Friday, November 30, 2007

Day two.

My co-star on The Funeral, Dave, printed out my blog and brought it in for the rest of the cast and crew members to read this morning. This indicates to me that I ought to be careful about what I say. Although really, there is nothing bad to say about this project so far. Matt West, the director, is incredibly nice. Every single person working on the project is doing so for free, giving up three days of their time just to make sure he gets a chance to make the film and move on from there. One of the guys told me that Matt is just about the only director in the history of the world who doesn't, ever, yell at people. The idea behind a short film, Matt tells me, is that it just becomes a part of your resume. It may get picked up somewhere, perhaps it gets shown at a film festival, perhaps it gets shown on airplanes between the demonstration about how to use your cushion as a floatation device and the Hugh Grant movie, or maybe it gets shown on the Movie Network between The Godfather and some Canadian TV-movie-of-the-week-starring-Dean-Cain pile of crap.

Either way, no one ever makes money on a short film. (With the possible exception of Bambi vs. Godzilla, which may have cost four dollars to produce.) It is primarily a resume-builder for everyone involved. And I think this one will be pretty good. I saw some of the scenes today, and where I was initially skeptical, watching these guys in the crew do their work certainly makes me realize that when everyone pulls together like that, amazing things get done. There have been some scheduling issues with the movie, and Matt has been tempted, at times, to cut out a certain scene or to shorten it up. But the camera guys, the lighting guys, the sound guys standing outside in the snow, freezing their asses off, won't let him. They don't care about the cold, they don't care about lunch, they just want to see this thing get done and take pride in their work. It's truly impressive.

Today we filmed at John Lindsay's house, yet another high school friend I ran into on this project (well, I ran into his fiancee today, rather than John himself. Congratulations guys, by the way.) We shot some scenes outside, and I was fortunate enough to just be an actor, which meant that I could run inside to warm up when I was not needed. We gathered around a table in the basement to eat while other scenes were being shot. Colleeen, the producer who may not have that many "e"s in her name, kept referring to those of us who were eating at the table as "non-essential". That'll make a guy feel important. When the shooting was going on upstairs, we in the basement had to be super-quiet so none of the noise would bleed through. It was vaguely reminiscent of one of those old submarine movies, where the entire crew is deadly still, but one guy has to sneeze, and that could kill everyone...in this case a very real possibility, since Han, the assistant director and producer and continuity co-ordinator, may well have killed us had we made a sound. In a very underwater-torpedo sort of way.

I even managed to sneak in a nap in John's guest bed, before we made our way over to the indoor tennis courts at Brittania to shoot a scene where I accidentally kill Dave (Charlie) in a horrible tennis-related mishap. I think that went well, and I have just returned home to pass out and get ready for tomorrow. We start shooting at the pool at 6 a.m.!

I'm worried.

I am worried. I recorded the Packers-Cowboys game on my PVR last night, and it is currently 27-24 Cowboys, at the end of the third quarter, and they are on the 10 yard line about to score again. Brett Favre is out. Injured in the first quarter. Aaron Rogers has come in and played very well in relief of Favre, but I can't see them winning without OH GOD! Interception Al Harris in the end zone! (I really am typing this as I watch. I recant my earlier statements.) Terrell Owens, you were wide open and you dropped the ball. Into the hands of Al Harris. You suck, T.O. Alright, I feel better now.

The thing about the PVR and watching games means I have to be very careful when navigating the internet. My home page varies. During the hockey season, it's nhl.com. Then after those playoffs, cfl.ca, then nfl.com after the Grey Cup. I recorded the last Senators' hockey game, and prepared to watch it at 2:00 in the morning, then I checked out the Ottawa Citizen website, and I already knew the result before I began. Since my home page is nfl.com right now, the score of this game will pop up right away. So I look away from my computer and click around blindly until I am at some random page, and I hopefully don't actually see the score. Now that I am taping the Sunday and Monday and Thursday night games, I had better change my home page. Maybe CHEZ La Hunk. At the very least, it would freak out my girlfriend. At worst, it would freak out her kids. Hmmm. Seems win-win to me!

Still 27 - 24, 3rd and 15 from the 25.

Hunks and hotties.

I took my new cell phone to pick up my mother-in-law at the movies at Centrum last night. She had just gone to see Enchanted, and she loved it. I am disappointed. I thought the movie would be fairly good, but when my mother-in-law enjoys something, it generally means that that something is awful. Like Anne Geddes. Or Ice Princess. Or Celine Dion. Or Ben Mulroney. So there goes my willingness to see that film. She and her friend were talking about McDreamy, who is some guy in the movie. I was creeped out. Some kids' movie about fairy princesses has a character that is a combination of Fabio and a McDonalds hamburger? No, apparently they mean some guy who is in Grey's Anatomy, and that's his name on that show. (Equally creepy, by the way.) Then I finally realized who they were talking about. Patrick Dempsey. Remember him? It suddenly occured to me - how did this star of Can't Buy Me Love resurrect his career, and actually become a hunky sexy actor again, and Jason Priestly and Luke Perry have not? Good lord, what is wrong with the world?

Speaking of hunky guys and what is wrong with the world, has anyone made a mistake and clicked on our new "CHEZ La Hunk" section? CHEZ La Femme is big on our website, and I guess someone somewhere decided to capitulate to the prevailing wisdom that if you have scantily clad women somewhere, it is only fair and politically correct to have scantily clad men as well. Doc has done this with the Doc and Woody Fun Page (For Men) and the Doc and Woody Fun Page (For Women) for some time. And really, there is nothing wrong with having the option. I just don't click on it. This time, however, I did, by accident, and it made me laugh quite a bit. The pictures of hot women are funny too at times. In a "who would ever wear that or pose like that?" sort of way. But the women are sort of over-the top with that, and their pictures are just something a woman would never really wear except to have a sexy picture taken, in a pose a woman would never strike except to have a sexy picture taken. With the guys in this section though, they are all trying to strike "natural" type poses. There is no lingerie for men to make them sexier. It's either regular jeans or boxer briefs, or a creepy speedo. That's it. So the idea is "let's make him look like a regular guy who just came home from work. Put him in a construction hat". Or, "every man looks good in a toold belt".

So every time you see one of these "sexy man" pictures, it looks incredibly awkward and makes me giggle. But not half as much as I laugh when I think of our web guys, who now have to go throughout the internet and FIND these pictures before they put them up. Enjoy, Rich and Jon!

My last stand against The Man crumbles.

Although I am now plugged in to the international network of mature but nerdy devices and websites - facebook, myspace, and so forth, I have managed so far to resist that final plunge into the abyss. And by that I mean a cell phone. I suppose there are other things - digital cameras, ipods...but I have felt very good about my lack of a cell phone for some time. It was my way of saying "I am not fully participating in your technological world, The Man". Then yesterday, my girlfriend came home with a cell phone she had purchased at the grocery store. It's one of these buy-your-minutes one at a time type phones. And I have caved now, officially. The idea with the cell phone is that we keep it in our car, and we can use it during emergencies. Like when I get stuck in traffic on the queensway on the way home and I'll be late delivering the car so she can get to work.

I think this is fine, and it's probably a good idea. But it definitely hurts me a little, right in the soul. I still don't plan to use it, ever, except in that emergency situation. But that's it. It's not having a cell phone that bothers me. I'm not all of a sudden going to become that guy who gets on the phone the second he gets in the car, or the guy who talks on that phone while going through the checkout line at the grocery store, or the guy who has loud, personal conversations on the city bus. And it isn't that the phone comes with the bluetooth earpiece. I will never use this. No, what bothers me is that now, there is nothing left against which I can rebel. Getting a digital camera or an ipod is a very minor capitulation in comparison to the cell phone. Upgrading to a blackberry or a raz-r or whatever they're called is not as big a jump as going from cell-phone free to cell-phone owner. And away flies my quasi-rebellious soul, into the hands of The Man.

The Funeral...Again. Day one.

This whole movie thing is quite the experience. Just a ton of fun, and something entirely new for me. Yesterday I borrowed the CHEZ truck and took off right after the show to get out to the Rockliffe Flying Club for the first scene. There is a lot of sit-around-and-wait in movies, it turns out. But it's pretty cool to sit around and wait when you watch these guys do what they do. All those things you see in the special features on DVDs are there. That dolly that slides back and forth on rollers, the reflective screens and the lights and the myriad of stuff that goes into the simplest shot. There is so much equipment for this project that it takes two giant rented cube vans and a fleet of smaller vans to lug all the stuff around. And the technical guys really know their stuff. They have all this stuff set up in minutes wherever they need to be. The scene at the Rockliffe Flying Club was only a 10-second scene, but there was a lot involved. (Not the least of which was brushing the snow off a plane before starting.) Finally, my scene! The dolly moved in toward three backpacks on the ground. My hand comes in from off screen and grabs one of those backpacks. Dave's hand comes in from the other side of the screen and grabs another one. We walk toward the plane. Cut. I was there for an hour and a half.

Dave is playing Charlie, and I am playing Ed. Charlie is the character who keeps getting killed, I am the character who keeps killing him. (In this case, skydiving.) Although everyone else who appears on-screen in this film appears to be an actual actor, both Dave and I are not. Dave is convinced we have been typecast, and I think he's likely right. He has known Matt West, the director, for a little while. I guess they met briefly on a ski trip a few months ago. And Dave says that he may be the world's worst skier. Therefore, he thinks Matt already envisioned his death a few times, and thought he would be perfect for Charlie. And of course, I'm a big fat idiot. I believe that's what the script says. "Ed is in his late twenties, and he is a big fat idiot." So we're perfect!

I got to meet tons of great people. All of whom had job titles I had never considered. Desiree, the wardrobe supervisor. Han, the script continuity supervisor and first assistant director. Rob, the key grip/gaffer/dolly grip. (That means, among many many other things, that he is the guy who pushes the lever that makes the dolly move. That job in itself has a title.) Bree, the makeup girl. (At least I knew what that was.) She does makeup for C-Pac also. I had to ask which politicians were obnoxious enough to get their makeup done before going to question period. She wouldn't give me a list or anything, but I got the distinct impression that I was right when I threw out names like John Baird and Pierre Polievre. (Another sidebar - apparently most of the women in parliament don't wear makeup at all. Either the stuff that's provided for them OR their own from home. It has something to do with looking more masculine and powerful, or somthing.) I spent most of my time with Chris and Christiaan and a bunch more of the "key grips" and "boom operators" and that sort of thing.

The main reason I spent most of my time with them was that I kept being kicked out. The second place we shot yesterday was at Quinn's Pub on Bank street. (Turns out Quinn himself is an old friend of mine, with whom I played rugby in high school. Small world!) I tried to sit inobtrusively in the corner, because I wanted to see what was going on. But it turns out I was in the shot. They made me move. Then I tried to hide behind a door to watch. But I was in someone's light. So I slipped outside the pub while they were shooting the scene in which I was not playing. Then I was told to move again, because my obnoxiously loud voice was carrying through the window and screwing up their sound.

But it was still cool to watch from the outside. I guess filming with actual FILM is far, far different from filming with digital cameras, HD and so forth, like you would for TV. It takes a certain kind of lighting, and a certain kind of sound. And all that takes a certain amount of work. Giant lights are set up outside the bar, and they provide the light through the windows. But even that doesn't look enough like real sunlight. So the lights have to be filtered through some reflective materials, and then there is a giant set-up inside the bar. Once again, this is done with surprising speed and confidence by the guys who know about such things, and all of a sudden the fact that I'm an actor in this movie makes me realize just how unimportant I am. Actors might be the LEAST important people on a movie set. It doesn't matter if you're Marlon Brando - if you're note lighted properly and made up nicely and directed well, you will still suck. Like me, I suppose. I had three lines, and the entire scene was maybe 90 seconds long. We shot it three different ways, and we were at the pub for two hours.

So far, this has all been great, both in terms of learning about this stuff, and in terms of actually having fun. I really am enjoying the process, and it's definitely different. In fact, it's almost the exact opposite of what I do for work every morning. So far so good I suppose. Today I am going to hang out with Dave (Charlie) and kill him a couple of times. Should be some fun!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

One-hit wonders.

It was recently brought to my attention that I mis-spoke last night on the air, calling the Romantics "one-hit wonders". They in fact had two hits. And for this I apologize. The Romantics are suing the makers of Guitar Hero because the version of their song "What I Like About You" (one of their TWO hits) featured on the video game is "almost indistinguishable from the original". I guess the idea is that the songs on Guitar Hero are cover version done by their studio band, in an attempt to mkae them as close as possible to the actual songs, and in this case, they got TOO close. Which just makes it all the more obvious that the Romantics were not making anything revolutionary, that their song was likely painfully easy to cover, and that they were just a bar band that got lucky. Well, with Guitar Hero being the most popular video game in the world, they are attempting to cash in once more. Kudos, Romantics.

But this got me to thinking about one-hit-wonders. So, the Romantics don't qualify. When I worked at a CD store, I was always amazed at the bands that came out with "Greatest Hits" albums. Like Ram Jam. They have a greatest hits album that I purchased. No, surprisingly, it was not a single. It DID kick off with Black Betty, but then there were 23 more tracks! (The liner notes were in German - maybe they had many more hits in Germany.) The rest of the songs were fairly generic, terrible, one-riff idiocy. I listened once. But that truly makes Ram Jam a one-hit WONDER. In the sense that it is a WONDER they managed to make a song that good when the rest of their cataolgue was so awful. The same goes for, say, Foghat. Slow Ride is a WONDER compared to the rest of their catalogue. But a band like, say, Blind Melon was NOT a one-hit wonder. No Rain is a great song, but the rest of their songs are also pretty good. It's just that only one song got airplay. Same with the Chords and Sh-Boom, the Sugarhill Gang with Rappers' Delight, and the Penguins' Earth Angel.

And, by the same token, a band like Calloway is NOT a one-hit wonder. That song, "I Wanna Be Rich", is terrible. Therefore, it is not a WONDER they were able to make that song. My dog could have written that song. It is more of a wonder that it became a hit, but that does not qualify. Jimmy Eat World - The Middle. Dee-Lite - Groove is in the Heart. Mountain - Mississippi Queen. Dexy's Midnight Runners - Come on Eileen. Who Let The Dogs Out. All terrible songs by bands that were, by and large, terrible. Therefore, these are not one-hit WONDERS, they are...one-hit blunders? One-hit happenstance? I can't think of a good word for it at the moment. But I will.

You non-football fans can't wait for the season to be over, can you?

Alright, I'm going to irritate you all again with some football. I take back my comments about the Grey Cup being a boring game. It was positively scintillating, over-the-top entertainment compared to Monday night's 3-0 crapfest between the Dolphins and Steelers. THREE-NOTHING. And the field goal didn't even come until there were 17 seconds left in the entire game. Of course, wet field conditions and crazy rains didn't help any, but that also didn't stop the game from being boring. Maybe that's how Miami might finally win one. An act of God. Anyway, getting my picks out of the way early in the week once again, here goes.

Dallas - Green Bay: The second-biggest game of the year, between the two teams that are clearly the class of the NFC. Both temas are saying hey, if we lose this one, it's no big deal, the other guys are so good...blah blah blah. But I think it is a big deal, to both of them. The winner of this one has pretty much wrapped up home field advantage all the way to the Super Bowl, and therefore will have to beat the other team at home in the NFC Championship game to go to the Super Bowl. That's pretty big. And I think the team that is loosest will win. Tony Romo is as loose as any quarterback in football. Except maybe Brett Favre. And the rest of the Packers are a pretty relaxed bunch of guys, just having a lot of fun playing football. I know it's in Dallas, and that means it will be very close, but the Pack will prevail.

Detroit - Minnesota: The Lions are quickly falling out of the playoff picture, since they do not seem to have a clue how to keep their first-half momentum going. The Vikings are somehow winning, and winning big, without any pass defence and without their #1 running back. Adrian Peterson should be back for this game, and the Vikings will extend Detroit's losing streak.

Seattle - Philadelphia: Very tough to call. The Eagles can look fantastic against very good teams, and very good against fantastic teams. They can also look terrible against bad teams, and bad against terrible teams. The Seahawks were VERY lucky to escape with a win against the Rams, and the Eagles came VERY close to upsetting the Patriots. But, Philly has not put together back-to-back strong efforts yet this year, and the Seattle offense is excellent. Seattle should win this. They SHOULD.

San Diego - Kansas City: Divisional game, so no gimme. The Chargers have looked positively lousy on the road this year, but KC has not been so good at home either. San Diego needs this game to build on their win last week, and KC is pretty much done for the year. Take the Chargers.

New York Jets - Miami: What a dud of a game. Is ANYONE going to watch this one, outside friends, family and Fish fans who are desperate for their team to win just one game? Well, this could well be that game. But if the Jets do everything right, it won't be. New York is a better-than-two-wins team. Miami is NOT a better-than-no-wins team. That being said, when have the Jets done everything right this year? Oh right. Against Pittsburgh. Take New York.

Jacksonville - Indianapolis: The THIRD-biggest game of the whole year. This one is for all the marbles. First place in the AFC South, and therefore the first round bye. Jacksonville is looking VERY strong, winning 4 of their last five, and convincingly. However, the Colts are coming off what amounts to a bye week against the Falcons, they have an extra two days of rest, they have righted their ship, and they are at home. Indy in a tight one.

San Francisco - Carolina: The Niners should be buoyed by their win last week against Arizona. They should also be fully aware of the fact they should never have won that game. The idea of Carolina winning their first home game of the season seems like a long shot, but the idea of the Niners winning two in a row seems like an even-longer shot. I will take the Panthers.

Houston - Tennessee: Two teams that looked pretty darn good a few weeks ago are looking suspect now. How could the Titans get Vince Young back, and still lose three straight? Well, Jacksonville sure. Even Denver I can understand. But to get blown out that bad by the Bengals? Come ON! The Texans have been seriously up and down, and this game could go either way. I'm going Tennessee, because they are better at home and the Texans are worse on the road. That's it.

Atlanta - St. Louis: The only reason this isn't the worst game of the week is that Miami and the Jets are also playing. The Rams are all of a sudden pretty decent again, and the Falcons are not. St. Louis should have beaten Seattle last week, they will not make the same mistake this week. The Rams to win big over the Falcons.

Buffalo - Washington: Sean Taylor. The Skins' Pro Bowl cornerback was shot at his house on Monday night, and as of this writing, he is still in critical condition. I ordinarily hate the Redskins, but a tragedy like this makes me want to root for them this week. It's sentimental, but I choose Washington.

Cleveland - Arizona: The Cardinals looked awful last week against the Niners. Awfully stupid. Who lets the play clock expire on the game-winning field goal attempt in overtime? Oh, Arizona. Cleveland has won two straight, four of their last five, and they have legitimate playoff aspirations. The Browns will take this one. If it wasn't for Denver, Arizona would be the stupidest team in football.

Denver - Oakland: Denver (and Mike Shanahan) looked like the dumbest team (and coach) in the league last week against Chicago. How did that pre-game meeting go? "OK. The Bears have only one player who can beat us. Why don't we give it to him every chance we get?" Kick it out of bounds! Idiots! I assume this will mean a return to good, old-fashion smart football this week, and the Broncos should defeat the Raiders with that. One would hope.

New York Giants - Chicago Bears: If Eli Manning throws four interceptions again, the Giants will lose. If the Giants continue to kick to Devin Hester, like those dummy Broncos did, they will lose. I trust New York not to be stupid enough to do either of these things. Therfore, the Giants will probably win. Probably.

Tampa Bay - New Orleans: Toughest game of the week to call. Really? Yes. If the Saints win, they are only one game back of the Bucs in the division. I am calling the Saints to be the last wild card team in the NFC as the Lions fall off, and that would take a win against Tampa. Also, I just don't trust the Bucs on the road. The Saints will snap Tampa's 3-game winning streak. They will hand the Buccaneers their first divisional loss of the year. And in five weeks, they will make the playoffs.

Cincinnatti - Pittsburgh: Are the Steelers really reeling? No. You can't tell too much from that Monday night game that was played in a monsoon. Are the Bengals really as good as they looked against the Titans? No. They ARE that good for one game, then they are equally bad for two. Steelers in a cakewalk.

New England - Baltimore: The Ravens have the kind of defense that can get to Tom Brady and shut him down a little bit. That is the only way anyone will beat the Patriots this year. The only problem is, they don't have an offense that can score points. They might hold New England to 21 points, but if they score only six, it won't matter. Patriots by 20.

I sure hope none of these games end 3-0. I might be in danger of slipping into a coma if they do.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Apparently, I'm not awful!

I received my phone call today, the one I had been dreading, telling me that I am a dreadful actor, and that I would never be called upon for a casting appointment again. But when it came, the result was entirely different than I had expected. I actually got a part! And it was the good one, the one with all the talking and stuff! I said this morning that the film was as yet untitled. But I was wrong. It was just the script in the waiting room that had no title. The film will be called "The Funeral...Again", and I have the part of Ed. I am playing a doofus who keeps killing his best friend. It is being directed by local director Matt West, and I'm going to be "on set" on Thursday to begin "shooting". That's it, Doc and Woody show! I'm gonna blow this popsicle stand! In six or eight years, when I get my second film role. This all means one of two things. Either I was not as awful as I thought I was, or there is a serious lack of good actors in Ottawa.

Grey Cup - boring. John Madden - priceless.

The Grey Cup, while it usually is a far more entertaining game than say, the Super Bowl, did not live up to that hype this year. TWO offensive touchdowns in the whole game? Two safeties and a field goal for Winnipeg in the first quarter...decidedly boring. And my team lost, so the second the game ended, I flipped the TV over to the NFL Sunday night game. And at least there, in the six minutes I watched before bed, I was entertained. Twice, in six minutes, I heard John Madden say this: "The Patriots are not used to being in this situation. They are in a dog fight here!". The second time, he clearly caught himself, and followed that up with a really awkward "well, not a dog fight...in that sense...what with the...you know what I mean."

The only Madden moment I have seen that rivalled that one was a San Francisco game maybe six years ago where for some reason he kept showing a blimp shot of some rock out in the Bay, and talked for much of the first half about how the seals were basking on that rock. The seals congregate here, you see, and it's called seal rock because of that...he was circling the seals on the rock with his telestrator. Then, in the third quarter, as they went back to "seal rock" for the twelfth time in the game, and he began circling seals again, they began to fly away. Now THAT was hilarious.

Something new. That isn't football.

Last night, I missed the first half of the Grey Cup, because I decided to go audition for a movie. An old friend of mine is producing a short film, and he suggested I come by, just to see how the whole process works. I have no idea if he will actually consider me seriously for a role, but I wanted to check it out because it seemed like a neat thing to do. And it was. I showed up in the waiting room, and sat among a few people who clearly were actual actors. They all had these manilla envelopes and they were all reading stuff. I sat alone in my chair, and didn't know what to do with myself for a while. I cracked some jokes with the...third assistant director, I think she was? Something like that. After a while, I realized that all the real actors were reading the script! For the movie. The one we were there to audition for. So as to look like I fit in, I grabbed a script and perused it, pretending to nod, and make mental notes about things. I looked very professional, I'm sure.

When it was my turn, I went into the room where Mike and Matt, the producer? and director? I think? were waiting. I went in with one other guy, Ian, who was an actor. But for real. I knew he was an actor because he makes his living as a magician for kids' parties. Which seems like something an actor would do. Kind of like being a radio show sidekick. Or whatever my job description is. It stamps me as an out-of-work actor somehow, I think. Only this was my first experience with this sort of thing. Maybe NOW I can refer to myself as an out-of-work actor. Unless for some reason they hire me. And I don't think they will - I think I was pretty awful, and definitely not as good as this Ian guy. We each grabbed a script, and the director would say things like "Eric you will be readin Tom, and Ian, you will be reading Charlie". Before long, I realized he was talking about characters in the film. That made things easier. I was learning lingo!

I "read" for about five parts. I know I sucked. Here's how I know. You see, I had already read the script. Which means I understood the "motivation" of each character in the scenario for which I was reading. However, after I finished each scene, the director would say "oh, sorry. I should have mentioned before the scene, THIS is what the character is trying to do". And I would think "I thought that IS what I was doing!" This is how I know I sucked. I also found out what all those manilla envelopes were. Apparently is is customary to attend these things with a CV and a few head shots. I may have been the only one there without these accessories. I may also have been the only one there without talent. But I will find out shortly, apparently the guys will let everyone know today. That's quick turnaround! It takes my office six to eight months to get me signed up to partake in Breaking Rock News.

Football!

OK, I was wrong. The Bombers were not able to pull out the win with their rookie quarterback. They made a valiant effort, and I thought they had a great chance in the fourth quarter when they stopped the Riders on 3rd and one - especially since the whistle blew when they had stopped Kerry Joseph, and then he slid over the pile to just barely make the play, and on the replay the officials seemed to ignore the whistle. But another entertaining Grey Cup game, and it is nice to see all those ex-Renegades win a Cup. It almost makes one believe that if we still had a team, we could have won a Grey Cup by now also. Almost.

NFL: What I got right. All three Thursday games. But really, how tough was it to pick Indy over the Falcons or Dallas over the Jets? Too obvious. And the Packers are now, I think, the dominant team in the NFC. Look out next week, Cowboys! The Saints got back on track a little, and I was right about the Panthers still being lousy at home. Seahawks did win, but they made it exciting - Gus Frerotte fumbling on 4th and goal from the one? Stupid Rams. Bucs beat the Skins, Jacksonville DID beat the Bills in a laugher, Cleveland continues to be for real, and could well make the playoffs, and the Chargers were able to pull off a big win against Baltimore. And the Patriots managed to squeak out a victory in a surprisingly tight game against the Donovan McNabb-less Eagles.

What I got wrong: Umm...I picked Denver to beat Chicago. Which was looking like a great pick until the Bears scored 17 unanswered points in the last 4 minutes and overtime. Of course, I made this pick without realizing that the Broncos and Todd Sauerbrun are painfully stupid. Chicago has one offensive player. One! If you want to beat the Bears, you kick the ball away from that player. But Denver, in a staggeringly stupid display of...stupidity...kick to him all day, and he returns two kicks for TDs. Punt out of bounds, morons! Do you not watch the highlight films? Don't you watch Sportscentre? Are you somehow not aware of Devin Hester and the fact that he is the greatest kick returner in the history of football? Jackasses. One of our sales guys, Bruce, is a big-time Broncos fan. I would like to suggest to Denver management that perhaps Bruce can coach them better. Just a thought.

Also Arizona. When you line up for an easy, game-winning field goal in overtime against a truly bad team, you have already played a fairly bad game. I mean, you're in overtime, against the Niners. You have already failed, but you can escape with some points, and win anyway. Dodge that bullet. So, the thing to do is NOT line up in an illegal formation. And after hitting the field goal, have to do it again, and miss. I am still disappointed Kurt Warner had the presence of mind to drop that football in the end zone at the end of the game. I'd love to see an OT end with a safety! (And by the way - Warner threw for four HUNDRED and eighty-four yards in this game. And lost. Arizona, you are also painfully stupid.)

Oaklnad beat the Chiefs. Kansas City simply has no idea who they are. Oakland knows who THEY are. A lousy team with nothing to lose, and a chance to win most games. Maybe the Giants ARE pretty darn good, as I said, but no one can be that good when Eli Manning throws more TD passes to the Vikings than he does to his own team. Four interceptions, three taken back for TDs, and the other setting Minnesota up on the seven yard line. And the Vikings have one of the worst pass defences in the world. Take away those 28 points, and the Giants win, 17-12. And that score would still be disappointing for them. New York Football Giants, you are also stupid.

I am going to go ahead and assume the Steelers will run one up on the Dolphins tonight, which is why I'm deconstructing my week a little early. Also to say that once again, I had a pretty solid week in the CHEZ pool. This time, I managed a very respectable 91 points. Woody had an even better week, with 106 points. That is a GREAT week. And yet Doc, who still knows NOTHING about football, had the biggest week of all, with 110. Stupid Rain Man.