Clemson Beats 'Bama, Meryl Goes Political
January 9, 2017

If you missed the NFL playoffs over the weekend, you didn't miss much. If you missed the College Football Playoff championship game this evening, you missed an extraordinary fourth quarter comeback against a dynasty, and if you missed the Golden Globe Awards, you missed an awkward speech by a Hollywood legend, aimed directly at the incoming President of the United States. And people say you shouldn't watch so much television.

Granted, the professional football games were about as dismal as the northern California weather this weekend. Last year all of the road teams pulled off upsets. This year, all the home teams won, and won easily. The Oakland Raiders, who lost their starting quarterback to injury two weeks ago, didn't stand a chance against the Houston Texans, and fell 27-14. That turned out to be the closest game of the weekend, with the home team winning by an average of 19 points.

Around 8:30 this evening, which would have been somewhere around the middle of the third quarter, a friend texted another friend (on a threat that I get to see), “What a dog of a game.” Alabama was leading Clemson, and although the score was close, it didn't look like there was going to be much drama the rest of the way. That turned out to be wrong. The Clemson Tigers outscored the Crimson Tide 21-7 in the final period, including a touchdown literally in the final second, and won the national title 35-31. Alabama was a second away from their fifth crown in eight years. Instead, Clemson won for the first time in 35 years. If you missed the first three quarters, you didn't miss much, but the final 15 minutes made the whole weekend worth it.

That is, of course, as long as you saw the 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards Sunday night on NBC. The host was Jimmy Fallon, and you knew that wasn't going to mean controversy unlike Ricky Gervais and his on-stage whisper to presenter Mel Gibson last year. Fallon is your feel good host, although he did take some shots at the almost President during his monologue. After admitting that the teleprompter wasn't working and he would ad-lib the opening segment, he quipped, “This is the Golden Globes, one of the few places left where America still honors the popular vote.”

The table was unknowingly set for the speech of the evening about an hour later, when Hugh Laurie won Best Supporting Actor for the TV show The Night Manager. In his acceptance speech, he said winning was an honor especially because it was at the last-ever Golden Globes. “I don't mean to be gloomy”, he said, “It's just that it has the word Hollywood, foreign, and press in the title. “I also think that to some Republicans even the word 'association' is slightly sketchy.”

Meryl Streep continued Laurie's meme when she was honored with the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement. In thanking the Hollywood Foreign Press, she said that all of the people in the room were part of “the most vilified segments in American society right now.” “Think about it”, she said. “Hollywood, foreigners, and the press.”

After then listing a host of actors in the room who were foreign born, she said, “kick them all out and you'll have nothing to watch but football and mixed martial arts”, which got laughter and applause from the crowd. Then she turned dramatic, and said she saw one performance that stunned her. “It sank its hooks in my heart. Not because it was good. There was nothing good about it, but it was effective and it did its job. It made its intended audience laugh, and show their teeth. It was that moment, when the person asking to sit in the most respected seat in our country imitated a disabled reporter. Someone he outranked in priviledge, power, and the capacity to fight back. It kind of broke my heart when I saw it, and I still can't get it out of my head because it wasn't in a movie. It was real life.”

Streep, who may not be “overrated” in the way the person she was referring to tweeted later, but you have to admit she does get a little over-dramatic at times. Streep went on for six minutes total, not counting the introduction by Viola Davis and the montage of her career. Her message, though, was on point. With the audience in stone silence, hanging on every word, she concluded, “As my dear friend Princess Leia once said. Take your broken heart. Make it into art.”

More globes: LaLa Land won seven Golden Globe Awards, setting a new record. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) and Midnight Express (1978) each won six.

Better to burn out than to fade away?: ESPN announced this week that Chris Berman will not be back next year as the NFL host, but will remain at the network. It was also inferred in an column that he will not be anchoring the Home Run Derby this comng year. Berman has been with the Worldwide Leader since the beginning, and joins Dick Vitale and Brent Musberger as broadcasting legends that ESPN keeps on the payroll, but in a more and more diminishing role.

Front loaded: The Great West (Baseball) League is out with their 2017 schedule, and it has the Marysville Gold Sox playing the as-yet unnamed Yuba City team all 12 times in the first month. The teams will play every weekend in June, but will be done with each other after July 1, in a season that ends in August. The league may be trying to create a rivalry, but what if the Yankees and Red Sox played all their games against each other in April? Makes you scratch your head, doesn't it?

Back after this: If you did watch the college football championship game tonight, did you think there weren't as many commercial breaks as usual? It seemed that way here.

Happy Birthday to my cousin Korey Dudley who is celebrating the big 6-0 milestone today. I'm just trying to figure out why I keep aging and she doesn't.

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