Sports & Entertainment

Sports & Entertainment

'Lost': The return of an American masterpiece

The best writing is in TV these days, said Glenn Close when she went to work on FX’s “Damages.” It has been so now for quite a while. Nothing surpasses “The Sopranos” in writing and dramatic imagination, and “House” regularly surpasses Hollywood movies. The star system, the technology, the exploding cars and cities yield to the more complex art of the acting troupe, in which the star is the story told, and not the muscular or snarling actor. Greater subtlety can evolve as the telling develops over time.


A surge for Detroit?

While the national media is focused almost exclusively on the underwear bomber, another story has emanated from Washington that has captured my attention.

The Washington Wizards basketball star Gilbert Arenas is in hot water with the NBA because he brought three handguns into the Wizards’ locker room as he argued with one of his teammates over a card game. The guns were unloaded, thankfully. His teammate then brandished his own loaded gun as a response.


The absurdity of athlete worship

From today's Washington Times:

When you have been trained to believe that you are beyond the rules of social decorum, it seems natural to act out your darker impulses. Indulging your personal vanity can be intoxicating. I suspect that Tiger Woods' sexual exploits are fairly representative of how most young men, bombarded with wealth and adulation, would act. It should not be surprising that Woods gave in to his impulses. In fact, it seems like the most human thing in the world.


Excuse me for applauding

It was hard to find anything to cheer me in today’s news. The president is going to war-demonstrating he can make awful blunders just like his predecessors— and the Redskins’ pathetic slide continues. But a small piece in the New York Times Arts section provided a glimmer of hope for our society.

Apparently, ABC canceled a free concert it had scheduled for its “Good Morning America” program by “American Idol” runner-up Adam Lambert. ABC’s action was based on Mr. Lambert’s earlier behavior on ABC’s American Music Awards. Reportedly (I missed the event, wisely) Lambert sang a song from his new album, and according to the Times, “variously thrust his crotch at dancers of different genders (how many genders are there?), kissed his male keyboardist and extended his middle finger to the camera.” Our standards are so low for performers’ behavior that one can imagine popular stars asking, “What’s wrong with that?” ABC received 1,500 complaints from grouches like me.


Ghost of Roosevelt as ‘New Moon’ rises

From my point of view, President Barack Obama is the most intelligent and savvy of Democratic presidents to come to power in the post-war period. He has a sensory intuition that allows him to catch up quickly on things and he is far better at external things than internal things.

China ambassador Jon Huntsman Jr., the best of the current China hands, gives him the highest marks on his visit to China. Even the Campaign for Tibet seemed cautiously optimistic. Obama’s problem is that history has cast his role at the end of a vast epoch. History has made him the last agent of a realm of ideas that are suited to an age long past and a vastly different America.


A high-stakes Super Bowl ...

Historian Frank Owsley said that the two most representative figures in the Colonial period were Hamilton and Jefferson. But I can’t think of anyone today who represents America better than New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick and former Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy. The New England team logical and decision-based, the Indianapolis team a heart-driven, consistent and persistent model of “quiet strength.” Heart won over head late last Sunday night in a game that is still talked about up here, which may have turned the tide for the season. Or longer.


Oprah & exploitation

Since appearing on a Nov. 11 taping of “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” Charla Nash’s destroyed face has become an Internet sensation.

Nine months ago, Nash was attacked by a 200-pound chimpanzee. The chimp ripped off her nose, her lips, one thumb and a large part of her scalp. Surgeons had to create a hole in her face so she could drink meals through a straw. In her first interview since the highly publicized attack, Nash appeared on Oprah adorned in a black veil. During the early part of the interview, Nash explained that she wears the veil so as not to scare people away.


Yankee hater finds love for team

This piece is also published in The Washington Times.

So it happened. A miracle. In the 2009 World Series, I became a Yankee fan. May Dad forgive me.

Some background:

My first memory of why I should hate the Yankees goes back to when I was kid in the 1950s. My dad had a simple political analysis as to why being a Yankee fan was not possible in our house.


Dan Snyder, the Redskins and all our other failures

Chances are you’ve been following the Washington Redskins epic lately. You don’t have to be a football fan to be fascinated by the story of a team owner who has managed, in 10 short years, to squander generations of good will from an area that came together on little besides the adoration of the Redskins. That has been frittered away thanks to one lousy decade of astoundingly inept management under owner Dan Snyder.


Unnecessary Rushness

I mean, what was Rush Limbaugh thinking? Did he really believe that his comments about race that many consider outright bigotry would be forgotten, particularly in a league where two-thirds of the rosters are African-American?

Was he really surprised that superstar Donovan McNabb had not forgotten Limbaugh’s assessment just six years ago that he was “overrated … because … what we have here is a little social concern in the NFL. The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback can do well — black coaches and black quarterbacks doing well.”