Archive for March, 2011

State of Play: Very good movie filmed in Washington, D.C.

March 27, 2011

I just saw State of Play for the first time last night.  It’s a very good movie set and filmed in Washington, D.C. A lot of the city was shown, and it was nice to see three longtime local reporters get cameos — anchor Jim Vance, reporter Chris Gordon, and former sports anchor and Redskins play-by-play guy Frank Herzog, all of whom have been on TV in D.C. since the early 1980s or even late 1970s. Chris Matthews of Hardball also made it – he’s sort of local but also national.  The one gripe I had was that in the Washington Globe’s newsroom they showed a guy wearing an Orioles cap instead of a Nationals cap.  True, they filmed several years ago and the Nats had only been around a couple of years, but it’s still a slap in the face to D.C., though there are still O’s fans in Washington. Other than that, they did an excellent job, and more movies should try so hard to capture the scenes from D.C.  The movie was probably good enough to crack my top 100 but right now I’m too lazy to update it.  I’d definitely also put Inception and possibly Avatar in.

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Reggie Miller – try to give Len Elmore some respect

March 27, 2011

Reggie Miller is usually pretty good as a color commentator on the NBA, but Len Elmore is a much better college analyst.  So when Miller constantly argued with Elmore and stepped on his toes during the NCAA tournament’s Butler-Florida telecast, it didn’t sound too good. Keep Johnson and Elmore together – Elmore is probably the best color guy in the country.  He’s good with Mike Patrick too. Elmore is better than Clark Kellogg and Bill Raftery, better than Dick Vitale too. Elmore is as good of an analyst as Jay Bilas but Bilas can be overbearing and little annoying as a know it all.

Having the NBA guys in the studio was a little awkward.  Kenny Smith was ok but Charles Barkley didn’t do his homework. Greg Anthony was very good because he’s been doing college for a few years now. Steve Smith is very average.

Miller is pretty good on the NBA but he made himself look bad next to the classy Elmore.

I used to think Gus Johnson was cheesy like Kevin Harlan but Gus’ enthusiasm is real and he actually sounds very good now.

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Kornheiser and Wilbon: sick of hearing about New York and Chicago

March 24, 2011

Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon constantly talk about New York and Chicago on Pardon the Interruption. It’s as if they are ashamed of the last three decades that they have spent in Washington, D.C.  It’s so weird to hear Kornheiser on PTI say, “I’m a New Yorker” and to hear Wilbon say things like Derrick Rose of Chicago is a hands down choice to win the MVP in the NBA even though others like Dwight Howard, Dirk Nowitzki, and Kevin Durant are equally deserving.

Kornheiser has been in Washington for half his life – 31 years, yet he loves to tell everyone he’s a New Yorker.  Both Kornheiser and Wilbon completely ignore the championship history of the Washington Bullets, yet they’re perfectly willing to acknowledge the championship history of the Redskins.  Kornheiser is always talking about the 1970s Knicks.

Never once has he mentioned the Bullets.  I’m just tired of hearing these Washingtonians constantly talk about their previous hometowns.

Mike Anderson leaves Missouri to coach Arkansas

March 24, 2011

Mike Anderson left Missouri to become the new head basketball coach at Arkansas. Photo by Mike Frandsen.

Mike Anderson has accepted the job as the basketball coach at Arkansas after coaching the last five years at Missouri.  He also coached Alabama-Birmingham from 2002 to 2006 and was an assistant at Arkansas from 1985 to 2002. Anderson coached under former Razorbacks coach Nolan Richardson, who lead Arkansas to the national title in 1994.

Anderson’s teams made the NCAA tournament six out of the last nine years including this season, when Missouri lost to Cincinnati in the opening round.

Mike Anderson, seen here coaching Missouri against Cincinnati in the 2011 NCAA tournament, is the new basketball coach at Arkansas. Photo by Mike Frandsen.

Kemba Walker scores 33 to lead UConn over Cincinnati 69-58 and into Sweet 16

March 20, 2011

Star point guard Kemba Walker scored 33 points to lead the 3rd-seeded Connecticut Huskies to a 69-58 victory over 6th-seeded Cincinnati in a West Region NCAA tournament game Saturday night at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.

Walker, a national player of the year candidate, scored inside and out, hitting three 3-pointers and making all 14 of his free throw attempts, most of them after driving into the lane.  Walker also grabbed six rebounds and dished out five assists.

To read the rest of my article on Examiner.com, click here.

 

Butler stuns No. 1 Pitt 71-70 behind Mack’s 30 points, Howard’s last second free throw

March 20, 2011

Pitt's Gilbert Brown missed a free throw with 1.4 seconds left that could have beaten Butler. Photo by Mike Frandsen.

This was March Madness with a surprise ending. Butler did it again.

Eighth-seeded Butler shocked top-seeded Pitt 71-70 in an NCAA Southeast Region tournament game Saturday night that featured a bizarre ending, with each team giving the other one a chance to win it on free throws in the final seconds.

Shelvin Mack scored 30 points for Butler, but it was a free throw by Matt Howard with 0.8 of a second remaining that provided the difference for the Bulldogs over the Big East regular season champion Panthers in front of 18,684 at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.

Howard was the hero in the opening round, giving Butler a win over Old Dominion by scoring a last second layup. This time it appeared that it was teammate Andrew Smith’s turn to score the game’s final points.

With 9.2 seconds remaining and Pitt leading 69-68, the Panthers were called for a shot clock violation.

After each team called timeout, Mack passed the ball to Shawn Vanzant, who threw the ball into Smith in the lane.  The 6-11 sophomore center then banked the ball in off the right side of the glass for a layup to give Butler a 70-69 lead.

Then all hell broke loose.

With each team out of timeouts, Pitt senior forward Gilbert Brown caught a pass near midcourt along the left sideline.  With 1.4 seconds remaining, Mack inexplicably fouled Brown, bumping him in the shoulder.

Brown made the first shot, but having a chance to win the game, his second shot rolled off the rim, leaving the score tied at 70.

Howard grabbed the rebound and tossed the ball toward the basket. Somehow, Nasir Robinson reached up and made contact with Howard, fouling him with 0.8 of a second to go.

An eerie mix of cheers and gasps filled the Verizon Center as the crowd realized what had just happened. Butler would have a chance to win in regulation instead of going to overtime.

Howard calmly sank the free throw for Butler, and intentionally missed the second, giving the Bulldogs an improbable 71-70 upset victory, unlikely because of the way it ended.

Butler (25-9), one year removed from playing in the National Championship game, was going back to the Sweet 16.  Pitt (28-6), picked by many to win the tournament, was bitterly disappointed and headed home.

To read the rest of my article on Examiner.com, click here.

Cincinnati Bearcats defeat Missouri Tigers 78-63, will face UConn Saturday in D.C.

March 18, 2011

Cashmere Wright of Cincinnati runs the offense for the Bearcats, who will face UConn Saturday in the NCAA tournament. Photo by Mike Frandsen.

The sixth-seeded Cincinnati Bearcats used a stifling defense and a strong front line to easily handle the 11th-seeded Missouri Tigers 78-63 in a West regional game Thursday night at Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.

Yancy Gates led the Bearcats with 18 points and 11 rebounds and Dion Dixon scored 16 for Cincinnati.  Point guard Cashmere Wright added 11 points and seven assists for the Bearcats.  Ricardo Ratliffe led Missouri with 13.

After the Tigers jumped out to a 9-2 lead, Cincinnati (26-8) took its first lead at 20-19 midway through the first half and never looked back. Cincinnati led 39-28 at halftime.

To read the rest of my article on Examiner.com, click here.

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UConn Huskies dominate Bucknell in NCAA tournament 81-52, Kemba Walker: 18 points, 12 assists

March 18, 2011

Connecticut Coach Jim Calhoun. Photo by Mike Frandsen.

The 3rd-seeded Connecticut Huskies used a 12-0 run late in the first half to break the game open and ease past the 14th-seeded Bucknell Bison, 81-52 Thursday in a West region opening round game at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.

To read the rest of my article on Examiner.com, click here.

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Exercises can help children with autism improve focus, balance, motor skills

March 18, 2011

Exercises and yoga poses can help children with autism and other developmental disabilities gain confidence, develop better coordination, and improve motor skills.

Improvements in balance and motor skills often go hand in hand with progress made in cognitive function and academic achievement.  Exercising and playing sports also gets more oxygen to the brain, helps kids stay in shape, improves sleep habits, and can improve relaxation and decrease aggressive behaviors.

For children with autism, copying a facilitator’s actions can lead to improvements in the ability to imitate, which is often lacking in kids on the spectrum.

To read the rest of my article on Examiner.com, click here.

This blog is brought to you by http://www.mikeneedsakidney.com/.  Please consider donating.  Thanks.

 

Seth Greenberg’s Virginia Tech Hokies robbed again, fail to make NCAA tournament

March 13, 2011

Five teams from Virginia made the NCAA tournament, but Virginia Tech wasn’t one of them, and Georgetown qualified for the fifth time in the last six seasons.

Coach Seth Greenberg’s Virginia Tech Hokies were robbed for the third time in four seasons, failing to make the NCAA tournament despite a winning record in the Atlantic Coast Conference. As the end of the selection show drew near, the unthinkable was happening.  A winning record in the ACC is usually a lock for the NCAA tournament.

The Hokies also failed to make the tournament in 2008 and 2010 after having winning records in the ACC.   The Hokies (21-11, 9-7 ACC) lost their final two regular season games but redeemed themselves by defeating Georgia Tech and Florida State in the ACC tournament.  The Hokies also had a signature win against top-seeded Duke, a team that had only four losses in 34 games.

The Hokies beat NCAA tournament invitees Florida State (twice) and Penn State, although it appears that a March 5 loss to Clemson may have been the difference between the Hokies and Tigers getting in. Clemson also had a 9-7 conference mark. Hokie seniors including guard Malcolm Delaney (18.6 points per game) and forward Jeff Allen (13.6 points and 10 rebounds) will leave Virginia Tech never having played in the NCAA tournament.

Teams from the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area and Virginia that made the tournament include Georgetown, George Mason, Hampton, Old Dominion, Richmond, and Virginia Commonwealth.

To read my article on Examiner.com, click here.

 


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