Tuesday, August 28, 2007

NCAA 08 Rundown: The End.

Final thoughts on NCAA 08:

Well, since I no longer have an xbox360 (or at least not for another month), I might as well call an end to this preview, and publish my findings. But before I begin, I do also need to recommend Gamespot.com's subscription service. It's $30 a year and with full movies, patches, game guides (the one I'm using here came from the pay service) and all of it for speedy downloads. I feel it's a pretty good deal.

I’m a homer, yes, but I’ve also played with a lot of different teams on NCAA, and I’d honestly have to say that the Gamecocks have the best balanced offensive playbook in the game. Numerous single back and shotgun sets, about four I formations of various appearances, and one split back set with 3 wideouts (that incidentally, I do not like). Also, under the Single Back, “Big” set and all the way to the right you will find the Emory and Henry plays. There are also a decent number of option plays if you want to change off of a predominantly option offense to a more passing based offense (I’m looking at you, Florida fans). But if you’re looking for the…


then you have to go with Florida. The “Gator” shotgun formation is amazing with Tebow. When I played as UF, I used this formation to bludgeon my opponents with straight ahead runs by QB #15. For the uninitiated, it has Tebow deep in the ‘gun and he has two running backs closer to the line of scrimmage as potential blockers or as option runners. There is one wideout split wide, and the formation has two tight ends. It looks like something the Four Horseman would run, and it’s just as effective. I’m just pissed they don’t have the all-time teams in this game anymore because I’d love to try this formation out with 1946 Army or 1995 Nebraska or something like that.


Definitely goes to Arkansas for the Wildcat. McFadden with a run/throw option=awesome. OH and huge tip…you have to press X on the 360 until you get the “HB QB Sub” package to run the plays correctly. Big tip from Gamespot.com.

You probably know the best team in the game. That is obviously USC…and I didn’t even play as them. It just seems unfair. But I did play as LSU and they are incredible. So much speed on defense, and a solid running attack. Don’t make mistakes in the air (and it is easy to do this year) and you’re assured of victory.

So the last category that I have is the “sandbag” category. This is the thing where you pick an unranked team and your buddy picks another unranked team. Sometimes these teams are better than some of the ranked ones, so it helps to know which ones to pick. Here are some examples.


I know, I know…I’m a homer…but I have to go with South Carolina again on this one. The Gamecocks have a solid defense led by Jasper Brinkley (who is a monster), Blake Mitchell is an 89(!), Kenny McKinley is amazing and so are Cory Boyd (90 rtg) and Mike Davis (88 rtg). Chris Culliver (WR #80, true frosh) is also in this game and his speed rating is a 95. So put him in as your 3rd WR. Ryan Succop is an absolute monster in the kicking game and if you’re accurate, he’ll nail anything closer than the 35 yard line.

But in a twist, I’m going to also recommend Clemson. They have two amazing backs and James Davis (94 spd, 88 break tackle, 91 truck, 94 acceleration & agility) cannot be tackled in the game…it’s seriously almost impossible. Add to this a defense averaged to 89 by Gamespot.com and they are a legit sandbag team.

If you like high powered offenses with little to no defense, then Missouri is your squad. Chase Daniels (84 spd, 89 throw power & accuracy) leads a potent offense, but you better put up points because the Mizzou defense is pretty weak—Gamespot.com gives them an average of 77 while their offense gets an average of 92.

So that’s that. Have fun with the game…and remember, the object of this game is one thing: “Shit Talking.”

The Burden of South Carolina Football History

It is not well-known, but famous Southern historian C. Vann Woodward also composed his thoughts on several football teams. In a recently discovered manuscript, his thoughts on many different teams in the South have been found. Below is one man's take on Gamecock history.

The Burden of South Carolina Football History

South Carolina fans have had their full share of illusions, fantasies, and pretensions, and they have continued to cling to some of them with an astonishing tenacity that defies explanation. But the illusion that ‘history is something unpleasant that happens to other people’ is certainly not one of them—not in the face of accumulated evidence and memory to the contrary. It is true that there have been many Gamecock converts to the gospel of progress and success, and there was even a period following the ‘Black Magic’ of 1984 when it seemed possible that these converts might carry a reluctant fanbase with them. But the conversion was never anywhere near complete. Full participation in the legend of irresistible progress, success, and victory could, after all, only be vicarious at best. For the inescapable facts of history were that the Gamecocks had repeatedly met with frustration and failure. These fans had learned what it was to be faced with problems that refused to yield to all the ingenuity, patience, intelligence and hirings that a university could bring to bear upon them. They had learned to accommodate themselves to conditions that they swore they would never accept, and they had learned the taste left in their mouths by the swallowing of their own words…and they had learned the un-American lesson of submission. For South Carolina fans have undergone an experience that it could not share with many in the nation—the experience of defeat, mind numbing mediocrity, and constant ‘reconstruction.’”

Gamecock fever: Catch it!...just like diphtheria.

Inspired by The Burden of Southern History, pgs 167-91.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Blake's Benching

You mean this guy fucked up? Naaah.

I’m writing this after Blake Mitchell has been suspended for the first game of the 2007 season. Here is a sample of some text messages I received about this subject:

I hope Blake falls off a bridge

Fucking Mitchell, what an idiot

The Blake we’ve come to know and love

I’m glad Smelley will get experience so that when Spurrier benches Blake later Smelley can blow up

So as you can see, this not so random samplings of Gamecock fans are 100% behind our #1 QB. Personally, I wouldn’t be opposed to seeing Blake gone for good. I have been listening to podcasts made by people who have actually seen these guys play, and it seems as if Blake is by far the best quarterback, with Smelley and Beecher backing him up. So it looks now as if Smelley will get the start and Beecher will get playing time. While Blake may come back and start vs. UGA, I wouldn’t be surprised if Smelley starts the UGA game if he blows up vs. the Ragin Cajuns.

Oh and Emmanuel Cook got kicked out of school for having a gun. With him, we essentially had four safeties that could start. Now we have three. Good luck in life, dumbass.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Blake Mitchell suspended for first game

Way to be, Blake. Looks like we'll all be getting an early look at Chris Smelley.

More as it develops.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Fuck you, Microsoft.

The NCAA 08 preview is officially dead, thanks to the fucking red rings of death.

Posts on the existential reality of being a Gamecock fan as well as general SEC/Gamecock previews to come shortly. 12 days to go.

Eat shit and die, Microsoft.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Movie review: Where Eagles Dare

First off, let me say that I am playing the shit out of NCAA 08, mostly while drunk. My advisor is expecting a write up on what I want to do my thesis on and there’s no way he’s getting it before the month ends. And French is whipping my ass…done with that in one week. With that said, I’m taking a break to discuss a movie whose review is long overdue: Where Eagles Dare.

It’s a rare thing for me to watch a movie and just accept a completely absurd premise, events, storyline, characters, accents, etc. and just roll with it. It’s still another thing for me to do all that and still enjoy the movie. But this is the case with one of my favorite WWII films, Where Eagles Dare. If there is one thing this movie does well, it is kicking Nazi ass. If you like to see Nazis get blown up, stabbed, shot, impaled with pickaxes, thrown off cliffs, strangled or run over with a snowplow-equipped bus, this movie is for you. If you don’t, then I don’t want to be your friend.

So the basic plot is this: Clint Eastwood and Richard Burton lead a team of commandos in to go rescue an American general that was captured by the Germans. The Germans are going to torture him to figure out the plans for the Allied invasion of France. Honestly, don’t worry about anything else regarding the plot besides that because it’ll just make your head hurt. Just sit back and enjoy the Nazi killings.

This movie has also been ripped off by a lot of recent WWII video games. Virtually everything in Return to Castle Wolfenstein can be seen as an offshoot of this, and the recent shitty game Hour of Victory (I made a horrible mistake and rented that last weekend) goes so far as to even put an eagle in one of their concept art shots. So they're great game makers and subtle too.

Avoid at all costs.

I love this movie. It’s one of my favorites in the war genre, and personally, I think it is remarkably similar to “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” due to its overbearing style, massive body counts, unrealistic portrayal of most everything that goes on in it, and of course, Clint. Go Netflix or buy it (I recently got my copy at Borders) now.

A synopsis

A decent trailer

Sunday, July 22, 2007

This....was interesting.

I was flipping around and stopped on HBO when I saw a clip of Amanda Bynes in Hairspray. Before you start with the wiseass comments, just take a look at these pics:

...No comment.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

NCAA 08 First Thoughts...

...I need to work on my passing game. So I got it at 12:30, got a twelve pack, came home and booted it up in the ol' Xbox 360. Fowler breaks down some new features while you see badass trick plays play through on the screen. This new save your replay thing is either the coolest thing ever or the dorkiest thing ever--basically, you can save replays and upload them to the internet. On the one hand, it'd be cool to beat your friend's ass, save replays and then send email them to him with subject lines like "holy shit scarlett johansson nip slip!" and then some nice play on the other end of that nondescript youtube html. But then again, who the fuck sends NCAA clips of themselves over the internet? Bottom line is, I hope reallyboredugafan gets this game quickly.

So after that, I start up with a Carolina-Clemson game. At this point, I started taking notes, and I'm kinda drunk, so I'll just start to list those notes right now.

--The Gamecock helmets are authentic down to the SC State flag stickers on the back of them.

--Gamecock unis are Under Armour. Click mothafuckin clack.

--CJ Spiller=untackalable. And fast. Probably much more untackalabe than in real life. If you like to run the ball, go with Clemson.

--Blake Mitchell=the most perfectly modeled QB in the game. First drive, he goes 4-4, 58yds, 1td. He then proceeds to go 0-12 with FOUR PICKS over the next two and a half quarters. I benched him in favor of Garcia, who led the Gamecocks to a close 27-24 win over the Tigers. Late Succop field goal was the factor.

--Succop=dominant kicker.

--More on Mitchell-My roommate comes home from the bar and so we play Gators-Gamecocks. Blake torches the UF defense for about 295yds, 3tds.

--The whole game just looks a lot better from EA's last effort on the 360.

--Tebow+Gator playbook=potentially the best option team in the game.

--Passing is more difficult, you need to switch it up a lot, runs with the pass, draws, etc.

--DB's have much better hands.

--Clemson could not cover Kenny McKinley to save their lives.

--I played next as LSU, roommate was Auburn. Two teams with "Tiger Rag" for their fight songs was torture.

--LSU's defense is fucking incredible. Fast and can hit the shit out of people. I picked Cox off seven times. Two picks to the house, one more called back on clipping call.

--Auburn's #44, Ben Tate(?) is pretty fucking good.

--LSU's Alley Broussard is better. The game came down to a defensive stalemate, whereas I could barely complete any passes at all (1-11), I could kinda run the ball. My roommate completed passes all over the field, to me and his own players. Final: LSU takes it, 20-10.

--There is a lot of shit going on in the pre-snap screen now. Audibles for the o-line, WRs, RBs, play switching, etc. Similar things for the defense.

--I am addicted. More info tomorrow here...in the mean time, back to it.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Fuck with NCAA Day

So NCAA Football 08 comes out tomorrow...midnight at my local store. Your intrepid reporter/entirely average NCAA player will begin taking notes and will probably have a "first look" post up by the time you read this tomorrow morning. Until then, enjoy these:

NCAA is always better with "The Chronic."

You (and your life) is not ready.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

2007 Gamecock Preview: The Offense

OK so this bender that I was on kind of extended itself right up until I started my summer schooling here on the 25th. Some advice stemming from said bender: Bud Select in bottles is serviceable. Bud Select in cans is fucking terrible. Sweetwater Summer Hummer is all you should be drinking right now. That’s all I’m going to say, though. So sorry about so little postings. In this post, I’m going to outline the Gamecock offense, specifically strong and weak points and some questions heading into the new season. By the way, if you have a chance of taking a six week French 101 course, it is a good way to learn French because it forces you to learn it. But it’s also a good way to not do much else besides learn French. With that said, let’s get into it.

This is it.

Like a lot of bloggers here on these internets, I’m fascinated/terrified by Phil Steele’s knowledge of and subsequent prediction of my favorite team’s upcoming season. He is picking the Gamecocks to be tied for first in the SEC East with UGA. This is terrifying for me because it has marginally increased my hopes of a finish better than 7-5. Marginally—I’m still your reliable Gamecock pessimist, dear readers. So obviously an important factor to a Spurrier coached team is going to be the offense. Let’s take a look at it, starting with…


I feel as if the Gamecocks are set here. Cory Boyd and Mike Davis are two above-average backs (on a horrible-bad-fair-good-above average-great continuum) that are fully capable of handling the carries required by a Spurrier offense. In the past two seasons, it seems as if Spurrier has run more of a ball control offense, and I believe that this can be shown through how few times the Gamecocks have punted last year: 30 in 2006. Their opponents punted 48 times in the same year. So I guess my point is that Spurrier leaned on Boyd and Davis, especially in that Clemson game where all four Gamecock touchdowns in the 31-28 win was scored on the ground. Davis and Boyd combined for about 170 yards in that game. This is of course helped out by the fact that the Gamecocks had a decent…


…by that point in the season. The inside three from this effective unit is now gone. So once again the Gamecocks have to rebuild the O-line. Some projected starters include two defensive linemen that are switching to the O-line. I honestly have no idea how this is going to turn out, and from what I can tell, the opening SEC game vs. the Georgia Bulldogs will be a battle to see who has the worse O-line. We’ve lost five straight to these guys and I’ve promised myself that I’m not going to pick the Gamecocks in this game until they can prove me wrong. Hopefully the O-line can limp along thru the Georgia and LSU games, and get to a relatively easier stretch against MSU, Kentucky, UNC and Vanderbilt. Regardless if the line is solidified or not, the schedule gets significantly harder at that point, with games at UT, at Arkansas and then home for UF and Clemson. The o-line is probably the biggest weakness of the offense, and it just so happens that this will affect everything, especially…


…Blake Mitchell. OK here’s the thing about Blake. He can be good and then he can be awful. A big key of this is how good the offensive line is doing. Last year the o-line couldn’t block, so Syvelle Newton, my second favorite Gamecock of all time, had to go to QB. But back to Blake. I think he can be a solid quarterback, and as Brandon from Cock-n-Fire recently mentioned, but he tends to fuck up a lot…so I don’t know if he ever will be a solid QB. I really don’t know what to do with this guy. I never thought I’d really utter this line but…I wish the Gamecocks could have Phil Petty back. Kill me now. No smooth transfer here so let’s just jump to the…

No Phil Petty picture to be found, but when I Google Image searched him, a My Lai pic came up. Appropriate.


The new man?

I think the squad is deceptively deep here. Kenny McKinley was pretty much the go to guy for the middle stretch of the season until Sidney was able to get going. Kenny had 8 catches for 110 yds and 1 TD vs. Auburn, 4 for 70 vs. Tennessee, 7 for 87 and 1 TD vs. Arkansas, 5 for 71 at Florida, 5 for 66 at Clemson and 3 for 112 and 2 TDs in the bowl win vs. Houston. Besides that, not too many people have seen action, but big things are supposedly expected from incoming freshman Chris Culliver, a five star recruit, and JUCO transfer Larry Freeman. Freeman is expected to play right away, and he is famous already for being bitched out by Spurrier during the spring game for running the wrong route…oh and this was nationally televised.

Others that may see time include Mike West, whom Spurrier said “looks like Calvin Johnson. But that’s it…he just looks like Calvin Johnson. Let’s see if he can play like him.” For what it’s worth, West converted from linebacker to WR, he weighs 220 lbs and runs a 4.4 40.

One more thing:

As per usual, Brandon writes so I don’t have to: Recruit ineligibility news

Whew. I don’t know why, but it took me forever to finish this post. We’re a week away from NCAA 08’s release date and I’m getting ready to log some major hours on that and do some reportage here at Third Down Draw.

Friday, June 29, 2007

French...winning for once.

Real life is kicking my ass...in the form of a six week French 101 class. Meets M-F, quizzes every day, tests every Friday. Thing is, I need it if I'm going to continue in academe. Expect a badass post this weekend though...I'm going to give yall a teaser. Clint Eastwood. German uniforms. Tons of explosions. Cable car fight scenes. Massive amounts of dead Nazis...and this:

If all that doesn't interest you, then I don't want to be your friend.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Blogtable discussion.

One of the funniest blogs out there today stars Trev Alberts and is called Fire Mark May. The editor over there recently proposed a series of questions and here are my answers to them.

Your Home Field Advantage

Give the more zealous portion of your fanbase a religion. What's this cult following? Feel free to give the splitters a derogatory nickname.

Gamecock fans fall into three camps: the realists, the pessimists and the insane. Anyone that is familiar with SEC blogs knows that about 70% of Gamecock fans on the internet fall into the third category. I really want to know which team they’re watching, because I see no MNC in our near future, but they’re always carrying on about it like the Gamecocks are equipped with Panzers this season. Personally, I am a realist/pessimist, but only a realist when very, very drunk. So I’d give the insane Gamecock fans a Jim Jones cult.

Your biggest rival is in town, and College Gameday is coming....to your citaaaaaaay... Create a blatant corporate sellout promotion to appeal to the mass unwashed.

Easy. Stuffed-animal tigers, soaked in gasoline, and instead of cotton or whatever, they are stuffed with fireworks. Only on sale after 9pm Friday before the Clemson-Carolina game.

Add one local delicacy to your stadium's concessions. Post-tax pricing is optional.

Mustard-based barbecue. Arguing over barbecue is like arguing over which religion is better, but I stand by the South Carolina style. Serve it on a bun with a Coke for $5.

The good stuff.

With an unlimited AD budget, add or subtract one thing to your school's gameday experience that has nothing to do with football.

Can I buy wins? Short of that, I’d want to expand the North Endzone so that the stadium is completely closed off and increase the student section. I’d also like to see the student section “re-opened” so that anybody who wants to can sneak into it like you could a couple years ago. In the student section, seating is first-come, first-serve. Also, live sacrifices to Mars, the god of War.

I'm using this image as often as I can.

General NCAA questions

Coin a hilariously unrealistic stereotype that you would like to "make stick" for this upcoming season.

A reality tv show is following around the Seventh Floor Crew as they contemplate life post-Buddhist conversion and where to go on pilgrimage—to the Bodhi Tree or to the monasteries of Nepal.

Redesign your conference or independent schedule with reckless abandon. Be prepared to include compensation for jilted schools and conferences in your explanation.

I’d like to see the Gamecocks play FSU, but only if we can get in our time machines and play last year too. I’d also like to see the UNC-USC tilt become a regular occurrence, but this looks to be impossible. So we drop SC State from the schedule so far. I’d also like to see Alabama play Auburn in Panama City Beach, with Evan Williams Green Label sponsoring it and being served. Two drink minimum. I’d need a box seat for that game.

Evan Williams Green Label: When black simply doesn't get you drunk enough.

Following up on your new realignment, blow up the BCS and devise a national playoff system, money grabs and missed exams be damned. Using your new fantasy conferences is optional.

Top four team playoff would be my system. The bowls would begin the Monday after Christmas and would be played two a night, one at 5:30 and one at 8. On Saturday, the two first round games would be played. The following week, the various conference champs left out of the playoffs would play each other, along traditional lines (B10-PAC10, SEC-ACC) or highest ranked vs. highest ranked. These would take place on Monday night and Thursday night. The rest of the bowls would take place this week too. Championship game would be held on Saturday night, time and place TBA.

Elect one public figure to replace NCAA president Myles Brand. Anyone with proper name recognition is eligible.

Does this have to be a real figure? Because if not, I’d be torn between Bill Brasky or Mark Antony from HBO’s Rome. If it has to be real, then I pick….me! Let me post my qualifications—college graduate, willing to work in excess of 30 hours a week, and I’m currently marginally employed (grad student) and I am smarter than you. Few requests, though: I would require a private jet to be available to me on a 24 hour standby basis, no oversight on any NCAA credit cards that I may or may not possess, and I’d have to be addressed as “Sir” or “My lord” at all times.

Yup, this guy.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Non sequitur posting and Spurrier photoshop.

One of the nice things about grad school—ok, THE only nice thing about grad school—is that you get summers off. So I’ve been taking full advantage by going back to SC for a week, going to Atlanta for a week and when I haven’t been doing that, engaging in a nice, respectable bender. So what I’m trying to say here is posting should increase shortly, mainly because I’m running low on money and my summer classes start in a couple days. Just wanted to get to a few things stated, along with a short war movie review before posting some Spurrier photoshops.

Firstly, obligatory Sopranos final episode post. I have been watching the show since it started, and I’m roughly Meadow’s age in the show, so the post-Sopranos HBO world will be interesting. Right now I’m into Big Love (polygamy is weird!—more on this show at a later time) and just wish that another season of Rome didn’t have to cost $100 million to make. As for the last Sopranos episode, I enjoyed it. My take was that life just goes on for Tony S. and family…but if you want real, actual commentary, then suggestion of this Salon piece can’t be beat (Thanks Kanu!). And as always, leave it up to Deadspin.com commentators to discover the real bullshit of “no more Sopranos:” We never got to see Meadow in a sex scene or get a boob shot of her.

Bob Barker signed off on Friday for the last time. Now it is generally well-known that this show is an American institution, but the better American institution that I associate with it is a little different. There is nothing better than waking up, turning this on and then cursing some dumb motherfucker out because s/he can’t correctly guess a seemingly random number from 0 to 9 in order to win a car. I engaged in this on Friday. “EIGHT YOU DUMBASS!!!” Oh and if you’re jealous of me being able to wake up at 11:15am on a Friday, don’t be. If you’re employed at all you probably have more money than me right now. Ahh, grad school!

The movie “Knocked Up”: If you enjoy comedies at all, go and see this. Right now. Seriously, stop looking at porn and go see this. It’s a rare date movie that, I think, could be enjoyed by both men and women. Probably the funniest conservative movie ever.

War film review: This time, I’ll be doing “Piece of Cake,” a Masterpiece Theater miniseries about a fighter squadron during the first year of World War Two. This thing has lots of cool aerial cinematography, plot twists, a little romance, class conflict and five hours of running time lead up to a stunning conclusion during the Battle of Britain. It shows some real character development and this helps out the miniseries tremendously. Each loss is felt because one is familiar with the character enough to give more than a “…eeh.” It also shows just how close the RAF was to utter destruction in the summer of 1940. I should probably do more on this, but maybe at a later time.

Why should you see this: Great acting jobs all around, compelling storyline. Enough gratuitous Spitfire shots for me to safely label it “Spitfire porn.” See it if this youtubedness interests you.

Why you shouldn’t: Builds up slowly, but I still say “see it.”

Finally, Spurrier photoshop:

AP Photo after 2005 UT Game: During the handshake, Spurrier actually ripped Fulmer's heart out.

Great and Glorious Leader Spurrier Leading the Nations!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

John has a long mustache.

OK so I missed posting this on June 6th, but in order to make up for it, my first installment of action/war movie reviews will be The Longest Day. When one uses the term “epic,” The Longest Day is what should be envisioned. Daryl F. Zanuck’s 1962 film about the invasion of Normandy in 1944 weighs in at around three hours and is jam-packed with plot, historical accuracy and most of all, stars. I’ll attempt to list the ones I know here:

Eddie Albert (Green Acres)

Paul Anka (singer)

Richard Burton

Red Buttons (Poseidon Adventure)

Sean Connery

Henry Fonda

Peter Lawford (Mrs. Miniver, member of the Rat Pack)

Roddy Mc Dowell (Cornelius from Planet of the Apes)

Sal Mineo (Rebel Without a Cause)

Robert Mitchum

Robert Ryan (60’s version of “That Guy”)

Rod Steiger (In the Heat of the Night, On the Waterfront, Dr Zhivago)

Robert Wagner

John Wayne

Thousands of real-life men were used to recreate the invasion. Shooting took place on location in Normandy, at many of the actual sites. The cinematography is especially good, considering when it was shot. However, it must be realized that this was filmed during the height of Hollywood’s “victory lap” of World War Two. Many of Hollywood’s stars and directors, including Zanuck, joined the armed forces during World War Two. Many directors and producers were put into the Army’s Signal Corps…including Zanuck. Zanuck was charged with making the official documentary of the Normandy landings. As a result, after the war, he was obsessed with producing the ultimate recreation of the Normandy landings. He got the scale right, but not really the sheer terror aspect of a seaborne invasion into the teeth of Nazi guns. This glossing over/glamorizing the real horror of war is a key aspect of the Hollywood “victory lap” era of the 50s and 60s, and honestly, more modern war films shouldn’t be viewed without this context.

Good things about this movie: Scale. D-Day was THE most epic invasion in history, and this film provides that through its endless parade of stars and its length. It is also the quintessential “victory lap” war film, glorifying sacrifice (otherwise known as death) for the Allied cause and, while providing a human face to the German opponents, wholeheartedly condemning Hitler from both the German and Allied perspectives. The movie, while not accurately depicting combat, is accurate at depicting many of the key events of the invasion. It can, and is, seen as a historically accurate depiction of the D-Day landings.

Bad things: Length. It’s about three hours long. While I find “victory lap” films entertaining, I also think that at a certain level, they’re cynical ploys to attract movie goers by not showing the true nature of war. And like I said above, this is the quintessential victory lap film.

Verdict: It should be seen because it is a classic and has so many stars, but should be viewed in the correct context. It should also be viewed in order to correctly recognize what movies like Full Metal Jacket, Platoon, Apocalypse Now, Hamburger Hill or Saving Private Ryan were in response to. Personally, I do enjoy it.

Interesting facts: The movie has four principal directors, one for each nationality: French, German, British and American. According to Wikipedia (which should be trusted above all else), it stars not only Sean Connery, but two Bond villans, Karl Stromberg from The Spy Who Loved Me, and my favorite Bond villain, Auric “No Mr Bond, I expect you to die!” Goldfinger.

Also, Daryl Zanuck was brought back in by Fox to oversee the completion of this movie and the completion of another legendary epic, Cleopatra. Let me say that again: The Longest Day and Cleopatra were being produced at the same time by Fox. In 1961.

A note about my Gamecock coverage.

See that guy up there to the right? You recognize him? I'm sure all Gamecock fans do. That's Marcello from Fellini's La Dolce Vita. Imagine me as him, but with less Italian language skills and without a bitchin car and without the access to badass Roman parties in the early 60s. So I guess what I'm saying is that the Gamecocks are to me like Marcello's job is to him: Something that I wish I could change but something I can't.

Aiming directly for the Gamecock fan zeitgeist.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Welcome and a few notes.

Welcome to the first post of Third Down Draw. I will be your resident hack, Robert. Ok so a little about the setup of the blog and what will be covered. Firstly, this will be about how I will cope with the unforgiving force that is South Carolina Gamecock football. Secondly, this will be about the SEC games that I watch each week, and then thirdly I will think about discussing other national games of note. On Wednesdays, the ghost of Jean-Paul Marat, who has inhabited my body since smoking some serious weed in Amsterdam, will come on and offer his “Heroes of the Revolution” and “Traitors to the Cause.” Also, I’ll be covering movies that I like and other random shit that I feel others should know about. First, a disclaimer. I claim to know little about college football or just about anything at all, really. However, in the great tradition of the Internet, this will not keep me from spewing forth random words grouped into sentences and those sentences grouped into paragraphs. I will try and make them coherent.

Now, a little about me. I am a recent graduate of the University of South Carolina. I am currently a grad student at a big football school in the South. I really don’t think I should divulge more than that because the people in charge of my department tend to get a little uppity and look down upon such things as “social lives” or “fun.” Having said that, I make Saturdays my one and only day for fun, and that day is devoted to college football totally. I played a tiny bit of football, and it seems I know more about x’s and o’s than other football fans. If I can, I’ll try and incorporate this into my shoddy analysis.

I’ll conclude this post with some of the things a reader can expect from this blog during the summer months, when I am only taking one class and thus have some free time.

  1. An in-depth analysis of what will be my favorite video game, NCAA 08. I have an Xbox360 and the only time I really get to use it is in the summer. This rundown will include: a report on all top 25 teams (best players, playbook features, “money plays,” etc), my own Create a Playbook feature, and a summary with Best Seemingly Shitty Teams to Fool Your Friends With and a crowning of the Best Team in NCAA 08.
  2. I will also be running down my favorite action/war movies of all time. I’ve seen quite a few war movies, especially of the World War Two variety, and I think this knowledge needs to be shared with the fifteen or so people that will make up my audience.
  3. I will give my interpretation of Gamecock history, my personal cult of worship to Steve Spurrier, and a half-baked analysis of the upcoming season.
  4. My shitty Spurrier photoshop creations.

Thanks and I hope you come back.