Thoughts on Darius Rucker’s New Single

Posted by Greg on Aug 16, 2010 in Music

I really wanted to dislike Darius Rucker’s new single “Come Back Song,” but something about it continues to latch itself to my brain. I don’t know if it’s the lingering nature of his vocals, the rhyme scheme, or what, but hot damn, it’s probably my favorite song he’s written since “Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It.” Seriously, what a fun little ditty. It is not hie best however, and I know he can do better. His last album disappointed me majorly, so I hope he has something better up his sleeve with album number two.


Hallmark Film Fairfield Road is Quite Charming

Posted by Greg on Aug 16, 2010 in Movies

Okay, I’ll admit it, as much as I adore art-house, foreign and indie films, I really do love a good rom-com or light, fluffy chick flick. Thanks to the privileges of the day job, I’ve become a fan of the Hallmark Channel and its saccharine, tissue-soaked romps. Its latest, Fairfield Road, was an absolute delight.

“Fairfield Road,” centers on Noah McManus (Jesse Metcalfe), a Boston political aide, who is about to start his dream job as a legislative director for a U.S. senator and to propose to his girlfriend. But his entire world changes in one day when his new boss resigns amid controversy and Noah realizes that his girlfriend had been cheating on him.  

Devastated and alone, he and his dog Arlo drive to Harpswell, the Cape Cod town where he had intended to propose. There he finds comfort among the town’s peaceful setting and appealing local residents, including local inkeepers  Sam and Lillian who house him. But only hours into his stay,  he in turn falls for Hayley, a bookstore owner whose charm and radiance is utterly infectious.
As Noah begins to spend more time in Harpswell and with Hayley, he becomes involved in the town’s heated local election and challenges local developer Randall Richardson. For the first time in awhile, everything is finally making sense. He’s found a meaningful purpose for his life and someone to share it with. But what will happen when he gets another high-level job offer and his remorseful ex-girlfriend returns, luring him back to his familiar lifestyle?  

The film is directed by David Weaver, who directed the sweetly affecting “Charlie and Me” and written by Tracy Rosen, who wrote “Daniel’s Daughter,” the latter being one of Hallmark’s best films of the last couple years. Shot in Toronto, the film is produced by Cypress Point Productions and QVF Productions, with help from Emmy Award-nominee Gerald W. Abrams (”Nuremberg,” “Family of Spies”) and Susan Murdoch (”The National Tree). Metcalfe rose to prominence as Gabby’s (Eva Longoria Parker) gardener lover on the first two seasons of “Desperate Housewives,” he reprised the role in an arc this fall.


The Death of College Football on Long Island

Posted by Greg on Aug 11, 2010 in Op-Ed

Now that Hofstra has pulled the plug on football, those of us in Nassau County that appreciate college football are in quite a bind. But all is not lost. The C.W. Post Pioneers, a former Division II powerhouse play home games at Hickox Field on the pastoral C.W. Post campus. Those that aren’t on Long Island, should know that C.W. Post is housed on the former estate of the cereal magnate Post family. If that’s not enough to get your butt in the seats, take this simple nugget into account: C.W. Post is the only non-Pennsylvania college in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference. So why are they there, you ask? It’s quite simple, really. The PSAC houses some of the best D-II football schools in the nation, of which C.W. Post is included. In 1998, Post introduced Bryan Collins to the mix and for eight years, the team won an average of eight games. Then in 2005, Post won the first two NCAA Division II tournament games for the first time in program history and advanced to the national quarterfinals. The following year, Collins was named athletic director at Post, and since 2007, the team hasn’t posted more than six wins in the last three years, and this year has been predicted to finish third in the PSAC. So is the pressure on Collins? One has to think it is. An exciting and telling season is certainly in store.

Just a few miles north in Kings Point, the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy fields a squad that hasn’t made the ECAC playoffs since 2002 and hasn’t visited the NCAA playoffs since 1994. Hired in 2005, Coach Ed Toope hasn’t helped the cause much. The team hasn’t won more than four games since he took over and doesn’t seem to be a factor in this year’s Liberty League title. Things can’t be too promising over at the USMMA, the school’s football Web page has pages and links dating back to the 2006 season. An intentional oversight? Someone sleeping on the job? Either way, it doesn’t appear to be a pretty season. But then there’s the golden ribbon to tie it all together. The USMMA is a service academy, who plays squads such as Coast Guard Academy and SUNY-Maritime. But the whole schedule isn’t laden with cupcakes, other opponents for this year’s 2010 season include the likes of Hobart, Union and Rensselaer, all of whom have made the playoffs in the last three years. So does it look bleak for the Mariners? Absolutely. Are five wins probably a stretch? Sure. But hey, stranger things have happened. And if it does happen, sure would be nice to say that this lowly little blog gave the USMMA program a few minutes of their time far before the New York Times, Newsday, and the like.

Aside from St. John’s in Queens, no other local schools offer football. NY Tech, Farmingdale, Molloy, Old Westbury and Adelphi all don’t sport football, and aside from two-year college Nassau Community, there are no other college football programs in Nassau County. Now if one ventures to Suffolk County, it’s a different story with Stony Brook carrying the torch, but truth be told, that’s really about all. St. Joseph’s College in Patchogue and Dowling in Oakdale don’t offer football, and the only other remaining colleges in Suffolk County are all junior colleges.

Does Long Island have a college football problem? Absolutely. Is there a remedy in sight? Not likely. So until this problem gets ameliorated, the Mariners and Pioneers are it. Other than that, College GameDay it is.


Thoughts on Taylor Swift’s New Single

Posted by Greg on Aug 7, 2010 in Music

As is the norm these days, another high-profile artist had a song leak weeks before it was due to hit radio. The only difference, this time the artist was country-pop superstar Taylor Swift. Said song, a gnomic slab of radio candy named “Mine,” is hardly dissimilar to anything in Swift’s back catalog. With the exception of the genius line, “You made a rebel of a careless man’s careful daughter,” there’s not much else to write home about. What’s most troubling about this is Swift is at a point in her career when she can take chances. She can sing other people’s songs, she can add some nuances to her sound. Instead she chases down the same niche as Fearless and her self-titled and the entire things feels redundant. But at what point does one throw their hands up and say “Okay, Taylor, we get it, enough.” A few more listens to “Mine,” and that might be the opinion of this writer.

For another opinion (and to read somebody else championing the “carless daughter” reference) head here.


College Football > Pro Football

Posted by Greg on Aug 2, 2010 in Op-Ed

Not going to make a long post, just want to write and say why college football will and always will be supreme. Sure it has its share of problems and sure its far more money-hungry than it used to be. The conference expansions this past spring and the continued recruiting scandals, from Reggie Bush to UNC and all places in between are enough to leave a sour taste. But here’s why college football doesn’t suck. The following five things don’t happen at the college football level.

-Darrelle Revis holding out for a better salary and missing Jets camp.
-Albert Haynesworth and his traveling circus
-Sam Bradford signing a $50 million guaranteed contract
-Terrell Owens and Chad Johnson’s reality TV
-Tony Romo and Brett Favre. Enough said.

There’s only 32 more days until Sept. 2 and the eight games that kick off the season. I can’t even begin to discuss how excited/amped I am for this season to start. I wish it was here already.

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