The life of a film critic is an easy one. Sure, the money is almost non-existent, but I get to watch movies. Though sometimes, that turns into ... I have to watch movies. Like last night. It was the Iowa Hawkeyes, sorry let's change that. It was MY Iowa Hawkeyes versus the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in the Orange Bowl. For the record, if you didn't go to either of those schools, I completely agree that this was the most boring of the BCS games. But obviously not for me. The 10-2 Hawkeyes could have been one ankle injury away from a perfect season. Against my wife's Northwestern Wildcats our quarterback Ricky (why can't we just call him Rick) Stanzi injured his ankle. We lost that game, then a heartbreaker in overtime against Ohio State.
After getting done with my TV segment on KOIN Local 6, I had to go see Leap Year starring Amy Adams. This was the only screening of the film, and I had to see it so I could talk about it on TV Friday. Again, I'm paid for this (barely). It's my job. So I had to hit record, add an hour of recording time, and hope I wouldn't hear the score. The worst part? My friend John was at the game getting drunk and there would have been at least 2-3 amusing conversations, not to mention the barrage of phone calls and texts between the biggest Hawkeye friend I know, my buddy Schneck.
Leap Year starring Amy Adams. Sigh.
I turn my iPhone off to avoid the potential texts coming in, then realize I have nothing to do on the 25 minute drive to the movie theater. Yeah, if nothing else this night made me discover I text, read twitter and listen to sports talk while driving WAY too much. Good thing Oregon just passed a law about that. I'm sure that will straighten me out.
I get to the theater, sit down, and an sweet old couple mention the college game tonight. I say that I went to Iowa. He doesn't understand what I am doing alone, about to sit down to a bland romantic comedy, instead of watching my Hawkeyes. I explain I am a critic, but not to worry, I am recording the game, and my phone is off, so I won't know anything. I say all of that to him. His response?
"Well, last time I checked Iowa was still wi..."
He didn't finish the word that was obviously "winning." Why? Because I hit him so hard across the jaw he didn't have enough teeth left in for his nightly pudding, let alone to speak. Slight exaggeration, I just shooshed him instead. Old people. Sigh.
Leap Year crawls by (review on Friday). I drive home listening to some god awful soft rock station hosted by John Tesh (by the way, he created the NBA theme song from the 90s, so he's not all bad). Actual quote from Tesh, "Coming up, why getting doggie kissing my not be as healthy as you thought." Shocking. Thankfully, I have a rule that my dog Austin isn't allowed to make out with me. Not even the peanut butter game.
I go to the store and get a 6-pack of Hop Czar by Bridgeport. My current beer of choice.
Once home, I hit the mute button on the receiver, then turn on the TV while hitting the 'list' button on my DirecTV. I then squint my eyes to only view the bottom half of the screen since there is a chance at 9:15 (kick-off was around 5:15) the game could still be going on, and I would see something that would give away the outcome or score. I hit 'play' on the College Football recorded program and hope for some odd reason it doesn't jump to the end. I always panic with things like this.
Perfection. The game is at hand. Rick (I am dropping the y, just like he should) Stanzi is back. Georgia Tech's offense is unstoppable and our defense is rock solid. That's all the pregame talk. Here we go ... Iowa's ball. Fumble. Now here's the problem. Since this fumble is early enough, I know not to panic, because of the old man and the winning comment. Under normal circumstances, I would have thought the worst, and considered fast-forwarding more than just commercials.
Adrian Clayborn is a man. The Iowa defense is actually just as good as the hype. I am impressed and surprised. Iowa gets the ball back and rolls down the field. McNutt (best name on the team, in a landslide) catches a TD in the corner from Stanzi. I decide he should say to the defensive back, "We're even," since it was McNutt who fumbled on Iowa's first possession.
We quickly go up 14-0, and stats like, "Georgia Tech has never had to punt before this game, their offense is normally that unstoppable," started flashing on the screen. Here's the amazing thing about that offense, their offensive line just dives forward. After the ball is snapped it's just a dive. Absolutely crazy to watch. It almost seems illegal (and one time it was for a chop block).
Stanzi hasn't had a ball hit the ground. He's perfect. Then his perfection is slightly altered when Tech intercepts and runs into the endzone. Now it's 14-7. Iowa has dominated, and it's 14-7. Urgh. After this the game hits a pretty big lull. Neither team can move the ball. Not even a halftime show by "Kool and the Gang" can get the excitement going. I think we needed to call this something else. Halftime Entertainment seems way too kind. How about "Halftime Filler?" You want me glued to a halftime show? Pop Warner football, or maybe a game of keep away involving trained dogs. That's how you keep buts in the seats. Then again, "Kool" was probably cheaper than that.
The second half is all about Georgia Tech finally moving the ball a little bit, and Adrian Clayborn. Clayborn declared he was coming back for his senior year before this game started. I'm happy, but that is a big mistake. Huge. By my calculations he would have been the No. 1 draft pick if he left now. Oh well. Georgia Tech was creeping back into the game and I kept thinking this was going to get ugly. A fake field goal fails by Iowa, keeping the score at 17-14. An extra three points wouldn't have helped as much as a TD, but a fake field goal? Simply leaving your offense out there and running the exact same play that ended the Michigan State game would have been a better choice. Especially because our kicker is white, smallish and not fast. Beating everyone to the outside corner seems unlikely. Then we get a safety, but the referees are afraid to call it. Minutes pass, we get the ball back and for one of the first times ever ... announcers nailed it! Tech was putting 10 in the box, to try and stuff Iowa's running game with two minutes left and the score 17-14. The announcers said, Iowa practices against this all the time, Tech as to be careful. First try, Iowa loses one yard, and the announcer looks foolish. Second try, Wegher busts through and runs for the go-ahead TD. Smooth sailing. Final score 24-14.
Chris Meyers does some post-game interviews, which the Hawkeye fans eat up. My friend John said Iowa fans outnumbered Tech fans 4 to 1. Meyers interviews Clayborn and asks if he wants to change his mind and enter the NFL draft. Add Meyers to my death watch list. Clayborn thinks Meyers is an idiot, and my dreams of playing for an actual national championship next year are kept alive. Meyers then interviews THE RICK (his new name) and suddenly THE RICK tells everyone that he loves the U.S.A. and tries to get a chant going.
I turn technology back on. Only 20 emails to get through. I'm actually a little disappointed in my college buddies. Most importantly, Leap Year didn't win. The Hawkeyes did.