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Monday, August 15, 2016

Where Did All Of The Quarterbacks Go?

On August 4, 2016, the Kansas City Chiefs signed free agent Nick Foles, a player who has proved that his incredible, Pro Bowl worthy 2013 season was a fluke more than talent. Foles signing came in an off season where the New York Jets tried to play chicken (and lost) with Ryan Fitzpatrick, and saw the much maligned Cleveland Browns sign first-round flame out Robert Griffin the Third to be their starter. In an era where it’s easier than ever to complete a pass in the NFL, we seemingly cannot find 32 competent men who are up to the task.

While there has always been bad quarterback play in the NFL, now more than ever seems to highlight the notion that if you don’t like the quarterback you have now, you’re screwed. We used to live in a time where if you didn’t like your quarterback, then you could trade for a team’s back up. The Seattle Seahawks had great success with Matt Hasselbeck who was the back up for the legendary Brett Farve- a man who himself was traded from the Atlanta Falcons. Speaking of the ATL, they not too long ago traded away their back up Matt Schaub to the Houston Texans. Growing up in Chicago, myself and fellow Bears fans used to hold the back-up quarterback in high regard- sometimes higher than the starter. Bears fans used to be so devoid of QB hope that we loved it when 31-year-old Brian Griese came to play in 2006 to be our back-up.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Why Are We Ruining National Treasure Christoph Waltz?

The opening scene of Quentin Tarantino’s 2009 masterpiece Inglorious Basterds is a thing of beauty. In it, a local French farmer played by Denis Menochet is having a conversation with a high ranking Nazi who we later has earned the nickname “The Jew Hunter”. The conversation and scene clocks in at almost 30 minutes, yet it flies by as the farmer and the Nazi are having such an intense and engaging conversation. The Jew Hunter is charismatic and charming and the life of the scene. While the Farmer always keeps his guards up, the audience get sucked in. Despite his name, he doesn’t seem like he’s that bad. He seems like an everyday bloke just trying to do his job. He could be wrong about his mission, but he needs to investigate anyways. Then the scene turns. Not only does the audience later figure out the Farmer is hiding a family of Jewish people under his floorboards, but The Jew Hunter knows this as well. He gets the Farmer to admit his “crimes” and eventually orders his men to kill the entire family. One of the daughters, Shoshanna, escapes, and The Jew Hunter points his gun at her back and she runs away- carefully following his prey. Then… he gives up. He admits defeat and walks away.

And this is how America was introduced to the great Christoph Waltz.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

5 Amazing Netflix Originals to Watch Right Now

This post was written by guest writer Cassie from CultureCoverage.com

There is no need to watch television on television anymore because of the advent of Netflix. On top of that, standard shows aren’t the only option for viewers anymore because Netflix has so many outstanding originals to watch. Today, I would like to highlight five of the best that you hopefully haven’t missed.

1) Sense8
Created By: Lilly Wachowski

WHY YOU SHOULD WATCH: One of the best science fiction shows you will find on Netflix is Sense8. There is only one season out right now, but it’s well worth your time. This show features an ensemble cast and it follows eight different characters of different cultures. All of these characters are complete strangers to one another, but they eventually realize that they are not strangers at all. After they have a vision of the violent death of a woman, they come to the realization that they are “sensates.” Basically, they are all mentally and emotionally connected to each other. Sense8 probably knows some of the events are completely illogical. However, the beauty of this Netflix original is watching the all of the character arcs intersect. A new season is on the horizon, so now is a great time to catch up.  

Thursday, July 14, 2016

10 "Quick" Reactions to the 2016 Emmy Nominations

1)  I completely understand that in Peak TV, the Emmy voters are going to leave off some obvious choices just because there’s not enough hours in the day to see everything that’s great. But at the same time, now is the perfect time to jump ship on the old shows floundering and let the new ones roll over you like a calm, sunny day. Shows like Homeland, House of Cards, and Downton Abbey are well past their prime, yet are beloved by the Emmy voters. Every year Emmy voters vote on what they did before and not necessarily on the quality of the individual season in front of them, and every year we get upset. I don’t know why we do this to ourselves.

2) Unfortunately, little room for newcomers meant a shut out for an incredible show like The Leftovers. Justin Theroux was always a dark horse to get a Best Lead Actor nomination, which was always a shame, but there was also no love for Carrie Coon, Regina King, or Kevin Carrol. And even though the show was clearly one of the 7 best dramas according to all TV critics, the show couldn’t beat out other shows about old British people and a CIA agent with a mental disorder.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Orange Is The New Black Has A Flashback Problem

Flashbacks are essential and integral to Orange Is The New Black. They are part of the make-up and fiber of the show. They’re useful to not only provide three dimensional shading to a character, but they help prop up the show’s themes and point of view. Orange is about showing us the inequalities of race and class within our country, and about how prison is the great equalizer. The prisoners are a purposeful melting pot, and by bringing to light the backstories of multiple individuals, the show is able to bring taste and color and richness into the dish. Outside of the Piper and Vause backstories- which the story has rightfully steered away from as it chugs along- getting to know where different characters and where they came from and how they existed outside of the Litchfield prison walls helped shape them when you saw them inside the walls. Unfortunately, as the cast of Orange gets bigger and bigger, and the need for side detours gets smaller and smaller, the flashbacks have become a distraction. Further, the writing for the flashbacks have become weaker as the show has progressed.

Within the show’s first two seasons, we got flashbacks of prisoners like Watson, the runner who just wanted to fit in, Red, the would be crime boss trying to rise through the ranks, and Morello, the woman who wants to be loved by Christopher. These flashbacks were well fleshed out which in turn gave the audience a deeper understanding of who they were watching. For the most part, these flashbacks were also mini-vignettes with their own arc and storylines that just happened to be spread out over the course of a single episode. Therefore, when the flashbacks ended, they provided their own emotional weight and punch. Unfortunately, that’s just not the case anymore.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Rest In Peace Buddy Ryan

In 1981, Buddy Ryan almost lost his job as the defensive coordinator of the Chicago Bears. The team was atrocious, and the team’s owner, George Halas, was cleaning house. Head coach Neill Armstrong was let go and Ryan was soon to be next. However, Buddy Ryan was so beloved and the team cared for him so much, that they wrote a letter to Mr. Halas pleading with him to keep Ryan on. It’s a move you don’t see too often in professional sports, yet it worked. What’s even stranger is that Halas brought in former Bears tight end Mike Ditka to become the team’s head coach, sticking Ditka with Ryan and not allowing him to hire his own defensive coordinator. Even though Ditka and Ryan were not the best of friends, Ryan’s players loved him and would go to the end of the world and back again for him. That’s the type of man that Buddy Ryan was. He was a smart man, and a well-respected one. He truly was one of the titans of the game of football, and he will be sorely missed.

Ultimately, keeping Buddy Ryan on as defensive coordinator was a smart move. Even though Ryan notoriously butted heads with Ditka, the two respected each other. Ryan had his defense and Ditka had his offense. Buddy Ryan installed what came to be known at The 46 defense. Commonly misconstrued as the four – six defense (and based upon the number of defenders who would rush the passer or drop into coverage at all times), Ryan’s 46 defense was based upon strong safety Doug Plank, who wore number 46. The basis of the defense is a constant barrage of men attacking the line of scrimmage; eight men would crowd the box with 6 men at all times on the line. And the defense worked.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Disney Almost Erases Decades of Misogyny with Zootopia. Almost.

Early on in Disney's newest animated feature Zootopia, our hero, a bunny named Judy Hopps, voiced by Gennifer Goodwin, enters the police station in which she'll be working for the first time. She's greeted by a huge (pun intended) cheetah named Clawhauser, voiced by Nate Torrence, who comments on how cute Judy is. Judy responds by saying that only other bunnies can call each other cute, but not other animals. Clawhauser sheepishly apologizes for his ignorance and helps direct Judy to her first ever police briefing.

In a way, Zootopia is an apology for the decades of both overt and latent misogyny its released in the world over the past decades. Whether it's one of their earlier films like Sleeping Beauty or Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs which taught girls to sit quietly while you wait for a man to save you, or one of their later films like The Little Mermaid which teaches young girls to actively be quiet while you attempt to lure your crush with only your looks, Disney studios does not have a good track record of helping to mold the minds and attitudes of young females. Which is unfortunate considering how instrumental they are in their development.