Friday, January 10, 2014

71st Golden Globe Awards

Award season is upon us and its one of my favorite times of year.  I am a big fan of movies and television.  Sunday night is the first big award show of the year.  The Golden Globes are voted on by the member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.  There tends to be odd nominations and winners with this award show because the HFPA seems to be a little more bias to foreign films, shows, actor, and actresses.  Here are my guesses on who the winner will be.

Best Motion Picture Drama                                         
12 Years a Slave**My Pick                                           
Captain Phillips                                                              

Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy
American Hustle
Inside Llewyn Davis    
The Wolf of Wall Street**My Pick

Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama         
Cate Blanchett-Blue Jasmine                                     
Sandra Bullock-Gravity**Will Win                           
Judi Dench-Philomena                                                  
Emma Thompson-Saving Mr. Banks*Want to Win     
Kate Winslet-Labor Day

Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy                                             
Meryl Streep-August:Osage County
Amy Adams-American Hustle
Julie Delpy-Before Midnight
Greta Gerwig-Frances Ha
Julia Louis-Dreyfus-Enough Said**My Pick

Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama                
Chiwetel Ejiofor-12 Years a Slave                                      
Idris Elba-Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom                   
Tom Hanks-Captain Phillips                                                
Matthew McConaughey-Dallas Buyers Club**My Pick    
Robert Redford-All is Lost

Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy
Christian Bale-American Hustle
Leonardo Dicaprio-The Wolf of Wall Street
Oscar Isaac-Inside Llewyn Davis
Bruce Dern-Nebraska
Joaquin Phoenix-Her**My Pick

Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture               
Sally Hawkins-Blue Jasmine                                                
Jennifer Lawrence-American Hustle                                    
Lupita Nyong'o-12 Years a Slave** My Pick                     
Julia Roberts-August:Osage County                                   
June Squibb-Nebraska                                                          

Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture
Barkhad Abdi-Captain Phillips
Daniel Bruhl-Rush
Bradley Cooper-American Hustle
 Michael Fastbender-12 Years a Slave
Jared Leto-Dallas Buyers Club**My Pick

Best Animated Feature Film                                                  
The Croods                                                                            
Despicable Me 2                                                                     
Frozen**My Pick                                                                    

Best Foreign Language Film                                                                                                
Blue is the Warmest Color
The Past
The Great Beauty
The Hunt                                                                                          
The Wind Rises**My Pick

Best Director, Motion Picture                                              
Alfonso Cuaron-Gravity**My Pick
Paul Greengrass-Captain Phillips
Steve McQueen-12 Years a Slave
Alexander Payne-Nebraska
David O. Russell-American Hustle

Best Screenplay-Motion Picture
Spike Jonze-Her
Bob Nelson-Nebraska
Jeff Pope & Steve Coagan-Philomena
John Reiley-12 Years a Slave**My Pick
Eric Warren Singer & David O. Russell-American Hustle

Best Original Score, Motion Picture
Alex Ebert-All is Lost**My Pick
Alex Heffes-Mandela:Long Walk to Freedom
Steven Price-Gravity
John Williams-The Book Thief
Hans Zimmer-12 Years a Slave

Best Original Song, Motion Picture
Atlas-Hunger Games Catching Fire
Let it Go-Frozen**My Pick
Ordinary Love-Mandela:Long Walk to Freedom
Please Mr. Kennedy-Inside Llewyn Davis
Sweeter Than Fiction-One Chance

Best TV Series, Drama
Breaking Bad**My Pick
Downton Abbey
The Good Wife
House of Cards
Masters of Sex

Best TV Series, Musical or Comedy
The Big Bang Theory
Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Modern Family**My Pick
Parks & Recreation

Best Actress TV Series, Drama
Julianna Margulies-The Good Wife
Tatiana Maslany-Orphan Black
Taylor Shilling-Orange is the New Black
Kerry Washington-Scandal
Robin Wright-House of Cards**My Pick

Best Actor TV Series, Drama
Bryan Cranston-Breaking Bad**My Pick
Liev Schreiber-Ray Donovan
Michael Sheen-Masters of Sex
Kevin Spacey-House of Cards
James Spader-The Blacklist

Best Actress TV Series, Musical or Comedy
Zooey Deschanel-New Girl
Lena Dunham-Girls**My Pick
Edie Falco-Nurse Jackie
Julia Louis-Dreyfus-Veep
Amy Poehler-Parks and Recreation

Best Actor TV Series, Musical or Comedy
Jason Bateman-Arrested Development
Don Chadle-House of Cards
Michael J. Fox-The Michael J. Fox Show
Jim Parsons-The Big Bang Theory**My Pick
Andy Samberg-Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Best TV Movie or Mini-Series
American Horror Story:Coven
Behind the Candelabra**My Pick
Dancing on the Edge
Top of the Lake
White Queen

Best Actress, Mini-Series or TV Movie
Helena Bonham Carter-Burton & Taylor
Rebecca Ferguson-The White Queen
Jessica Lang-American Horror Story:Coven**My Pick
Helen Mirren-Phil Spector
Elisabeth Moss-Top of the Lake

Best Actor, Mini-Series or TV Movie
Matt Damon-Behind the Candelabra
Michael Douglas-Behind the Candelabra**My Pick
Chiwetel Ejiofor-Dancing on the Edge
Idris Elba-Luther
Al Pacino-Phil Spector

Supporting Actress, Mini-Series, TV Movie, or TV Series
Jacqueline Bissett-Dancing on the Edge
Janet McTeer-The White Queen
Hayden Penettiere-Nashville
Monica Potter-Parenthood**Should Win, One of the best acting jobs I've ever seen.
Sofia Vergara-Modern Family**Will Win

Supporting Actor, Mini-Series, TV Movie, or TV Series
Josh Charles-The Good Wife
Rob Lowe-Behind the Candelabra
Aaron Paul-Breaking Bad**My Pick
Corey Stoll-House of Cards
Jon Voight-Ray Donovan

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Why I Cheer for Chivas USA

So when I tell people that I am a Chivas USA fan most of the time I get a weird look from them and normally their response is why?  I would guess they respond that way because I am a white guy with no ties to the Mexican team.  And to be fair to them I am not the typical Chivas USA fan.  And if you listen to our owner I am not their target demographic either but I love this team and organization and I will tell you why.

The journey to me becoming a goats supporter began in 2000 when I came out to California from Nebraska for my high school graduation present from my parents.  At that point I had never been to a MLS game and honestly I don't think I even knew what it was.  I was visiting my Uncle Joe, Aunt Gail, and my cousins Joey and Mari (the Zachers) and they said they were going to take me to a soccer game.  Sounded like fun because I had played soccer as a kid and liked the sport.  At that time they were season ticket holders and supports of the LA Galaxy.  So yes, my first experience with MLS was a Galaxy game at the Rose Bowl.  I became a fan of the Galaxy that day.  I returned to Nebraska and didn't really follow the team much.  I would cheer for the team if they were on TV but didn't really keep up with them.  I do remember sitting in my living room a couple of years later with my aunt and uncle cheering for the Galaxy as they won the MLS Cup. 

In 2003 I moved to Las Vegas with my family and once again found myself visiting the Zachers in LA.  And once again going to a Galaxy game this time at their new home, the Home Depot Center.  I even stood in the stands with one of their supporters groups in the same section that I now stand in cheering for Chivas USA.  I went back to Vegas and I still liked the Galaxy but did not consider myself a supporter just a casual fan who watched the team if I happened to catch a game.

A couple of years went past without really caring or watching MLS.  In that time the Zacher family had fallen out of love with the Galaxy organization and began cheering for the new team in LA, Chivas USA.  My cousin Joey and my Uncle Joe even help start the first supporters group for the team that would eventually end up being a group that still cheers for the team, the Union Ultras.  They tried and tried to get me to come out to games and cheer for the team but I just thought it was a Mexican team and wondered why were they cheering for them. 

Then in Novemeber 2008 everything changed. My uncle got sick and ended up in the hospital.  He was there until he passed away on February 15, 2009.  During his time in the hospital he was visited by members of the Chivas USA front office, Chivas USA players, and members of the Union Ultras.  They didn't have to do that. They cared about him because he was such a good man with a huge personality that everyone loved him and was hoping he would get better.  At his funeral the team sent flowers and members of the Union Ultras came to support the family and show their love for him. 

After seeing how much the team, players, and supporters were there for my family when we needed them I vowed I would always be there for them.  I told my cousin that I would become a Chivas USA fan in memory of my Uncle Joe and do my best to fill his spot in the stands.  I became a member of the Union Ultras at the beginning of the next season.  I met so many good people with that group who are now some of my best friends in the world.  A lot of us broke away from the Ultras and started the Black Army 1850 a couple of years later and that is who I stand with now and give my all at every game I can make it to in memory of my Uncle Joe.  I think about him every game and wish I could have cheered for Chivas USA with him.  And his memory lives on in our group to this day.  Our group gives out an MVP award every year to the player we think deserves it the most and that award is called the Papa Joe Award. 

R.I.P Dr. Joseph G. Zacher

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Support Your Local Sports Teams

So as many of you may know I am a huge sports fan.  I love watching sports on television but there is nothing like watching sports in person.  There is so much more to watch when you are at an event.  I enjoy going to professional games but I think I enjoy going to minor league/college games even more.  And that is what I wanted to talk about in this blog. 

I have nothing against going to pro games.  The level of play is amazing no matter what sport it is, and a lot of cities take pride in their teams and the cities identity is connected to their pro sports teams.  But I wish people would support the lower leagues and colleges in their city like they do the pro teams.  That is where you will see the real love of a sport.  Whether its the college kid trying to get drafted or just trying to get an education while playing the game they love or the guy who spends 15 years in the minor leagues just trying to get a call up to his MLB team.  And I don't count major college football or college basketball because those have the same feel as a professional game.  I am talking about going to watch your local Double A baseball team in front of a crowd of maybe 1,000 people or going to watch your local college play a girls softball game in front of 50 people. 

My first experience with minor league/college sports was when I lived in Omaha.  We used to go to a bunch of Omaha Royals(AAA baseball) and University of Nebraska, Omaha(Div-1 Hockey) games.  They were always so much fun.  No matter if it was a sellout, which normally only happened once or twice a year, or if there were a couple thousand people there.  I loved how the players tried hard every night, not because of money, but because they loved playing their sport.

Now living in Las Vegas I have a lot of minor league/university sports to watch.  Here we have UNLV, Las Vegas Wranglers(AA hockey) and Las Vegas 51's(AAA baseball).  I have attended UNLV mens soccer games with 20 people in the stand and UNLV baseball games with less.  They are still great games and if you are a true sports fan you will love them for their simplicity and you see how much it means for the players just to be out there playing the game they love. 

And minor league sports have things that you will never see at the professional level.  I was at the Las Vegas Wranglers game last night and the opposing team from Florida did not have a back up goalie for the game.  So they had to get one from the local area.  And who did they choose?  A guy who is a Neil Diamond impersonator who sings the national anthem at our games sometimes.  Not kidding.  And the funny part is he has done this before.  We have had to use him as our back up before too.  That's the kind of fun and craziness that goes on.  The minor leagues have a history of doing fun things.  The bring your pets to the game, Star Wars games, dollar beer and dollar hot dog nights, and tons of other promotional nights.  Those were all done in the minor leagues to get fans interested.  You see those now happening in the major league sports. 

So what I am saying is try and go support teams other than the professionals.  You will see a difference but that's good.  It's sports at its purist form.  Plus the tickets are way cheaper.  I hope everyone liked this blog and I hope to see you at the ballpark sometime.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

MLS Cup Preview and NBA Season Preview

With the MLS playoffs starting tomorrow and the NBA starting tonight I though I would give my predictions for how I think they will play out.

This is who I believe will make the playoffs and their seed.

East                                        West
1.  Miami Heat                       1.  Oklahoma City Thunder
2.  Chicago Bulls                    2.  Memphis Grizzlies
3.  Indiana Pacers                   3.  Golden State Warriors
4.  Brooklyn Nets                   4.  San Antonio Spurs
5.  New York Knicks              5.  LA Clippers
6.  Detroit Pistons                   6.  Houston Rockets
7.  Washington Wizards         7.  LA Lakers
8.  Cleveland Cavaliers           8.  Dallas Mavericks

I can make a case for almost every team in the Western Conference to make it to the finals, except for maybe the Mavericks.  I think the East will come down to the Bulls and the Heat.  If Greg Oden and/or Michael Beasley give the Heat any kind of production I think they will win the East easy. Here are my predictions for the playoffs.

Conference Finals
Miami Heat defeat Chicago Bulls     
Golden State Warriors defeat Oklahoma City Thunder

NBA Finals
Miami Heat defeat Golden State Warriors

These are my predictions for the MLS Cup playoffs.  To be fair I must admit I am not a fan of any of these teams.  I am a member of Black Army 1850 and am a Chivas USA fan.  And yes I know my team sucks, save your comments.
I think 4 teams have a legitimate shot at winning the title.  New York has had the best talent for years now but have never lived up to the hype.  This year they seem to have finally figured it out on way to winning the Supporters Shield.  Kansas City has been solid all year and I think they have the most complete team.  Seattle has a ton of talent.  If Dempsey and Johnson figure it out before its too late that could be a deadly combination.  LA is banged up right now and have not played great all year but they are the two time defending champions and they always find a way to get the job done.  With that said here are my picks for the playoffs.
Wild Card
Houston Dynamo defeats Montreal Impact
Seattle Sounders defeats Colorado Rapids
Conference Semi-Finals
NY Red Bulls defeat Houston Dynamo
Sporting Kansas City defeats New England Revolution
Seattle Sounders defeat Portland Timbers
LA Galaxy defeat Real Salt Lake
Conference Finals
Sporting Kansas City defeats NY Red Bulls
Seattle Sounders defeat LA Galaxy
Sporting Kansas City defeats Seattle Sounders



Monday, October 28, 2013


In this blog I wanted to review the documentary Blackfish and talk about the practices of zoos and places like SeaWorld.  Before I get into the film and my opinions, I want to say that I have always been a supporter of zoos and yes, even SeaWorld.  I worked at a zoo when I was younger and loved every part of it.  A lot of people are now saying that they will never visit zoos or SeaWorld again after watching this film.  I believe you should not put those two in the same category.  Many zoos are non-profit and don't make their animals perform for people.  SeaWorld on the other hand is a business that runs theme parks.  That's not to say they don't do good.  I will talk about that later. I have never been a fan of making animals perform for people like they do at SeaWorld, but I will admit I do visit the parks once in a while and do enjoy the show.  I know it hypocritical on my part.  So with that said lets get into the documentary.

 The film was first released at the Sundance Film Festival in January.  It aired this week on CNN which is when I watch it probably like most of you.  The film begins with the recording of the 911 call made when the killer whale Tilikum killed Dawn Brancheau, a trainer, in February 2010.  I found this a little unfair.  They obviously wanted to shock and set the tone for what the films direction is.  They could have played this recording later in the film when they spent the last quarter of the film talking about the killing. 

Next they had some of the former trainers talking about their feeling toward the whales.  One trainer said they were mesmerized by the whales and another said that his relationship with the whales were the best relationship he has ever had.  Now I believe this is the root problem of the whole debate.  These trainers act as if they are equals with the whales and that they can control or understand their behaviors.  That is exactly what OSHA's argument was when they sued SeaWorld.  Their argument is that it is inherently dangerous and you can't predict the outcome when you enter the whales environment.  You have to be a little crazy to get into the water with these giant creatures that you can't possible know what they are thinking or feeling.  For SeaWorld and the trainers to think this is untrue is irresponsible and dangerous.  OSHA researcher Howard Garrett said that the trainers believe the whales want to be their companions which is completely untrue.  Whales in the wild never interact with humans.

The film then goes into how the whales were captured.  In my opinion this was the hardest part of the documentary to watch.  It was really brutal and quite frankly disturbing.  In 1970 they went to Washington to capture the whales.  They took babies away from their mothers because they wanted the young ones because they would live longer in their park.  This was a terrible thing and there is no excuse for it.  Then with the whales that died in the nets they cut open their stomachs and filled them with rocks so that they would sink to the bottom so no one would see what had happened.  I can't think of anything more horrific than this.  Covering up what they did shows they knew it was wrong what they were doing. 

Next was the story of Tilikum's early life.  He was brought into captivity in 1983.  He was captured by Sealand, a small park in Canada.  He was living in a very small enclosure with two females who mistreated him and attacked him many times.  Many feel this is why he sometimes attacks and kills trainers and has erratic behavior.  Sealand closed after the whales, mostly Tilikum, killed a trainer who fell into the enclosure.  On a side note, the lady who was telling the story of the attack  seemed really creepy to me because she would not stop smiling while talking about a woman dying.  Sorry back to the film.  I felt this part of the film was a waste of time.  Obviously the filmmakers problem is with SeaWorld and this part of the film was put in to show that Tilikum was mistreated and that is why he is how he is not because he is an animal who is a predator in the wild. 

The last quarter of the movie was spend on the death of trainer Dawn Brancheau.  She was killed in February 2010 by Tilikum.  It was really sad that a person had to lose their life doing what they loved to do.  On the other had getting in the water with a killer whale who she knew had killed someone in the past is stupid. 

That in my opinion should have been the focus of the documentary.  I felt the film should have been how these animals should not be put into shows or interact with trainers in the water.  Instead it was an attack on SeaWorld putting the blame squarely on them.  My biggest problem with the film were the former trainers.  Why did they go along with how SeaWorld treated the animals if they had a problem with it.  They worked there for years and still cashed their checks every two weeks.  Now that they no longer work there, now they have a problem and are trashing SeaWorld.  On May 30, 2010 the courts ruled that during shows trainers must now remain behind barriers, separated from the animals.  I feel that this is a great law however SeaWorld has appealed the decision.

Now I am going to put in an argument as to why SeaWorld is not as bad as this film made them out to be.  The first SeaWorld opened March 21, 1964 in San Diego.  They now also operate 2 other parks in Orlando and San Antonio.  Currently they have 22 killer whales in captivity in their 3 parks.  10 in San Diego, 7 in Orlando, and 5 in San Antonio.  They have done some bad things but they also do a lot of good things.  They have rescued over 22,000 animals.  They have helped with the conservation of dozens of animas.  80% of their killer whales were born in captivity and can not be released back into the wild because they cannot fend for themselves. 

In conclusion, I have no problem with zoos and places like SeaWorld.  Do they do bad things, of course.  And those things should be changed.  But I believe that they do a lot more to help animals than hurt them.  I hate when animals are forced to put on shows for peoples enjoyment but I believe that keeping animals in captivity is a good thing, to a point.  Thousands of species have been saved because of captive breeding and I believe educating the public to all wildlife is a good thing.  It sucks to say that keeping animals in captivity is good for a species but sometimes it is.  The information we get from studying them help save thousands in the wild.  Sometimes people have to understand the hard truth that we can't save or release every animal. 

Thanks for reading.  I know I was a little all over the place.  Its my first blog.  I promise it will get better.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

My first blog post

First I want to thank you all for reading my blog.  It truly means a lot to me that you would take the time out of your lives to read this.  This blog will not focus on one subject.  I have many interest that I love to talk about and that is why I started this blog.  I may touch on current news, sports, Disney, movies, TV shows, who knows.  I hope it will be entertaining and fun.  Once again thank you for reading.