Quick update – Found this funny

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Amazing Race 30, Topps Bunt, and Golf

Happy New Year to everybody out there.   Hope you all got to spend time with family and relax and recharge for 2018.   I enjoyed some time of ang had a lovely Christmas at my inlaws and a fun New Years Eve at a neighbors

Wednesday, January 3rd brought the return of the Amazing Race.   I had gone to the live send of with my daughter last October in Washing Square Park in NYC and it was really neat to see the start on TV.    While I didn’t see myself close up, there were some long shots of the crowd where we were standing.   Was fun to see info on the teams, as we know nothing about most of them when we were there.   We knew Cody and Jessica were on this season.  We also saw Joey Chestnut and Tim Janus (who I recognized) hanging out by the starting line, and figured that Cedric Ceballos and Shawn Marion were NBA Players – Although didn’t know which ones)

I really enjoyed the episode and was happy that the NBA guys were not eliminated due to a technicality.    Was funny as I was watching with my daughter, and they showed Henry Zhang And Evan Lynyak (#TeamYale).  She looked at me and said – That’s a Vanck and Ashot (From Last Season) Ripoff.   See for yourself below

Looking forward to another great season.   Still find it great to see all the different places they travel around the world.   After 29 Season, it amazing how there are still so many places that they have yet to visit.

Been a fan of TOPPS Digital cards since the started a few years back and have been collecting them for Football (Huddle), Football (Bunt), Star Wars, and The Walking Dead.  While I don’t buy coins or crystals, I try to log on daily to get free coins.   These allow me to collect some of the sets – The best beeing Fans Choice.   Topps Bunt has started a new set of Fans Choice during the off-season of past greats.   It’s been fun to see who wins the vote each week.   Here are the 1st 8 cards of the set

Looking forward to the rest of the set as we get closer to Opening Day 2018

Finally, saw this video of Steve Jeffs setting the Guiness World record for the fastest Par 5 Hole of Golf.   I didn’t realize how far 500 Yards actually was until you watch him running down the fairway with the clock running.   Always find stuff like this interesting

 

 

More to come soon

Andy

 

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Survivor, Mike, The Last Jedi, and Happy Holidays

Another season of Survivor has come to an end.    While 2 of the Final 3 contestants (Chrissy and Ryan) were from New Jersey (My home state), with Chrissy actually from my hometown (Lebanon Township), it was Ben who Outwitted, Outplayed, and Outlasted everybody to win the Million Dollars and be crowned champion.   Was really rooting for Chrissy, and do feel that the final advantage that she won was not really an advantage, and think it actually was a disadvantage.   While I do not think there was any conspiracy at play to have Ben win, I do feel that the way he won was a bit tainted.   Hats off to him.  He took advantage of the way the game was set up this time to get ot the finals and get the votes needed.

While the season was very enjoyable (especially with a local rooting interest),  I did feel they went a bit overboard with the number of idols and advantages.   After a while, I started to feel like the spirit of the game was taken away and switched from a social and mental game to being basically a glorified scavenger hunt.   If they keep things this way going forward, then all we will see is everybody looking for idols immediately after every Tribal Council  with whoever finds them moving on to the end.   Really no fun in that.    Going forward there should either be a limit on the number of idols that any one person can play, they should be much harder to find, or maybe something like they did with Lauren, where you needed to find 2 seperate parts.

I also felt that the  final advantage actually took away from the drama of the final immunity challenge, and will make the final immunity challenges way less interesting going forward.  The drama was with Ben believing he had to win or else he was going home.  Now, when you get to the final 4, you can try to win to guarantee a spot in the finals, but you also know that if you lose, you still have a way of getting to the finals.   As a viewer, this takes away all the drama.   Why give people extra chances.  Make them play as hard as they can knowing they have to win.   Hopefully the producers see this, and get rid of it after next season.

Few final thoughts:

Liked the idea of the 3 tribes, but think they need to lock and find people who really fit the categories they had (Heroes v. Healers v. Hustlers).  Seems like there were a few players who they just through into a group for no real reason (How exactly was Ryan a Hustler, or Ashley a Hero)

I liked the format at the final tribal council with everybody being able to ask questions.

I was a bit upset that they hardly mentioned any of the contestants at the live reunion show.      Either the contestants voted off early were so boring they had nothing to say, or any film of them doing anything interesting, or they want to promote themselves more with all the shots of Jeff running through the audience.    I may be old school, but would rather have Jeff acknowledge the players who played the game rather than question some random audience members.

All in All, another great season and looking forward to Season 36 next spring.  I really think I have never missed an episode, and have watched almost everyone on the day they aired (Do use DVR to time shift a bit).  Going way back, I  remember taping them on my VCR in the early days and hoping it worked

Discussing the Final Advantage / Disadvantage

As far as the other bid story for me,  Mike Francesa signed off as the drive time sports talk show host on WFAN Sports Radio in NYC last Friday, December 15th after 30 years.  I remember coming across the Mike and the Mad Dog show on my way home from work back in 1990, and have been a loyal listener ever since.    Everyday when I got in my car for the 1 – 2 hour drive home (yes, I drive a lot), the 1st thing I would do was to put on 660 AM (and then 101.9 FM) on the radio and listen to Mike and the Mad Dog (Chris Russo) and then Mike solo.    Really liked the insight and knowledge that Mike brought across all sports, as well as breaking format to talk about politics, movies, books every so often).   Also loved that the show was local, with most of the talk about the local teams (Mets, Yankees, Giants, Jets, Knicks, Nets, Rangers, Devils and Islanders).   And finally loved that Mike did not cater to anybody or other networks.  Remember Mike saying that if somebody wanted to come on his show to promote something, but stated that Mike could not ask about certain things, then he would gracefully decline.  An he never attacked or went after other hosts or networks in a mean way.   All this showed when numerous guests called in the 2nd to last day to congratulate him, and show their respect.

Will be interesting to see who the replacement team does going forward.  I will give them the benefit of the doubt and listen for a while.   Hopefully they will realize what worked for Mike and stay close to the same and not try to imitate other shows that don’t work  (They don’t work for a reason).

On his last day, I had the day off from work, so I went to an early afternoon showing of “The Last Jedi”, and then was able to listen to the last hour or so in my car.  Was a great way to finish listening after 30 years.  Thank you Mike for all the memories and you will be missed

As far as “The Last Jedi”, I really enjoyed it.   While there were a few parts that got a bit hokey (they could have eliminated most of the casino part), I did like how they did not go strictly by the book and made some bold choices.   I realize that these characters are so ingrained in everybody’s mind, and everybody has a idea of  how they think they should act, that it would be impossible to please everyone.   But the movie had plenty of emotion and some great action,  Throw in that Rey is a somebody you respect and root for, and that Kylo Ren is really a great character (villain or not), and you have a movie that fits right in with the rest of them.

Here are the Star Wars Films and the 1st time I saw them in the theater

Star Wars (1977):    Wellfleet Drive In, MA (Family summer vacation)
Empire Strikes Back (1980):  Paramus Mall, NJ  (Me and my dad – Still the best)
Return of the Jedi (1983):  Essex Green Movie Theater, NJ  (High School Friends)

The Phantom Menace (1999):  Bridgewater Mall, NJ (Cindy)
Attack of the Clones (2002):  Manville, NJ
Revenge of the Sith (2005):  Sony Theater, East Hanover, NJ ( With Tom from CIT)

The Force Awakens  (2015):  AMC Theater, New Brunswick, NJ  (Verizon Free Showing)
The Last Jedi (2017):  Philipsburgh Theater  (Afternoon showing in the snow)

Hope that everybody finds some time to spend with friends and family during the next few weeks.   Enjoy some time away from your work to relax and remember the good things that happened to you in 2017.  Have a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Average Andy

 

Posted in Jeff Probst, Mike and the Mad Dog, Movies, Radio, Reality Shows, Star Wars, Survivor, Television, TV | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2018

Congratulations to the bands and artists that were elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame;  Bon Jovi, The Cars, Dire Straits, The Moody Blues, and Nina Simone as well as Gospel pioneer Sister Rosetta Tharpe.

I think the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame does a good job of electing all different types of bands and artists and applaud them for their diversity.   It’s a tough job and they will never be able to please everybody as music is very personal everybody has their favorites who they think should be inducted.   I was hoping for Judas Priest to get is, if just to open the doors for other so called heavy metal artists like Iron Maiden or Scorpions to get the recognition they deserve.    But the nomination is a start and hopefully leads to them getting in soon.

As far as the 2018 inductees;

New Jersey’s own Bon Jovi – Starting out as one of the 1st Hair Bands and the fact that they are still relevant today alone makes them worthy.

The Cars – Created one of the perfect albums – The Cars – The Cars (album).  There is not one bad song on the album

Dire Straits –   Great musicians with more hits then you think.  As far as albums, Brothers in Arms has a lot of great songs besides “Money for Nothing”

The Moody Blues – Just for Nights in White Satin and the 6 minutes of talking at the end

Nina Simone and Sister Rosetta Tharpe – Not that familiar with there music, but  from what I have heard and read, both were very influential in the history of Rock and Roll, and that is part of what the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame stands for

Andy

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Middle of December

Can’t believe we are only 2 weeks away from Christmas.   With the 1st snow falling on Saturday, I’m finally starting to get into the Christmas spirit.   Work should be pretty slow the next few weeks, so should be able to relax a bit after some busy weeks

Few updates

Lehigh beat Lafayette to win the 152nd meeting between the schools, and claim it 2nd consecutive Patriot League Title.   They then traveled to Long Island New York and lost to Stony Brook in the 1st round of the FCS play-offs.   Was a strange, but rewarding year for the Mountain Hawks

The NY Football Giants screwed things up with Eli Manning, fired their Head Coach and General Manager, while continuing to play awful football.  Even I have come to realize it’s time to clean house and start over.   The Giants have been offensively inept for the last 3 years (with or without Odel Beckham Jr.) and need to completely  change their offensive philosophy.     And they need to move on from Steve Spagnolo after the season as well.    They have had way too many defensive breakdowns for it to player related.  They give up big play after big play and never seem change.   The fan I am, I will do my best to watch the rest of the year but both Christmas Eve and NY Eve are going to be rough.    Last I will write about the Giants in 2017

Both Chrissy and Ryan have somehow survived and made it to the Final 6 of Survivor, giving New Jersey a chance for a 4th Winner.   This season has been a bit crazy with all the blindsides.    It’s also been a weird season, and some of the strategy / decisions have really made no sense.   I really have no idea what Lauren was thinking to give up an idol, and not use here advantage.    Seems almost like she wanted to go home.   Makes me a bit mad when players don’t do everything possible to stay in the game.

Also, its funny that while the producers keep trying to come up with ways to mix things up (secret advantages), they never seem to come into play.   Players have not yet figured out how or when to use them.   When I’m on the Island, I believe I would be able to use these advantages to help me stay in the game.   An extra vote could really flip things if you used it at the right time.

Finally, just a quick thought about the Yankees getting Giancarlo Stanton.   I don’t think it’s a good move.   Way too many negatives;  Long term contracts never work out great (Think Alex Rodriguez with the Rangers, Albert Pujols with the Angles, Barry Zito with the Giants), Teams that hit a lot of HRs do not always win the WS (Cubs were 13th, Royals were 24th – Yankees were 16th in 1996 , 7th in 1998, 13th in 1999, and 10th in 2000), and  pitching usually wins the big games (And right now, the Yankees need pitching).

Will write again before the Christmas holiday

Andy

 

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Great Video on Applying for Survivor

While I didn’t connect with Michaela the 1st time she was on Survivor, I grew to really like her after here Ponderosa Video.   And ended up rooting for here the 2nd time she was on.

As I’m getting ready to submit another Application (I’ve actually lost count on the number of times I have applied),  I came across the following video and thought it was one of the best and honest videos about applying to Survivor that I have seem.   Michaela is sincere and tells it like it is.  It made me realize how much I love the show and how much I would love to be a contestant.

Going to take what she said and make a video explaining what I would bring to Survivor and why the producers need to choose me for an upcoming season.   Then I’m going to make myself a brownie ice cream sundae with a cherry on top and enjoy it to the fullest

Andy

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Midway through Survivor

We are about halfway through Season 35 of Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers and I am really enjoying this season.   While there are really no standouts (People I will remember after the season ends), it has been quite entertaining to watch how the game has changed over the years.   I give credit to the producers in continuing to try and change things up to keep the players off-guard.   I think they need to re-evaluate the number of idols available as the game seems to completely resolve on finding idols.  This strategy was good a while back, but not it seems the idols just put a bigger target on your back, and unless you can find one every time you use one, you will be gone.  As for the players, it seems a bit sad that most players are way too far into game mode, and do not take the time to both enjoy the adventure, and the opportunity to get to know  the other players.   At the Outback feast for the merge, several players were still thinking about the game.  In the past it seemed that players were able to put the game on hold for a few hours.   Will be interesting to see if this comes back to hurt some players

Both New Jersey players (Ryan Ulrich and Chrissy Hofbeck) are still alive and playing good games.   It’s been extra fun watching Chrissy, as she’s from the same town as me and there is some buzz around town from people who know of her.  I keep hoping I will run into her somewhere in town.   Not sure how I would react if I did run into her. Would I simply say “Hi, I am rooting for you” and move along, or would I take the opportunity to let her know that I also have been watching Survivor since Season One, and could she put in a good word with casting for me when I submit my next audition video.   Hey, networking is everything these days, so might as well take advantage of any opportunity

Been busy but will write more soon

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