Saturday, December 28, 2013

Bob's (Abbreviated) Best of 2013 List

This has been a very strange year for me. Changing jobs and states has caused me to miss a lot of 2013, namely sports, movies & music. That being said, this transition has also caused me to take a blog hiatus so I thought I could ease my way back into the fray with an abbreviated "Best Of" list for the year.

Best Movie: The Way Way Back

In a year that I saw very few movies, it says something that I have seen this one twice. To me, this is the movie that I aspire to write. Hilariously funny at times, yet poignant and well written throughout. It does not rest on the comedic laurels of Sam Rockwell (who may be the most underrated actor of this generation), but instead seamlessly weaves in other interesting complex characters like Steve Carell & Toni Colette. Newcomer Liam James settles in nicely to this classic coming of age movie.

Best Album: Vampire Weekend "Modern Vampires of the City"

I almost backed off this album because like every other Vampire Weekend CD, it dominated my summer listening and then tapered off when the fall rolled around. That being said, this CD is great start to finish. "Obvious Bicycle" and "Don't Lie" standout as some of the best tracks of this very unpredictable, yet consistent collection of tracks.

Best Song: "Royals" by Lorde
I understand that this isn't a "cool" or "unique" selection, but this song takes the cake for me for a few reasons. First of all, because Lorde came out of nowhere. Not just from a popularity standpoint, but also from a geographical standpoint. To have a song become that mainstream without pop-factory lyrics is a pretty rare thing. I still dig it after hearing it a few hundred times.

Worst Movie: Now You See Me
I really hated this movie on so many levels. First and most importantly, it was totally absurd. I can suspend disbelief for the right story, but there were far too many holes to look past. I shouldn't be surprised that the writer who brought us "Super Mario Bros" and the director who brought us "Transporter 2 & The Hulk" would produce this 2 hour waste, but I am surprised that so many people like it.

Friday, December 20, 2013

My Incredibly Fantastic Favorite Christmas Song List

Two years ago my counterpart on this blog wrote his Christmas Song list.  I didn't want to be redundant that year so I sat and I waited two whole years to unveil my Top 10 Christmas Songs.

10. Christmas Is the Time to Say "I Love You" - Billy Squier
I'm fine with traditional Christmas songs but when I'm driving around looking at Christmas lights or drinking egg nog with family and friends I like my Christmas songs upbeat and fun.  This song is most certainly that.

9. 2000 Miles - Pretenders
Though not intended as a Christmas song, it's only played at Christmas time and I love it. If you are going to have "Christmastime" as a lyric in a song, it's going to become a Christmas song.

8. Do They Know It's Christmas? - Band Aid
For tonight thank God it's them instead of meeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!  Nuff said.

7. Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree - Brenda Lee
A classic Christmas party song that no one should ever try to cover.  It's perfect just like this.

6. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen/We Three Kings - Barenaked Ladies (with Sarah McLachlan) We Three Kings is my favorite traditional Christmas carol.  Barenaked Ladies covered it in a way that you can put it on a Christmas Party mix without bringing down the mood while respecting the integrity of the carol.

5. It's The Most Wonderful Time of The Year - Andy Williams
This song immediately makes me want to throw on a Santa hat and skip around my house while whipping strands of garland around like a rhythmic gymnast.  One thing I don't relate to in this song is telling scary ghost stories at Christmas time.  To each their own though.

4. Christmas All Over Again - Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers
See my blurb for #10.  Except this song it better.

3. Thanks For Christmas - XTC
One of the most underrated Christmas songs out there.  I wish it got more play.  It says everything I feel about Christmas.

2. What Christmas Means to Me - Stevie Wonder
I tend to sing this one louder than any other Christmas song when I'm alone in my car.  I wish it was longer.

1. Father Christmas - The Kinks
This song doesn't conjure up warm and fuzzy Christmas feelings but I only listen to it at Christmas song and it's still amazing.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

A Week 14 Jets Rant - With a Chart!

Remember last month when the Jets beat New Orleans and were 5-4 with a bye week and the lowly 3-7 Buffalo Bills coming up next?  That was a good time.

Even though Jets fans were riding high after the New Orleans win, signs the wheels were about to come off the season actually started that week.  It was the week they put the training wheels on Geno Smith.  The Jets had some brutal games against New England, Tennessee, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati but something about them was oddly watchable.  They were throwing the ball down the field.  Since the Cincinnati game in Week 8, Geno Smith hasn't completed double digit passes in a game.  The Jets defense is pretty good but not good enough to overcome three and outs over and over again. 

I'm on record as a Mark Sanchez apologist but I was slowly getting on board with Geno Smith a little bit.  It was probably more on board with Marty Mornhinweg but either way, the Jets offense was moving the ball a little.  It was encouraging.  But when they overachieved to the point where the playoffs were a possibility they then decided that they weren't going to let Geno blow it for them.  But that's exactly what they did.  Geno can say all the right things in the media but the Jets shattered his confidence and he's now a historically bad quarterback.  He's broken and I don't want to watch him any more.  The sweet line graph below shows the decrease in first downs the Jets are getting per game.  The line indicates when Geno's training wheels were put on.

The question now becomes what do the Jets owe to their fans going forward?  We're coming up to Week 14 now and Geno Smith has started every game.  If the Jets haven't seen all they need to see from this guy, then I am very concerned.  I'm not going to say I want to see Matt Simms start or I want to see David Garrard start since none of them are the long term answer either, so I'll just say I want to see Not Geno Smith as the Jets QB.  They've thrown up three consecutive "no competes" and it's very hard to watch.  I just need to see something different.  From a franchise standpoint I get why they have to start Geno Smith but if they have to do it, can they please open up the playbook again?  If we have to keep watching this guy, then can we at least see the ball travel more than 6 yards in the air?  I can take the turnovers to an extent if we're trying to push the ball down field.  If the Jets are still evaluating Geno Smith can they at least evaluate him by letting him do something?

I know John Idzik is trying build something here but at the same time don't the fans deserve a somewhat watchable product?