Friday, December 2, 2016

BROWNS - Learning in Earnest From Byner

Today at our WQMX Tree Of Lights Fundraiser I met Browns legendary running back, Earnest Byner.  What a thrill for us.

For those who can remember, and for those who only saw it on the ESPN movie, Believeland, he is the player whose fumble at the goal line in Denver ended the Browns Superbowl run in 1987.  That is what ESPN wants you to remember -  The Fumble -  but I have always refused to do that.  Byner was  a darn good football player who played on some darn good teams, who wouldn't have been darn good without him.  For me, it was not his fumble, but Jeremiah Castille's great play when his team needed it. But it's not as good of theater for many.

I always thought Byner was unfairly judged.  Truth is, what happened to Byner that day was tough for all of us fans to accept.  It hurt.  But now, 29 years later I have learned our pain, the fans, was nothing in the grand scheme of things.  We got off easy.

The slow motion footage of Byner on the ground at Mile High Stadium was hard to watch as he is in emotional agony. And it's harder to watch now - than then. Because now, we realize, Byner was just a 25 year old guy, who in about 5 seconds had the entire weight of a major city placed on his shoulders, not just for that Sunday, but forever.  He was made to carry the Browns, Indians and the Cavaliers failures from that moment forward. Think about that, he was only 25 years old at that time.  It wasn't fair then, and it's not fair now.

Talking with Byner, it is clear he is comfortable in his own skin and has turned that early Sunday evening agony into a positive outlook.  And we should be able to as well, as we only carry our own weight, and not the weight of all.  Good lesson for all of us, life is filled with things that require perspective. Real perspective, and it's a good time of the year to be reminded of it.

Because if Earnest Byner can accept that what happened that day, was only a tiny moment in time, in a good life lived, the rest of us are charged to do the same. 



Wednesday, November 30, 2016

MOVIE REVIEWS - In Theaters Now

Let's look at some of the new movies in theaters this week, and see how we're doing.

Allied

Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard star in this amazing WWII flick, that everyone should see if you love well done, well acted movies.

This is full of nice twists and turns and features incredible performances from the entire cast. Pitt is making the best movies of his career lately and Cotillard is terrific and cold earn herself an Oscar nomination.  She is terrific in this complicated role, and she delivers from tough to insanely sexy.

Allied. This is a must see.


Rules Don't Apply

Warren Beatty leads a huge cast in this movie taking place in the 1950's and 60's that deals with the intensely eccentric Howard Hughes and his empire, both the good and the really not so good.  As good as this cast is the star of this movie is the young actress Lily Collins, who plays this amazingly naive young actress that finds herself involved with Hughes in Hollywood at RKO Pictures.

She is so good in this flick, she saves this.  Oscar nomination? Possible. This is not a bad movie, but it is slow at times, but she makes it tolerable.  This looks great, and has a nice soundtrack.  But make no mistake, the versatile performance by Collins is the gas in the engine that it badly needs.

This is solid and worth the time, thanks to Collins.


Bad Santa 2

Billy Bob Thornton and the cast of crazies is back again, and more vile than ever in this sequel.  This is the continuing story of our favorite vulgar Santa, his horrible life, and his never ending quest to try to get it right.  Should be noted, the R rating was invented for this movie. 

This is very harsh in every regard. This is of course like the original in its dark comedy feel, but we are climbing to a new low in colorful language and subject matter. Yes, there are some laughs here, and there are some ridiculous moments you can't help but laugh at.  But, this is very dark, and incredibly politically incorrect. So if you are easily offended, pass this one by.

Plenty of tough dialogue, sexual situations, and downright raunchy.   If it's total detachment you are looking for this may be your comedy.  For me, this did get fatiguing after a while

Hard R rating.  Not at all for any kid anywhere.

scott@wqmx.com





Wednesday, November 23, 2016

THANKSGIVING - And Thanks!

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, and not by a little.

It's everything that is great about a holiday.  Yeah, there's the "F's"  Food, Fun, Family, and Football, and that's great.  But for me, there is so much more.  How cool is it we set aside an entire day, just to say - "thanks."  That's it.  Just - "thanks."  And add another "F." Friends.

One reason I think this day is so powerful to me, is that I spent it away from my actual family for many years while I was moving around the nation in Country Radio.  21 in fact.  What Thanksgiving did for me then, and does for me now is solidify my friendships that I have had for my entire life.  And because of the road life has led me, my friendships are my guiding light.

I remember spending a couple Thanksgivings with my friend Debbie and her husband John.  He is an amazing chef, and I am still in awe of him making, and me eating,  a completely de-boned turkey - delicious!  I spent a few a with my friends Ray and Debbie too, who have a very large family and they still made room for me, and Ray says they still set a place for me each year.  My friends Tim, and Kelley invited me for a few, and we had amazing times there with us and their dogs.  And my friends Don and Terri and their family, who have always made me feel welcome at Thanksgiving and every other day.

Funny, Ray, Tim and Don represent a combined 101 years of friendship to me. And how lucky am I (and the 4 of us) that we still get together a few times every year in Florida and play golf, eat, smoke cigars and hang by the pool.  They are amazing friends.  As are my friends Tex and Tammi, and Joe and Lori, and Kurt and Meg who represent another combined 105 years of friendship to me.

Everyone I have mentioned here is worthy of  my thanks for so many reasons. Some because they were, and are amazing family when I was away from my family all those years. I am sure you have those people in your life too, who aren't technically family, but feel like it, and feel like it more in some cases. 

Like mine.  Happy Thanksgiving and - Thanks!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

MOVIE REVIEWS - Now in Theaters

Here is a look at some of the movies out at the box office for you now that "better movie" season is here.

Bleed For This

Miles Teller stars in this "real" movie with a "real" leading role for him.  Based on a true story of a boxer in the 1980's who went to the top and became champion.  His life and his career though become jeopardized when a car accident leaves him with a broken neck.  The story is what he does next.

This has a real nice cast, and on the surface seems like a real good story to tell. Problem is this is a slow paced story that totally wears out its welcome. The performances are fine, but the main problem is, the main character portrayed well by Teller, is incredibly unlikable. He makes dumb decision after dumb decision, and after a bit, you quit rooting for him and just want this thing over.

Bleed For This is mediocre at best.  Teller is strong, but this is simply marginal at best.


The Edge Of Seventeen

Hailee Steinfeld is as good of a young actor as I have ever seen.  Her projects starting with her leading role in True Grit  (2010) at 12 was a great start, and there have been many since. She is being handled very well, and this is another great project.  She stars as a troubled 17 year-old girl who is a victim of her times, her environment and the death of her father.  She is not popular with her classmates, and more importantly not with herself either.

This is incredibly well written and very well acted.  This story is insanely spot on with the situations young people find themselves in more than we would like to admit. This is a great movie for parents to see, if you are willing to look at your own life honestly and see what is out there for your teens to handle.  Great writing, and just a fantastic flick all the way around.

The Edge Of Seventeen. Steinfeld is amazing and this movie is strong.


Shut In  (semi limited release)

For some reason this did not screen for critics and I don't understand why. Naomi Watts and Oliver Platt star in this thriller that has the feel of a King novel.  A young stepmother who has lost her husband now has to care for her severely brain injured young son.  So why is she being terrorized?  What is going on in her remote rural Maine home?

There are parts of this that are a bit quirky and could be disturbing to some, but this is thrilling and suspenseful.  This is a story you have not seen before in total and that is hard to do in a scary movie.  It's short, tidy and for the most part well done.

Shut In. Gives you a jolt.

scott@wqmx.com

BROWNS/ STEELERS - Here's The Season/Reason

For the first time in a very long time, the season has come down to the Browns/Steelers game and is going to decide the season.

Look, with all the Cavs did, Indians did, and what the Cavs are doing again, it is tough to be a Browns fan these days.  0-10 will do that to you.  And being honest, who knows what will happen today at the stadium.  But for both teams, this is their season.  If the Browns would win this game, no matter what happens over the last few weeks, the team and their fans would be happy with a win over the Steelers. That is undeniable.

A Steelers loss is the end of their season more than likely as they have been staggering around more than usual.  And I can't say I'm sorry about that. I also have not missed their amazingly fair weather fans gloating all over social media about how this is the greatest team of all time.  This about your news feed. It's been really quiet.  But I am a big Mike Tomlin fan and I do LOVE listening to his incredibly refreshing, non-coddling player comments after each loss. We need more guys like this in sport. And in the world.

Make no mistake this is a big game for each team. It really is refreshing to see this game really mean something for both teams. I am certain as good of a football man Tomlin is, there are many teams they would rather be playing in a must win situation on the road than the Browns this week. 

Browns win, the streak is over, and season made. Steelers win, and it's business as usual.  I am not a predictor, nor do I have a crystal ball, but I will say this.  In sport, it is always dangerous to be a team that cannot lose, playing a team that has nothing left to lose. 

Thursday, November 17, 2016

THANKSGIVING - End Of An Era?

The other morning when I was putting together some material for Wynn, Kay And The Morning Crew on WQMX, I ran across this horrifying headline.

"Experts now say you should not have the card table, or small table anymore at Thanksgiving and everyone should be at the main table"  Something about how everyone should eat and talk at the same table, or whatever...and I supposed there may be a few good reasons for it.  But c'mon! It's the card table!  We had a blast at the card table for those glorious years before you got the call up to the big table.  It was the only big meal all year, that you had no real adult supervision.  Loved it.

Yeah, the turkey was cold, it wobbled, the chairs were small, and sometimes it was in a hallway or foyer, but who cares? When you're young all you want to do is scarf it down and run off and play with your cousins anyway. All while the adults devour each other with political talk and bring up old family squabbles. Sure, you had to beg for more gravy and stuffing, but you didn't have to eat aunt Martha's awful chutney if you didn't want to. You could dog down 10 rolls (with unlimited butter) because no one was monitoring you. It was bliss.

These experts obviously never experienced this, or they suffer from some deep mental scarring of not being good enough to eat with the adults nonsense, plus they clearly need more to do.  And yes, when you  became that kid that was about 10 years older than the other kids at the card table, you did look longingly at the master table. And eventually the call came. From the bullpen to the mound, from AAA to the major leagues and you crossed over.

And on that glorious day, you left your younger cousins behind, but a part of you always stays - at the card table.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

BROWNS - Is He Still With Us?

Am I alone in this? I'm betting this news hit you the same way it hit me today.

While doing the show today, Wynn, Kay And The Morning Crew, our news dude Ryan Lang blasted out this story. "And in Browns news, QB Robert Griffin III, has been cleared to practice, but with no contact." Who the heck is this Griffin cat?  Oh yeah, RG3!  I forgot he was still on the team!  You too?  He's been out since week one.

Do you know how much has happened since then?  The Tribe ran through the American League Pennant and went not game seven of the World Series.  Halloween, The Blossom concert season had 4 shows, and wrapped up.  I went to Florida, and Ryan joined our show after Amani Abraham left for TV-3.  And Oh yeah, the Browns have gone 0-10!  I gotta be honest, it seems like it was a million years ago. 0-10 will do that to you.

Griffin playing for the Browns seems more like something I dreamed once, and didn't actually see.  Think about it, We've had like 100 QB's play this year, and even had "Clipboard Jesus" take a few snaps, but we canned him too.  And when you are a QB, and get released from THIS team?  I think thats rock bottom. 

So as Cody Kessler, and Old Man McCown are led out there to be the Sunday afternoon tackling dummies, RG3 can only hope the weeks keep ticking by, and he can make it to mid January unscathed.  But as of now,  he still isn't cleared for contact. 

Oh, and when he is reactivated and we are reintroduced to RG3?  Make sure you watch quick, Because oh yes, there will be contact.