December 21, 2007


  • My first in-studio radio appearance must not have been a total disaster, because I'll be back on the KFAN airwaves tonight to talk Twins for an hour with Doogie Wolfson. I'm not sure if we'll be fielding phone calls--we planned to last time, but instead ended up just babbling for the entire time--but you can listen via radio or the station's website beginning at 9:00 p.m. Like last time, I'll also try to get some audio clips of the show to post here next week so that everyone can rip my appearance apart.
  • I was so intrigued after seeing a preview of I Am Legend last month that I immediately bought the novel that the film is based on. The book was fantastic and I read it in one sitting, which made me even more excited to see the movie. Then I was lucky enough to work my way into a sneak preview last Thursday night and getting to see the movie before everyone else while sitting in a jam-packed theater made my expectations rise even further. All of which makes reviewing the movie sort of difficult.

    On its own, the movie was very good. It moved quickly, had an interesting plot, was visually appealing, and revolves around a strong performance from Will Smith. However, I left the theater feeling extremely disappointed because the movie strayed so far from the novel in several major ways and the end result was a significantly inferior version. They took an exceptional book that told a unique, detailed story and essentially turned it into something that resembled a fairly typical action movie.

    I don't necessarily blame the movie-makers for straying from the novel, because there are several key aspects of the book that perhaps wouldn't have played well with the average movie-goer. With that said, it's an incredible shame that Richard Matheson's masterpiece became merely the launching point for something that ended up being only marginally recognizable. The movie was good, but it could have been something special if it had followed the book more closely. Grade: B-plus.

  • Britney Spears' 16-year-old sister getting knocked up made big headlines this week, but news that Jessica Alba is also pregnant hits this blog far harder. Alba is a former Official Fantasy Girl of who has long remained a candidate to reclaim the title, but can probably now be crossed off the list for good. It was a nice run and this is obviously a very sad day in history.
  • In other news, Jenna Fischer has confused me by looking fantastic one day and then looking ... well, let's just say less than fantastic the next day. It's a clear case of two-face syndrome and if Fischer is ever named she may be limited to wearing her crown while sitting in the back booth at Monk's Cafe.

    UPDATE: Over at her blog, Fischer provides plenty of reason to see the new movie that she co-stars in with John C. Reilly, Walk Hard:

    I should warn you ... this movie is rated R and it is a hard R. It is very raunchy and sexy and the humor is hard core. ... I don't get naked in the film. I should probably say that. But I do showcase the ladies quite a bit. I had to be sewn into most of my costumes to make sure they were as tight as possible. My wardrobe assistant's main job was making sure my boobs didn't fall out. It was hilarious. I would see her across the room starring at my chest all day.

    I Am Legend was a letdown compared to the novel and Walk Hard will probably be disappointing compared to that blog entry.

  • Even all-time greats can only hold off the wall for so long.
  • ESPN's new 60 Minutes-style show, E:60, recently had an interesting segment on internet cult hero and former bare-knuckle street-fighter Kimbo Slice (whom I've written about several times in the past):

    The show's forced newsroom intro is very cheesy and the piece doesn't actually get into all that much depth, but Slice is such an intriguing figure that it's definitely worth watching anyway.
  • In examining 25 potential replacements for Torii Hunter last month, I suggested Jeff DaVanon as a low-cost, stop-gap option. He's no longer a possibility, because DaVanon signed a minor-league deal with the Padres earlier this week and will likely back up newly acquired Jim Edmonds in San Diego. Of the 10 free agents included on my list of 25 possible Hunter replacements, only Mike Cameron, Kenny Lofton, Corey Patterson, Darin Erstad, and Brad Wilkerson remain unsigned.

    At this point it's widely assumed that the Twins' new center fielder will arrive via a Johan Santana trade, with Jacoby Ellsbury and Melky Cabrera named most often in rumors. However, if Santana is retained or trading him doesn't bring back a center fielder, then Lofton remains a nice low-risk option. He's 41 years old, but batted .296/.367/.414 in 2007 and .308/.371/.412 over the past three years, would likely agree to a modest one-year deal, and could slide nicely into the vacant leadoff spot.

  • If you're like me and couldn't live without, then you'll also love the revamped and the interesting story behind it.
  • Erin Andrews of ESPN has seen her popularity rise to insane levels of late and was recently named America's Sexiest Sportscaster by Playboy, but I may have spotted a potential challenger to her throne while watching NFL games last weekend. Her name is Charissa Thompson, she seemed relatively competent while doing sideline reporting for FOX, and she looks like this. Andrews has always struck me as somewhat overrated, so I'm officially on the Thompson bandwagon. Feel free to join me.
  • One of my favorite journalism-school professors used to advise his class that we shouldn't get into the writing business for the money, because there isn't any. That's good advice and I remembered it often back in 2002 while pumping out content nearly every day for several years on this blog and other websites without making a dime. At no point was money a factor in any way, which is how I knew that writing was truly for me. On the other hand, there is some money in the writing business.

    I'm 24 years old and haven't been a full-time writer for long, but my salary is more than I ever expected to make at any point in life. That's perhaps due more to low expectations than big money, so a better example is Rick Reilly. He who wrote the back-page column in Sports Illustrated for years, but recently left the magazine for what's reportedly a $17 million contract with ESPN. If everyone knew that you could make $17 million from writing, those journalism-school classes would have a lot fewer empty seats.

  • Finally, this week's music video is Wyclef Jean, Niia Bertino, and Jerry Wonda doing an acoustic version of "Sweetest Girl":

  • Once you're done here, check out my latest "Daily Dose" column over at Rotoworld.

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