB shaking his head, and he's not a huge fan of the Broncos or a Tebow. Still, how could he not root for the team and it's quarterback, who is so polarizing that in a time where the country's most famous family is the Kardashian family, Tebow is criticized for being nice, humble and religious and his professional ability is dismissed as "high school stuff" and unsustainable.

Anyway, Tebow's comeback led into the huge win for the Giants, and those two proved to be the athletic highlight of the weekend for TigerBlog.

As for Princeton, it wasn't the best weekend, not as the men's hockey team lost twice, the women's basketball team lost Friday at Navy, the men's basketball team lost Saturday at Drexel and the women's hockey team was swept home-and-home by Quinnipiac.

Still, weekends like that are rare, and one of the great things about Princeton athletics is that even on a weekend like that, there's always something big that happens.

In this case, it happened 17 feet, 7.25 inches off the ground.

Dave Slovenski, a senior from Maine and a three-time Ivy League indoor pole vault champion, cleared 17-7.25 at Princeton's New Year's Invitational this weekend. His vault - which won the competition by a foot over the second-place finisher (who competed unattached) and by two-and-a-half feet over the nearest collegiate competitor - set a new Ivy League record, which is impressive in its own right and doubly so this early in the season.

The indoor track and field season is just starting, as cross country just ended. Princeton, of course, won both the men's and women's indoor championships last year at the Ivy League Heps, not to mention all of the other cross country and outdoor titles as well.

There will be no "double-triple" this year, but Princeton figures to be ultra-competitive in the remaining four Ivy League track-and-field championships.

TigerBlog watches track practice sometimes and sees the pole vaulters go through their workouts and has the same thought each time: "no chance would TB do that."

It seems so simple, right, to run down, plant the pole and launch oneself over the bar. TB isn't quite going to try it anytime soon.

Slovenski's pole vaulting resume includes second-team All-America honors last year outdoor, Heps indoor performer of the meet honors and a high school national championship. And now the Ivy League record.

And you know who could break that record, even if he's never pole vaulted before?

Tim Tebow.


Saturday Football Guy said...

What is enjoyable about Tim Tebow is that he is, without intent, an iconoclast. His success probably makes makes Jimmie Johnson sputter and dither--maybe even pull his hair--Ha! No, Tebow will never be a classic NFL quarterback (thank goodness--the look alike league is stuffed with knock-offs and generally short on imagination and personality) but he may continue to win in the NFL. In a curious parallel, Tebow is bringing to Denver (players and city) what Seabiscuit brought to another generation nationwide--something to believe in. And it's fun to watch, too.

Anonymous said...

The most interesting question to ask about Tebowmania is, "Why do so many people root against Tebow?"

Part of the answer of course is that he uses interviews to proselytize. To those who simply want to watch a Sunday football game, that gets tiresome. I get that.

But there is a whole other class of critic who wants Tebow to fail because he forces people to re-evaluate what an NFL quarterback should look like. We want our quarterbacks to drop back and throw perfect spirals like Brady does. If they run, we want them to roll out like Rodgers does or dodge like Vick does.

Tebow is his own category of quarterback and it's almost as if some fans object to having to think about that position in a new light. "Hey, don't upset our mental model of NFL football; it's too much work to integrate Tebow into our world view."

harpy said...

Your quote from Broadcast News' Aaron Altman about the devil is taken from the original script, not the actual film. Watch it again. You'll like the end result better than the script. Thank you, Albert Brooks. :-)