Welcome to Part 2 of the 2013 Sammy Awards. Please take a moment to check out Part 1 if you have not already done so.
To present our next award The Manofesto is excited to welcome two people who are quite familiar with the concept of bad movies. He starred in 2008’s The Love Guru, which won the Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Picture. She won the Golden Raspberry for Worst Actress in 2001 for her stunningly bad performance in Glitter. Please give an appropriately tepid round of applause to Mike Myers and Mariah Carey. And the nominees are:
The Big Wedding
There are four…FOUR…Oscar winners in this film: Robert DeNiro, Diane Keaton, Susan Sarandon, & Robin Williams. With talent like that how can one possibly make such a dreadfully appalling movie?? I am especially disappointed in DeNiro. This is the man who has been in a plethora of classic films…The Godfather Part II, Raging Bull, Midnight Run, Taxi Driver, Goodfellas, The Deer Hunter, as well as many others that are very good (Awakenings, Backdraft, A Bronx Tale, Casino, Analyze This and its sequel Analyze That). I even enjoy his comedic work in the Meet the Parents trilogy. He is widely considered to be one of America’s greatest actors. However, in the past decade he has also starred in craptastic piles of mediocrity like Rocky & Bullwinkle and New Year’s Eve. How does a superior talent like Robert Freakin’ DeNiro look at a classless script like this that features clear hatred of God, rampant deceit, multiple extramarital affairs, unsubtle racism, & general trashing of traditional family values and agree to sign on the dotted line?? It’s mind boggling.
I wanted to like it and can’t say that I completely hate it, but the powers-that-be missed the boat on this one. Jason Bateman & Melissa McCarthy are both excellent supporting actors, but neither can carry a film…on their own or together. Also, there is really nothing funny about a serious issue like identity theft. And I’m kind of tired of bawdy comedies that go all mushy in the final act. There is just nothing memorable or noteworthy here.
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues
If you would have told me a year ago that the sequel to 2004’s Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy would be nominated for a Sammy I would not have been the least bit surprised. However, if you would have told me that it was going to end up in this category I would have been completely shocked. I loved the original Anchorman. It is one of the quirkiest & most quotable comedies of the past couple of decades. As beloved as the original became I was stunned that it took a decade to make a sequel, but I assumed this would be a good thing. Follow-ups that are rushed into production within a year or two (unless it’s a planned trilogy/series like Star Wars) are rarely good so I was glad that the powers-that-be took the time to make sure this one would be awesome. Unfortunately they misfired. Is it an awful movie?? Not really. The story tries to poke fun at how the 24 hour news stations have led to media overload and saddled us with frivolous infotainment in place of legitimate news, but it doesn’t even hit the mark on that front. I think I am more disappointed than anything. I had high expectations for this film and it just didn’t come close to meeting them. I chuckled a few times but never really laughed. Anchorman 2 just isn’t all that memorable. It is possible that it’s the kind of movie that gets better with repeated viewings and maybe I’ll find it funnier in a few years than I do right now, but as of this moment I can only think of it as a huge letdown.
And The Sammy goes to…..
The Big Wedding. I felt cheated after seeing this film. The cast is terrific. DeNiro, Williams, Keaton, Sarandon…all bona fide stars…maybe even legends. But The Big Wedding proves that even the best actors in the world can’t overcome a flawed premise and atrocious writing. I have to assume that everyone involved signed on simply for an opportunity to work with each other, and maybe there was even a collective arrogance that together they could put some lipstick on this particular pig. What I cannot fathom is why anyone who actually read the script thought it was a good idea.
Please welcome to the stage…for an entertaining if not a wee bit strange musical medley starring “Bob Dylan”,”David Bowie”, “Eddie Vedder”, “Neil Young”, & “Barry F’N Gibb!!” …the current host of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and as of February 17, 2014 the new host of The Tonight Show, Jimmy Fallon.
To present our next award The Sammys are proud to bring to the stage the 252nd most followed celebrity on Twitter, actor, comedian, & banjo player extraordinaire Steve Martin, accompanied by the 300th most followed celebrity on Twitter, actor, comedian, & star of The Hangover Trilogy Zach Galifianakis. And the nominees are:
The Twitter Award for Most Interesting Water Cooler Topic
I’ve always been a big fan of The Food Network. However, Paula Deen was never among my favorites. Her overly sweet shtick and southern drawl always seemed a bit over-the-top and phony to me. However, I do not think she deserved the hand she was dealt in 2013. Back in the summer Deen gave a deposition for a lawsuit. She admitted that she had used “the N word” (because we can’t actually use the word in modern PC America even when we’re discussing how awful it is) in the past. It was never clarified to my satisfaction whether she had used it occasionally decades ago or if she is an actual racist that utilizes such words on a daily basis. It was also never proven…atleast not to my knowledge…that Deen has ever discriminated against anyone in her personal or professional life (the lawsuit that led to all of this hoopla was dismissed). Within days Paula Deen’s career was pretty much ruined. The Food Network dropped her as did a plethora of companies with whom she had endorsement deals (Sears, JC Penney’s, QVC, WalMart, Target). Of course Deen isn’t exactly destitute. She still owns a successful restaurant in Georgia and I think she may have just published a new cookbook. I am sure Paula Deen isn’t as nice as she pretends to be on TV, but I am also quite uncomfortable with the mob hit mentality of the media-led masses that can destroy a person’s life overnight even if they didn’t do anything illegal.
Robin Thicke is the son of songstress & former soap actress Gloria Loring and actor & composer Alan Thicke (he wrote the theme songs for Diff’rent Strokes & Facts of Life). Unfortunately it seems that very little of his parents’ talent seeped into young Robin. I know I am old. I’m not into what all the kids are into these days. But I honestly don’t get the appeal of this song (which is apparently quite popular and nominated for a Grammy).
Super Bowl Power Outage
Super Bowl XLVII (that’s 47 for those having this read to you in southern WV). The Superdome in New Orleans. It’s early in the 3rd quarter with the Baltimore Ravens leading the San Francisco 49ers 28-6. All the sudden most of the lights go out. Play was suspended for over a half hour. It was all quite bizarre. I blame Beyonce.
The Harlem Shake
I still don’t know what in the world this is all about.
Behind the Candelabra
Michael Douglas as Liberace. Matt Damon as his gay lover. Sure, why not?? I am old enough to remember the tail end of Liberace’s…unique…career, with my own personal highlight being when he was a guest timekeeper at the very first WrestleMania in 1985. There was a lot of hype with this made-for-TV movie and since I just happen to have HBO I checked it out. Well…most of it. Okay…maybe some of it. At any rate, it’s not exactly my cup o’ tea for a variety of reasons, but as small budget biopics go I suppose it’s not bad.
Duck Dynasty is a reality show. I don’t know what it’s about and I didn’t even know what channel it was on until recently. All I know is that I see merchandise everywhere with the dudes with long beards. They kind of look like the offspring of Charles Manson and ZZ Top. The apparent popularity of the show would have qualified it for a nomination anyway, but things got kicked up a notch just a few weeks ago when one of the show’s stars did an interview for a magazine during which he was asked what he considers sinful. I guess the guys on the show are fervent Christians which is cool with me, and when this dude was asked about sin he made some comments about deviant homosexual lifestyles that really ticked off The Thought Police. He was almost immediately “suspended” (i.e. fired) by the A&E Network, although they have since reversed that decision since money talks and…other things…walk. You see, in 21st century New America Christians are thought of as the evil ones. God is bad. Jesus is bad. The Bible is bad. What is good?? Open-mindedness, tolerance, “alternative” lifestyles, diversity, & inclusiveness (words which don’t really mean what you’d think they mean). Was the network within its rights to suspend the guy?? Sure. But it just proves that tolerance is a one way street. Liberals love tolerance as long as what you are tolerating is their skewed perspective on life, but they refuse to tolerate Christianity. They hate God and everything He stands for. What has been interesting is the reaction to the controversy. Much like the Chick-Fil-A hullabaloo of 2012 this Duck Dynasty thing has gotten Christians fired up. If Christians would have gotten this upset about more important matters decades ago maybe the once great United States wouldn’t be so adrift right now.
The Kanye/Kardashian Baby
It’s bad enough when a person is a complete imbecile. When you have two imbeciles and they produce offspring it becomes a public health issue. To make matters worse these two mental giants saddled their poor innocent child with the name North West. I wish I was kidding. Please…make it stop.
Back in July SyFy (yes that’s how they really spell their channel) premiered a cheesy movie about a tornado that lifts sharks up out of the ocean and drops them in Los Angeles. I didn’t watch it but apparently everyone else did. This movie was all I heard about for several days. It created such a buzz that a sequel is on its way in 2014, this time with sharks terrorizing NY City. I probably won’t watch it either.
Yeah this is a thing thanks to that twit Miley Cyrus. Suffice to say that dancing like that should be confined to a dark club with a pole and lots of dollar bills flying around. People wonder why America seems to be going to hell in a handbasket?? Well…it’s crap like this that points directly to a loss of class, elegance, & sophistication. And yes, I am aware that old geezers said the same thing about Elvis Presley back in the 1950’s.
Here we go again. How sad is it that a program glorifying meth has been one of the most popular shows on TV the past few years. Do people not understand the correlation between shows like this and actual drug use?? Anyway, I never watched it and don’t even know what channel it was on or what night it was on. I just know that it ended a few months ago and everyone was talking about it. Except me. Because I take the road less traveled.
Another year another titillating trial to entice the jaded & prurient masses. Arias is a 33 year old gal from Arizona who was on trial for murdering her boyfriend in back in 2008. She claimed it was self-defense and that the boyfriend was abusive. However, the fact that the young man was stabbed nearly 30 times, shot in the head, & had his throat cut obviously seemed to indicate that it was a bit more than self-defense and the jury convicted Arias. For some strange reason she still hasn’t been sentenced so it’s undecided as to whether she’ll get life in prison or the death penalty. I honestly don’t know much about the case because I have better things to do with my time than wallow in other peoples’ drama.
The Royal Baby
I really don’t mean to sound like a curmudgeon with a superiority complex but this is another one of those topics that I couldn’t possibly care less about. I live in America. We gained our freedom from The British Empire two centuries ago. Even in England being King or Queen is largely a ceremonial gig with no legitimate power. So why does the world stop when they pop out another kid?? At any rate, Prince William & Dutchess Catherine (aka Kate Middleton) welcomed their first child, Prince George, into the world on July 22. Awesome. I’m happy for them. I sincerely wish the child a long & healthy life. I just don’t understand why we make a big deal out of the situation.
And The Sammy goes to…..
Paula Deen & Duck Dynasty. Ladies & gentlemen we have a tie. Both of these situations inspire spirited debate about a variety of closely related topics all linked to a growing culture war in America that pits liberalism & political correctness vs. the rule of law, the role of Christianity in society, & good old-fashioned common sense. It has long been my opinion that political correctness has had a tremendously negative impact on our nation. No one is saying that use of “the N word”, discrimination of any kind, or mistreatment of gay people are good things. They are inherently wrong. I think we can all agree on that. However, there seem to be a plethora of double standards. Deen gets crucified for maybe possibly occasionally using “the N word” once upon a time long long ago but guys like Chris Rock & Al Sharpton use it far more recently and publicly and get a pass. The Duck Dynasty guy lands in hot water for his honest opinion…based on Biblical principles…of homosexuality yet Bill Maher can call former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin a cunt and a twat and people think it’s funny. I read stories almost on a daily basis about small children getting suspended from school or even arrested for the absolute dumbest things like eating a pop tart into the shape of a gun or innocently kissing each other on the cheek. Any mention of God in a public forum has the potential of becoming a huge drama, yet liberals bend over backwards to accommodate nearly every other religion outside of Christianity & Judaism. Children are being raised with the “everybody gets a trophy and we don’t keep score” mentality which might help their self-esteem in the moment but does not prepare them for a reality in which they will face failure & loss in adulthood. Orwell’s 1984 and Huxley’s Brave New World are fast becoming very real instead of science fiction.
To present our next award please welcome one of the stars of the fairly mediocre 2008 comedy Role Models, actor Paul Rudd, and the man for whom this award is named, NBA Hall-of-Famer Charles Barkley. And the nominees are:
The Charles Barkley Memorial Role Model Award
Senator Ted Cruz
The junior U.S. Senator from Texas has quickly become one of the few elected leaders on the national stage to doggedly stand up for conservative principles and will likely be a strong presidential contender in 2016.
Roy Costner IV
The South Carolina lad who tore up his school approved valedictory speech and instead recited The Lord’s Prayer, undoubtedly causing apoplectic fits amongst the politically correct suits at the local board of education.
Pedestrian actor Kutcher gave an almost mesmeric speech at the Teen Choice Awards in which he urged young people to “build a life…don’t live one, build one” and advised them that “opportunity looks a lot like hard work”. He also said that he’d “never had a job in my life that I was better than” and that “the sexiest thing in the entire world is being really smart, thoughtful, and generous”. If only more celebrities used their fame for good instead of evil.
Dr. Ben Carson
Dr. Carson was the director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore until he retired in July. He first garnered widespread attention while giving a speech at the National Prayer Breakfast in February. His remarks, given in the presence of President Obama, were critical of political correctness and nationalized health care, among other things. Dr. Carson has been warmly embraced by conservatives and some are even touting him as a future presidential candidate. That might indeed be interesting, although I am sure career politicians of all stripes would unite to tear him apart if he seriously pondered a run at The White House.
Temar Boggs & Chris Garcia
When a 5 year old in Lancaster, PA was kidnapped in July these two teens chased the kidnapper on their bicycles, spooking him enough that the little girl was released unharmed. There is hope for the future afterall.
Hickam is an actual rocket scientist known by most as the author of the book Rocket Boys, which was turned into the 1999 movie October Sky. When 16 year old Florida high school student Kiera Wilmot was suspended from school and arrested (see I told you) after her science experiment exploded Hickam came to her defense. You see, no one was hurt in the explosion and no significant damage was done, but the politically correct public school system in America likes to stifle creativity and critical thinking. Hickam…who caused his share of explosions as a boy…thought that Wilmot’s intellectual curiosity should be rewarded rather than punished so he gave her a scholarship to the United States Advanced Space Academy (aka Space Camp) in Huntsville, AL. It is likely that Hickam’s high profile involvement also led to all legal charges being dropped and the young lady being allowed to return to school last fall.
You will recall that back in May three young ladies were rescued after several years of captivity in a small Cleveland, OH neighborhood. Ramsey is the man that was innocently eating his Big Mac, heard the women scream, and assisted them in escaping their kidnapper. Good Samaritans still exist, which is good to know.
Ms. Bisutti is a former Victoria’s Secret model who gave it all up for The Lord. She decided that her job conflicted with her beliefs and chose her faith over money & fame, saying that her body is a sacred temple and should only be ogled by her husband.
Klein & his wife owned a bakery in Oregon until they came under scrutiny for refusing to make a wedding cake for a same sex wedding. Sadly they were forced out of business a few months ago and now do everything from home. This is where we’re headed folks…Christians forced “underground” due to the masses’ hatred of God & The Bible.
And The Sammy goes to…..
To present our next award please welcome one of the NFL’s biggest stars. The playoffs are starting this weekend and he had nothing else better to do so give a warm & sympathetic round of pity applause to the quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys Tony Romo. And the nominees are:
Biggest Sports Story
Aaron Hernandez Arrest
I learned a long time ago that just because a person can run fast or catch a ball doesn’t mean they are a good person. However, generally speaking even the vilest athletes contain their illegal activities to drug use, drunk driving, or domestic violence (not that any of those are appropriate in any way). But last summer Hernandez, an extremely talented tight end for the New England Patriots, came under a cloud of suspicion for murder and was eventually arrested. This isn’t Hernandez’s first rodeo, as he is also under investigation for a double homicide in Boston, is being sued for allegedly shooting a man in Florida, & had been in some trouble due to a bar fight in college. To their credit the Patriots cut Hernandez the day he was arrested.
Gruesome March Madness Injury
On March 31, 2013, in the first half of an Elite Eight game against Duke, Kevin Ware, a guard for the Louisville Cardinals (who would go on to win the NCAA National Championship), suffered quite possibly one of the most horrific broken legs in the history of televised sports. Teammates were crying and I think one or two may have even thrown up. I was watching the game but thankfully wasn’t paying close attention and missed the whole thing. Replays could be found online and I did eventually watch it once…which was more than enough. Ware did return to the court this fall but he was far from 100% and eventually decided to take a medical redshirt in order to recover fully.
Miami Heat Winning Streak
Citizens of The Manoverse are aware of my deep disdain for the NBA’s Miami Heat. That being said, I must admit that they are a very good team, and sellout Lebron James is a great player (but not as good as Michael Jordan). Last February & March the Heat proved just how good they are by winning 27 straight games. The lapdog sports media was completely convinced that they’d certainly break the NBA winning streak record of 33 games set by the Los Angeles Lakers in 1971-72, but alas the Toronto Raptors (really) had other ideas and beat the Heat. No worries though…the Heat went on to win their second NBA Championship.
Puig, an outfielder for the Los Angeles Dodgers, made quite a splash after he was called up to The Show in June. He became only the 2nd player in the modern era to hit four home runs in his first five games and his 10 RBI tied the MLB record for most RBI in the first five games of a career. Puig had 27 hits in his first 15 games and was hitting .437 in his first month in the big leagues. There was a push to name Puig to the National League All-Star team but it fell short since most felt that a player who had only played about 1/3 of the first half of the season wasn’t deserving of the honor. For the season Puig ended up hitting .319 with 19 homers & 42 RBI. He finished 2nd in the National League Rookie of the Year voting.
Manti Te’o’s Imaginary Girlfriend
Manti Te’o was the toast of college football in 2012. As a fantastic linebacker for Notre Dame he got a lot of love from the national media. Part of the attention was undoubtedly due to his on-the-field prowess, but a big part of it was also his tragic personal story. Everybody loves those. ESPN reporter Tom Rinaldi has made a career out of them. Supposedly Te’o’s grandmother and his girlfriend had died on the same day in September 2012. The “girlfriend” had leukemia and had made Te’o promise that if something happened to her he wouldn’t miss a game. Well…long story short…after a subpar performance in the national title game last January it came out that Te’o had never actually met this “girlfriend”…that it had been an online relationship with the occasional phone call. Then it was discovered that this woman had never actually existed at all, that Te’o had been “catfished” by a buddy. Te’o was drafted by the San Diego Chargers and will likely have a solid NFL career, but in my opinion he’s a few bricks shy of a load. He’s not a victim…he’s an idiot. And the people who perpetrated the hoax are sick & twisted. To say that the whole story was bizarre would be a huge understatement.
Biogenesis of America was a health clinic in Coral Gables, FL specializing in weight loss and hormone replacement therapy. Last January a Miami newspaper published a story based on a paper trail they’d traced from the clinic that implicated over a dozen Major League baseball players for use of PEDs. Ultimately a handful of big names were suspended by MLB, including Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees, Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers, Nelson Cruz of the Texas Rangers, & Jhonny Peralta of the Detroit Tigers. I applaud MLB for trying to clean up the sport, but it seems as if there will always be those who’d rather take the shortcut than do the hard work.
Collins was the first professional athlete in American team sports to…come out of the closet. The drive-by sports media tried to make it into a huge story when Collins made his big announcement last spring, but a couple of things were working against their intense effort to promote “alternative lifestyles” and tout him as a hero. First of all no one has ever heard of Jason Collins. He is a career bench warmer whose impact on the NBA is barely more significant that mine. Secondly, no one gives a rat’s petoot who an athlete is knocking boots with as long as they can put the ball in the hole. Okay…maybe that was a poor choice of words but you know what I mean. Anyway, to my knowledge Collins is no longer playing pro basketball. And still no one cares.
Richie Incognito & Jonathan Martin
Who knew that a big tough NFL player could be bullied?? Apparently though that is what Miami Dolphins’ offensive lineman Martin says fellow big ugly Incognito did to him. Personally I think that Incognito does seem like a jackass, but Martin appears to be a little bit of a headcase that needs to grow a set.
Oscar Pistorius Arrest
Pistorius is the South African double amputee sprinter who captured the hearts of the dozens of people who watched him win a couple of gold medals at the 2012 Summer Olympics. But last February he was making a different kind of headline after being arrested for the murder of his girlfriend. The last I heard Pistorius is out on bail and scheduled to go on trial this spring. Like I said, just because a person can run fast or catch a ball doesn’t mean they are a good person.
Lance Armstrong on Oprah
Armstrong is…was…the greatest cyclist in the history of that alleged sport, winning 7 Tour De France (the Super Bowl for bicycles) titles between 1999 & 2005. Along the way he became a sentimental favorite even among those who would rather watch ice melt than a bike race due to the fact that he had successfully battled testicular cancer in the mid-1990s. However, throughout much of his career Armstrong had been accused by various people of “doping”, i.e. taking performance enhancing drugs. Doping seems to be fairly common in cycling, but Armstrong had vehemently denied all allegations of cheating for many years. However, in 2013 it all came crashing down on Armstrong. Even though he had retired a couple of years earlier the United States Anti-Doping Agency, which is apparently the governing body of unimportant sports like cycling, announced that they had a boatload of evidence that Lance Armstrong had been a filthy lying cheater all along. I guess Armstrong knew he was cornered, so he did the only thing he could…he called Oprah. Now I’d rather crawl thru a blizzard naked than watch anything involving Oprah, but I guess he admitted during the interview that he had been doping the whole time. He was stripped of all his Tour de France titles (as if that does any good) and I assume spends much of his time now dealing with lawyers and dodging phone calls.
Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel took college football by storm in 2012 and became the first freshman to ever win the Heisman Trophy. But the fun was just beginning. You see Manziel is a rich kid…a spoiled brat that doesn’t think the rules apply to him. In 2013 he was in the news a lot, and most of it wasn’t football related. He drew heavy criticism for ditching Peyton & Eli Manning’s football camp (where he was to be a guest coach for the young’uns) last summer after he “overslept”, got kicked out of a fraternity party at the University of Texas, and tweeted some disparaging remarks about College Station, TX (home base of Texas A&M). And then he found himself under NCAA investigation for allegedly being paid to sign some memorabilia. Not surprisingly the NCAA wimped out and supposedly found no evidence that Manziel had broken any rules. He went on to have a relatively successful 2013 season and now looks to be headed to the NFL. I think it is likely that Johnny Football did indeed violate NCAA rules, but it’s a moot point now. He may or may not be a successful NFL quarterback, but if he doesn’t get his ego in check I suspect it might be a rather steep uphill climb.
No New MLB Hall-of-Famers
Roger Clemens. Barry Bonds. Mark McGwire. Sammy Sosa. These were some of the more prominent names on the MLB Hall of Fame ballot in 2013. Not surprisingly no one received the needed votes to get elected. The chickens of baseball’s “steroid era” are most decidedly coming home to roost. There are those who think that any accusations/admissions of PED use should be ignored and players’ accomplishments be taken at face value. Others believe that anyone even suspected of juicing should never enter the hallowed halls of Cooperstown. I tend to lean toward the latter, but I suspect that some type of compromise will eventually be decided upon.
And The Sammy goes to…..
Biogenesis. Sadly most of the bigger sports stories in 2013 were the kind off-the-field stuff that makes sports fans question why we even bother. Credit must be given to MLB for trying their best to clean up the sport. This scandal ensnared a couple of pretty big names, most notably Alex Rodriguez, a guy who has always been vastly overrated. What does it say about a guy when he juices and still stinks?? At any rate, my hope is that someday we won’t see stories like this and that cheating will be a thing of the past, but in reality I understand human nature and the penchant for trying to gain any kind of an advantage, especially when such huge amounts of money are up for grabs. I suppose all we can do as fans is enjoy the game and let justice be dispensed accordingly when appropriate.
This seems like a good spot to take another break. Please stay tuned for the exciting conclusion of the 2013 Sammy Awards!!