Sunday, February 22, 2015

2015 Best Supporting Actor, J.K. Simmons, "Whiplash"

You've seen him as:

  • Dr. Emil Skoda from Law & Order,
  • J. Jonah Jameson from the Spider Man films (Sam Raimi's versions starring Toby Maguire)
  • Will Pope in The Closer,
  • Mac MacGuire in Juno,
  • Professor Nathaniel Burke from the Farmers Insurance TV ads.
All great character roles.  

OK, it helps that he spent his teenage years in Columbus (Worthington), Ohio as his father was a music professor at Ohio State from 1969 to 1974.

But tonight, his role as the driven, intense music teacher Terence Fletcher in Whiplash, earns his first Oscar as Best Supporting Actor. 

Congratulations Jonathan Kimble Simmons.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Redemption Feat: Stephen Curry wins 3-point shootout

source: USA Today
The first time I saw Steph Curry play basketball was in 2008. He was a sophomore at Davidson University playing in the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament.

What immediately impressed me about Steph was, and still very much is his quick-release, soft touch shooting from 3-point range. His relaxed, enthusiastic demeanor makes it so much fun to watch him play.

When the Golden State Warriors drafted him in 2009, it was exciting news. However, I had some concern that his slight build would not hold up well against taller and stronger players in the NBA.

I'm glad I've been proven wrong.

As the Warriors have started out white hot for the first half of this season, much of it has to do with Steph maturing into one of the best players in the NBA.

And that maturity has extended into competing in the 3-point contest held yesterday. I also think ESPN's Kenny Mayne helped. Shown last week, Kenny enlisted the assistance of a 10-year girl, Jaden Newman, and 3 retired NBA players: Robert Horry, Tim Legler and Steph's dad, Dell Curry, aka Papa Bear, to get Steph prepared for the 3-point contest.

If you're a basketball fan and haven't seen it, it's fun and really shows off Steph's style. I've already seen it at least 6 times.

Sunday, February 08, 2015

Former North Carolina Basketball Coach Dean Smith

source: Yahoo! Sports
Today, former University of North Carolina Men's Basketball Coach Dean Smith passed away at the age of 83.

Most know Coach Smith's first national championship came in 1982. Three of the starting five went on to the NBA: Sam Perkins, James Worthy and Michael Jordan.

What I didn't know was in 1964, Smith recruited Charlie Scott, the first black athlete to be awarded a scholarship to North Carolina.

In 2013, President Barack Obama awarded Smith the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Other recipients from sports who have received the award: Jack Nicklaus, Hank Aaron, Bill Russell, and Jackie Robinson.

Rest in peace, Coach. Here's a nice tribute from UNCTarHeels Athletics:

Sunday, February 01, 2015

My Favorite Super Bowl Ads, 2015

The talk at work tomorrow for most of us will be everyone's thoughts on today's Super Ads during the Super Bowl.
The overwhelmingly least liked ad this year and one of my favorites came from Nationwide Insurance, headquartered in Columbus, Ohio. My childhood home and our cars were insured with Nationwide and several former classmates currently work there.

The Nationwide ad I did like featured comedienne/actor Mindy Kaling and actor Matt Damon.

My other favorite ad was 'Lie-am' Neeson's Clash of Clans ad:

My all-time favorite (see February 4, 2012 entry) is from