We’re down to four teams left in the NFL playoffs, with only the Jets sort of out of their class, but then I thought they were out of their class against the Chargers and look what happened. The one next Sunday between the Saints and Vikings will be the best of the lot, but from what I saw of the Saints last weekend, I don’t think Favre and the other Minnesotans can do it. And speaking of Bret Favre, that last touchdown with less than two minutes to go had the color analysts fighting over what’s okay and what’s not okay. Terry Bradshaw thought it was wrong, running up a score needlessly, and Jimmy Johnson argued, “If you don’t like the score, play harder.” I’ve always had a gripe about baseball’s unspoken rule concerning running up a score. There seems to be some magic number you reach in the late innings that disallows you from stealing bases. The same with football. If those who think running up a score is wrong, then why not have a mercy rule in baseball and football? Any team having what should be an insurmountable lead in the seventh inning or the fourth quarter should be declared the winner with an early conclusion to the game. You think that’s ever going to happen? Not likely. And how many times have we seen a baseball team score ten runs in the ninth inning to win by one run? Often enough to disallow a mercy rule. And how often have we seen an NFL team score two or three touchdowns in the last two minutes of play? Often enough to disallow a mercy rule.
We watched the Golden Globe Awards last night, not so much because it was going to be great but because it was about the only show in town. It was okay. And it’s always nice to see the stars out in their finery. The women’s gowns leaned heavily on black: Meryl Streep in a classy floor-length black; Kate Winslet pretty much the same; Julia Roberts in a black knee-length (she should have gone with floor-length); Halle Berry in a—whoopie!—black gown with a bunch of flesh showing in front; and then there was Helen Mirren, looking spectacular in the classiest gown of the evening, a black off-the-shoulder sparkly black floor-length. Cameron Diaz would win my vote for ugliest gown of the evening, a crimson thing with puffy sleeves. Ugly! The men were all okay in whatever they wore. I tend not to notice the men as much as the women. The one exception to that, however, was the strange outfit Mickey Rourke wore: cowboy hat pulled low, black gambler’s shirt and pants, cowboy boots. What was that all about? The acceptance speeches were all pretty good and relatively brief. The strangest of them was probably Robert Downey’s non-acceptance speech. The best of them was probably Jeff Bridge’s in which he thanked his father for pulling him into the business. The most lucid of them was James Cameron’s acceptance for Avatar being named best picture. And then there was Drew Barrymore’s drama-queen attempt to sound nervous about what she was going to say, an imitation of Meryl Streep’s earlier and classier acceptance for Julie and Julia. I was all right with most of the selections, but I wanted Clooney and company to win more recognition for Up in the Air, and they seemed to come off as second best all around.