Django, Lincoln, Aztecs and…

I think the title of this post says it all; I wanted to post something this morning so I’m reaching for a little bit of everything, kind of like Quentin Tarantino did with Django Unchained.

In contrast to those who might watch this film to analyze and question it, I just wanted to sit back and see what the deranged but brilliant writer/director had come up with this time, and for me it was a winner.  That said, it gives the same treatment to slavery that spaghetti westerns gave to cowboys and Indians and some viewers understandably may find it difficult to get past that.

When it comes to violence, Tarantino’s films make Sam Peckinpaugh’s look as tame as Mary Poppins.  As the Super Hero Django, Jamie Foxx shoots even more bad guys than Clint Eastwood did in his entire career before he began talking to chairs.  There is something about a Tarantino film that allows his actors to go over the top in their portrayal of his characters.  In addition to Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio and pretty much the entire cast go way over the top to the point of becoming caricatures with their exaggerated accents and actions.

If you turn your head at violence in the movies, you will get a stiff neck at this one until you walk out.  If you can enjoy the film for what it is and what Tarantino enjoys putting you through, you will likely have a smile of appreciation on your face right on through the credits at the end – and remember – it’s just a movie.

Lincoln is another that will engage most viewers and convince them to bet their house on Daniel Day Lewis to win the Oscar for Best Actor.  In contrast to Django, the spectre of death as Lincoln tours a Civil War battlefield will not bring any smiles.

That is probably it for my film reviews for quite awhile.

Given that the hunting, fishing and college sports seasons run a good deal longer than the Oscar season, you will have to indulge me a lot more when it comes to my Aztecs, hunting and fishing.

As I write this, the entire Aztec Athletics Program finds itself in turbulent waters and its preferred destination of a major conference too far to reach on this voyage – if ever.  Within the last year, they decided to forsake the under-appreciated and under-funded Mountain West Conference for the Big East.  At the time they made the decision, the Big East was a step up in prestige and recognition, if not competition.  Most importantly, it was a huge step up in revenue, but that vision has now evaporated faster than Lindsey Lohan’s savings account.

Top programs from the Big East have been poached by other conferences, greatly reducing the amount of money it will receive in its next television contract and it is that big money that enticed the Aztecs to jump in the first place.   Boise State, the Aztecs travel partner, used their trip insurance policy to cancel relocation to the Big East in favor of a bigger share of the MWC pie.

Just where all this leaves the Aztecs is uncertain.  If they stay on course, their football program will move to a diminished Big East and all other sports will move to the lower tier Big West and there is no indication how such a move will play out financially once the Big East has secured a new TV deal.

A return to the Mountain West provides a financial figure that simply will not be enough over time and there is no assurance the Aztecs would receive approval from 75% of the schools they jilted, which is necessary for them to go back to the MWC.

As they now stand, neither the MWC or the Big East is the safe harbor the Aztecs want, but considering the rough and uncharted waters they find themselves in, there is a need to soon sail into one of them.

Damn it’s cold in San Diego.  You don’t hear that often, but the arrival of cold air, just 24 hours removed from Siberia is a shock to us natives who are used to shorts, t-shirts and sandals at this time of year.



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