Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Being a Jazz fan, or how I became intimately familiar with the 5 stages of grief

Sports teams that I follow is an interesting concept for me. I'm a Yankees fan, so naturally I'm accustomed to winning (27 world series titles baby). I also cheer for the 49ers who, up until this past decade, were also quite good at what they did. So it made sense for me to follow the Jazz when they went to the Finals against the Bulls.
Those were the good days

I followed the Jazz tentatively until the departure of John Stockton and Karl Malone. At that point I decided I wasn't a huge basketball fan and turned my attention to baseball for wins and football for the assurance that I wasn't a bandwagon jumper. That was the norm until November of 2010 when I had the pleasure of watching the so-called "Miracle in Miami". That game was what sucked me back into the maelstrom of depression and unabated rage that defines being an acolyte of the Utah Jazz. At that point I came to understand the 5 stages of grief associated with this sports team.

Stage 1: Denial

Not sure what this picture has to do with denial, but thanks Google Images!
Every season starts off the same for me (and most Jazz fans I dare say). Usually the sentence is something along these lines: "This season will be different, this year we have [insert whatever our secret weapon is e.g. Young players, super star, the Jazz Bear is now playing for the team] This year we will do awesome!". What's frustrating about this stage is that the Jazz play into it. They start off playing incredibly well, even going undefeated in preseason. They wrap you in their lanky arms and and whisper sweet nothings in your ear telling you that everything will be ok, and that this time around it's going to be different. Just when you truly begin to feel they're telling the truth, they lose. And then they continue to lose.  Which brings us to…

Stage 2: Anger
Me at the end of the first quarter of any given Jazz game

People think I'm an angry person. This isn't quite true, I play an angry person in real life. I yell and swear and threaten people, but the truth is none of it means anything. Really I'm just a porcupine person. I'm pretty cuddly when you get past the spines, the hissing, and the foaming at the mouth.

The Jazz, however, piss me off.

How can a team that can play so well against some of the top teams in this league, be toted as one of the up and coming organizations, have some of the best players around, and then turn around an lose to a bunch of Canadians.

Screw you Canada

If this happened once or twice a season it wouldn't cause me anger, but this just seems to be the way the Jazz have decided to run their organization. And quite frankly I would do nearly anything to get them to change. Enter stage 3.

Stage 3: Bargaining

By about December I'm making deals with the Jazz as a team and on an individual basis (ask Zac about his deal with CJ Miles).
You were one game away CJ...TWICE!
PS: I wish it were your head in that net you stupid Flap Dragon!

I can't number how many times I said "win this game and I will buy tickets to another game this season" or "make this shot and I will buy your jersey" all to no avail (likely because they can't hear me through the television but facts are irrelevant). Every time my bargain goes unheard and every time I die a bit inside. Finally, after all the hope I had at the beginning of the season has been smashed repeatedly like a papaya beneath the foot of and exceptionally large man who is screaming "DIE PAPAYA! DIE!"  (Imagine Zac with a beard and steroid rage) I sink into the lethargic grasp o' depression

Stage 4: Depression

The bottle becomes my confidant, I whisper vague threats against players who in reality don't exist to it's neck as I wash my pain away in a caffeinated non-alcoholic beverage that for some reason looks like Jack Daniels.

Typically around January I hit the point where it's just too sad to really continue caring about the situation. This season will end in defeat, likely to the Lakers, and I will forget about professional basketball for the foreseeable future and it will be wonderful. This is usually the shortest stage for me because I realize that it's just a game and will have no real bearing on my life. Which leads us to…

Stage 5: Acceptance

This stage actually just started for me this season. Sure I would love the Jazz to win but in reality I will survive if they don't. At that point I start to enjoy watching the game for the games sake. If we lose instead of "I will destroy this planet with my mind bullets of hate" it becomes "Awe shucks. Well there is always next game."
Me after the Jazz lose for the 42nd time in a row.

Now the key for me is really to just figure out how to start the season in this stage.

- Ricky

**UPDATE**: the Jazz lost to the Kings the night this was posted, and I'm ok with that.

This is a test

I have recently installed an app on my phone that should let me blog from the phone. I'm testing this app now to see if it does what it says or if I've been duped!

- From the iPhone of TyRichardSaurus

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Dukes See a Movie (and immediately regret it): Ghost Rider: The Spirit of Vengeance

Even the motorcycle was ashamed enough of this movie to try and commit suicide by fire. Can't say I blame it.

This movie was bad and I feel a little ashamed for having seen it, and coming from me that is something. To try and save some face I am going to try and explain how this happened(sadly I really think this won't help my cause at all, but rather will weaken it substantially).

My friends and I at times can be rather nerdy. We enjoy a lot of things that are placed solidly on the nerd side of the nerd scale(it is a real scale I promise), but we had never done the one thing that would cement our nerdness(and singleness). That thing is Dungeons and Dragons. That's right we decided to take the plunge and engage in one night of D&D just so we could say we did, and to justify my claim that yes we could stoop even lower. As it would happen Ricky has a coworker who has engaged in this game for years and he deigned to guide us through the process.

So after hours of putting together a character sheet and watching random people dunk(yay for Jeremy Evans) we were fairly brain dead. While in this state we decided it would be a good plan to see a movie. We had a couple of options in mind but sadly it was too late for our good picks and all that remained was Ghost Rider. We could have stopped right there and watched a movie at home but we went ahead and went to the theater.

I could spend some time telling you about the plot and such but I don't want to force my pain on you so I decided I would just tell you about five points that made this movie ridiculous.


The devil in this movie was the worst. For some reason the creator of this show decided that he should sound like Droopy Dog. I mean who finds that the least bit scary or devil-y? It was one thing that I could not get over at all. I swear I spent half the movie saying "But I don't want to" or "going up sir?" in my best Droopy voice.

This man has come for your soul...or maybe just a pillow


 Having a boy as a main character is a risky endeavor. In some cases they annoy you so much that you will come to loathe anything that is associated with them(see: Anakin from Episode 1 and that boy from Real Steel). In other shows they can add a much needed touch of innocence and child-like wonder. These latter kids are great(see: Son of Rambow and Finding Neverland). The kid in this movie didn't add wonder so that only left one option for this kid. 

The part that got to me was how the ghost rider and this kid were supposed to have developed this bond after about 20 minutes of being together. GR has a chance to get rid of the demon inside of him(which he has been trying to do for decades) and the boy gets all pissy and won't talk to him because of it.  First off why would he want to be friends with a man possessed by a demon? Second this demon just tried to kill your mother. Third this demon man is 48. He should really be looking for friends his own age.

I guess my problem might just stem from the fact that I hate kids(except my nieces), but I think in this case I might be justified.  


I like a good freak out scene as much as the next man but this movie took it to a place that it never should have gone.
This is that place.

Just imagine 45 minutes of this. I may be off on the amount of time it actually took but it felt like a few minutes longer than forever. "Oh no the demon in me wants out! I can't let that happen even though watching my face randomly distort will be nightmare fodder for anyone that sees this." That is the dialogue I added to the scene to spice it up a bit.


A lot of these things I probably could have handled if the action scenes had made up for them but as you can guess they did not. For some reason they decided to get artistic in the action scenes. In some cases this works but pretty much only with quality directors which this movie did not appear to have. 

When it came time for a cool fight the director decided that we didn't want any background so it became a plain white screen or randomly dark. Also during the fighting the camera was about 1-2 seconds behind the action so it felt like we were missing what was actually going on. It made me sad inside (somebody hold me).


This one I am calling Ricky's choice. I texted him and asked what he felt were the worst things about this movie. He gave me a pretty awesome list that I think I am just going to place in here word for word.

Me: I have started my Ghost Rider review. What bad point do you want me to put in?

Ricky: About the movie? Good hell how do you choose? The knee swaying scene? The scene where Nicolas Cage's face went all crazy? (see picture above) How about the part where he pissed fire? Or when he vomited bullets? What about the ending where he simply sent the devil back to hell where he will undoubtedly "escape" (cuz it's not like he's been given dominion over the earth or anything) and then he just let the crazy angel demon out. Don't worry kids Ghost Rider is no longer dangerous because his flames are blue. Let him caress your cheek with his flaming skeleton hand.  

I don't know why I added this but I felt the article needed a photo of Ricky.

I really liked that response since you can feel his anger at what we went through. Hopefully our words today can help you all avoid another one of our mistakes. In the end all I can really say about this movie is "hey at least it was better than Skyline".

Rating: 1.5 stars

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Roller Derby: The Dukes New Love

As many of you might know I am a huge sports fan. I will watch anything that can tentatively be considered a sport (besides NASCAR. Screw you NASCAR). So when the opportunity came to watch a previously unseen sport I jumped at the chance. This new sport was roller derby. How could we lose? I mean this is a full contact sport on wheels with booty shorts and stockings. Did I mention that it is on wheels?

As we were going in I didn't know much more than that about the sport. We were just a bunch of youths looking for a good time on a Saturday night. As we started out it became fairly evident that we should not have let Ricky be the lead car. After missing our best exit options on the freeway he took us on a circuitous route through the sketchiest part of town imaginable. I seriously thought that if the sun set on us I would probably lose my tires at a stop light or be sold into white slavery to a salt mine.

I figured the best option would be to blend in to the background, and yes that is an actual photo of me.

Luckily we made it there without losing any people or car parts...barely. Where would you hold a roller derby match if you were in charge? If you answered an abandoned warehouse in South Salt Lake you are probably involved in some sort of voodoo, but you would be absolutely correct. So there we were in an empty warehouse with no heat and sitting on what appeared to be office chairs from the seventies.

We didn't know any of the players and both teams were local so we were in a bind on the team that we felt we should support. In watching the teams being announced I had a feeling that we needed to align ourselves with the Black Diamond Divas. There was no real reason for this choice but now the BDD has a fan for life in me.

Go team!!

The whole event was amazing. I really got into the game and I found myself yelling at opposing fans and staring down children. I don't think I can properly do this sport justice since everything was just so amazing. I mean they have some of the most amazing names ever. Here is just a small sampling of what they had to offer: Bruiser Ego, Stachebot 5000, Skaty Gaga and Punch Face Mama. The names were so great that it has inspired our local church basketball team to do the same thing. 

That is one classy jersey

One more thing I feel that I should mention is that the women that participate in this sport are incredibly nice. They are doing it for the money but rather because they want to have some fun. You can see thins int he way that they play and also in how they interact with fans. After the match I went to see if I could get my sign signed by members of the team. Not only were they willing to sign but they also found a sharpie for them to use.

All of this goes to show that trying something new can lead to great outcomes and also that we as the Dukes never make poor entertainment choices (Read: almost never. See: Red Sonja).  In the future I challenge all of you to go to at least one roller derby match, and when you go make sure you invite me as well.

Photo with me and the team captain. I look as giddy as a school boy.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Dukes See a Movie: Chronicle

How many of you dear readers have ever dreamed of randomly gaining super powers? If you are breathing and like awesome things then the answer should be all of you. If not you might be a Communist (or someone already with super powers) and shame on you (for either you hate freedom or you hate me since you haven't told me about you having super powers).

If seduction were a super power Coombsy would be heading the Justice League by now.
 So in case you didn't catch it in the above paragraph the main movie plot point is the fact that three teenage friends end up gaining superpowers. The movie starts out by introducing our main characters and how each one has a different background. One is popular with family support while another is indifferent to most things and the third is socially awkward and lives in an abusive home with a mother that is dying of cancer. The socially awkward one decides that he wants to document his whole life so he gets a camera  and starts filming everything that is happening.

After a while the three main characters end up together at a party. A random cave was discovered and it was decided that it needed to be captured on film so they grabbed Mr. Socially inept and took him to the entrance so they could record what they were seeing. The three of them enter and they run into this crazy giant crystal looking thing. It starts out all blue and pretty and pulsing (hint: don't trust things that pulse when they really shouldn't). After watching it mess with gravity for a bit they touch it and it turns blood red. (Oh no! I warned you to leave the pulsing thing alone! They never listen.)

Somehow they manage to get out with nothing worse than nosebleeds and headaches (much like cocaine users). After a while we see the three of them in a backyard playing with a baseball. They are using their minds to randomly change the balls trajectory in an attempt to hit the other guys in the face. Gradually their powers start growing. Soon they are lifting large objects and even flying. They are having a good time messing with people until one of them goes too far (you guessed it, the socially awkward one) and causes a guy to go to the hospital.
Not the face of someone I would trust with super powers. Or puppies for that matter.

 This incident leads the other two to try and set some ground rules about using their powers in an effort to keep people safe and Captain Awkward Pants in check.  Here I will give you two options and you try and guess which one is true.
  •  One: They all abide by the rules and become the next Super Friends. 
  • Two: Mr. "I don't like the Super Friends or my Dad " Anti Social does not abide by the rules set and goes crazy on the city of Seattle.
  • Three (I like to give extra options): Godzilla comes and finally manages to kill Mothra.  
If you guessed anything but two you either are an eternal optimist or you haven't actually read any of this blog post.

In the end I found that it was a decent movie that tried to point out how someone could go down the path or becoming a villain rather than a hero. One of the downsides in the show happened to be the fact that part of the show was more shaky than I thought was entirely necessary. For the budget they had I thought they did a good job with special effects and with the cast.

Rating 3.5 stars

Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Dukes See a Movie: The Woman in Black

Harry Potter: Life After Hogwarts

It was a Friday night and so you know what that meant for the Dukes. Pedicures!!! Oh wait scratch that, it was time to see another movie! This time we actually had a few different movies we wanted to see so we decided to wait and pick the movie based on who we had coming. As dirtbags we didn't do this for the people coming with us but rather to figure out how to maximize our own enjoyment. It is common knowledge that it is better to see a scary movie with ladies present (partly because having females around forces us to act like men and not shriek like little girls and jump at things. That and if you are dating the cuddling is nice). Seeing that we would have a handful of women with us we decided to see Harry Potter: Life After Hogwarts The Woman in Black with Daniel Radcliffe.

As I was researching this movie I came across some crazy connections. As some of you might know this movie was a remake of a 1989 made for (British)TV movie. What you may not know is that the original main character was played by none other than Adrian Rawlins. "Who is he and why should I care?" you might ask. Well he happens to have also played a character by the name of JAMES POTTER. That's right, Daniel Radcliffe's father in Harry Potter was also the first man to play the role that he, Daniel Radcliffe, was currently filling.

Your face right at this moment

Here is another crazy Harry Potter connection. Ciaran Hinds plays as I like to call him "man with a car" in the Woman in Black. In this role he is one of the few people willing to help Daniel Radcliffe do what he needed to do. He also played a character in Harry Potter who was one of those willing to help Mr. Radcliffe. He was none other than Aberforth Dumbledore. Okay I admit that one wasn't as cool as the first one but I needed to flesh out the connection part. Don't judge me, it makes you look petty and unattractive (I didn't mean that but you made me say it.).

As the film starts we see Daniel Radcliffe dealing with some personal grief. He is a widower and has been left to take care of his four year old son (who happens to be the most adorable child ever. I seriously hope my kids look and act like that when I have them. Oh here is one more tidbit, the child in this movie is Daniel Radcliffe's godson in real life. Once again, mind blown). Due to the problems he has had in his life his job performance has been suffering. His boss took him aside and said that he was being given one last chance to save his position. All he had to do was go to a remote Northern English village and go over the final documents of some old lady who had passed away.

After he arrives in the village he starts to notice that the locals are being quite unfriendly and seem to be attempting to force him to head back to London. Our Mr. Potter Kipps is quite stubborn and will see this through so he can provide for his adorable child. He heads out to the manor house. This place seems super creepy from the get go. Here are some of the main reasons why.
  • For starters you can only make it out there at low tide so there are large stretches of the day where you are trapped on the estate.
  • Step off the road by two feet and you are now dead in a boggy marsh.
  • The house is quite rundown.
  • They have a graveyard chilling on the path up to the estate.
  • I swear I saw a feral cat in one of the yard shots.
  • The house is somehow full of leaves and bloody letters.
After settling himself down for an afternoon of paper work Mr. Kipps starts to hear some strange noises coming from different parts of the house and as a good horror movie star he goes to investigate instead of seeking shelter from the otherworldly beings he should know are waiting for him. While he is looking around he comes across some of the creepiest toys ever. I mean these parents must have hated children or just thought that kids shouldn't spend time sleeping.

Now you won't be sleeping either

He stops his search with an "I am being ridiculous" shake of his head after a bird tries to dive bomb him twice and gets back to work. The next day he comes back and more of the same happens but this time he decides to spend the night working because a creepy house can't get worse after dark right? Right? The whole night he spends him time being freaked out by mechanical toys, rocking chairs, ghosts, children ghosts(so much worse), poor lighting and doors that seem to be freaking magic locked, effing door!! (use your wand Mr. Wizard).

After each visit to the house and each visitation by the strange lady ghost something terrible happens in town. It turns out that each time someone sees the woman in black a child in town that that person sees is going to die from some crazy circumstance. the movie tells us that she does this in revenge for her child that was taken from her and subsequently died in the marshes around this house. We have a different theory. It is all a giant welfare scam. Think about it. If she has a host of children that should mean big bucks from the government plus dead kids don't need to eat so the money is basically all profit for our enterprising specter.

I don't want to ruin the end of the movie for you so I will just say that Mr. Kipps tries to rectify the wrongs done to the ghost to save future children and there is a train in the final scene. that probably doesn't make much sense but that should be incentive for you to see the movie and find out more about this train.

As a whole the Dukes liked this movie and found it to be quite entertaining. My favorite part was reaching back and grabbing the leg of one of the girls in our group. It freaked her out and made me chuckle so how could that be bad? This movie is probably the best scary movie we have seen in a few years.

Rating 3.75 Stars