Tag:Harst's View on Sports
Posted on: June 27, 2008 12:45 pm
Edited on: June 27, 2008 1:02 pm

Alpha Blog: Box office movie picks: WALL-E world

Back in the day we used to do a little feature called Box Office Expert Picks. Or something like that. Can't really remember. It wasn't a good feature.

Let's go back to the well, with your help. Each Friday here, pending I remember, I'll post my box office movie picks. You do the same, if WALL-Ethat's your thing, and we'll compare notes come Monday.

Opening this week are:

-- Wanted, starring Angelina Jolie, Morgan Freeman, James McAvoy and Common.

-- WALL-E, the latest animated fare from the Pixar studios, starring the voices of Ben Burtt (of R2D2 fame), Fred Willard, Jeff Garlin and Sigourney Weaver.

-- Gunnin' for That #1 Spot, a documentary featuring recent NBA Draftees Kevin Love, Donte Green, Michael Beasley and Jerryd Bayless.

Last week's Top Three:

1. Get Smart   $38.7M  Total: $38.7M 
2. The Incredible Hulk   $22.1M Total: $97.1M 
3. Kung Fu Panda  $21.9M  Total: $156M

On to the picks

Future-gazer Gregory Hardy's analysis:

1. WALL-E $71M (That Wall-E robot might as well be an ATM for Disney/Pixar)
2. Wanted $30M (Shot through the heart with a CGI bullet and Morgan Freeman's to blame; Angelina Jolie gives assassin sex a bad name)
3. Get Smart $15M (My shoe phone had texting capability until I stepped in something ...)

My picks

1. WALL-E, $71M
2. Get Smart, $28M
3. Wanted, $17M

My analysis:

Ratatouille made $47,027,395 its opening weekend.
The Incredibles made $70,467,623 its opening weekend.
Finding Nemo made $70,251,710 its opening weekend.
Angelina JolieMonsters Inc. made $62,577,067 its opening weekend.
Toy Story 2 made $57,388,839 its opening weekend.
Toy Story made nearly $200 million gross.

Hmmm, I sense a trend. Something like, Pixar movies do real, real well at the box office. Throw in the fact that Pixar movies are a. visually amazing and b. well scripted and its no wonder you get reviews like this from Slate's Dana Stevens:

"Despite the virtuosity of its technical execution, WALL-E never feels like a soulless, well-oiled entertainment machine. Rather, the movie resembles its resilient, square-shaped hero: a built-to-last contraption with a disproportionately big heart."

What is WALL-E (Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class)? The sole anthropormorphic entity left in an earth deserted by humans 700 years ago. That didn't make sense. It takes place in the future, but in that future, humans left 700 years ago. They didn't leave in 1308. They left around today, and we're now in 2708, I hear.

Before I confuse myself, my thoughts on Wanted.

The box office is tough on rated-R action movies, despite the potential to see Angelina Jolie's body double naked. Fight Club only opened with $11 million back in 1999, and I don't get the feeling Wanted, despite being an action-satire (James McAvoy's character works in a cube, we should all be able to relate, right?) has that sort of zing.

On to the best blogs ... around  

Jason Thompson went from Rider unknown to 12th pick of the draft by the Sacramento Kings. That means some changes are in store for The Eagle's Blog Has Landed.

When your team's draft haul is Walter Sharpe, Trent Plaisted and Deron Washington, there's reason to wonder if Matt Millen, not Joe Dumars, was calling the shots for the Pistons. Dive into the Mind of The Big B.

With a resurgent Marat Safin at Wimbledon (and with that he'll lose today), The Real Truth looks at the remarkable, hot-headed talent, and just where it all went wrong (and ocassionally right).

Darrell Arthur was the last player left in the green room and after that misery, was traded twice. That doesn't make Harst's View on Sports very happy.

Klick of the Day

John Daly + a man can of Bud heavy + a crowd = this video.

Posted on: May 20, 2008 12:21 pm
Edited on: May 20, 2008 12:27 pm

Alpha Blog: Pingpong balls take center stage

Tonight is a tribute to the NBA's worst teams. The Miami Heat, the Memphis Grizzlies, the Seattle SuperSonics, and, if you're lucky, teams like the Portland TrailBlazers and Golden State Warriors will all get front-page treatment in their local newspapers with their GM holding a pingpong ball with the No. 1 on it.

Tommy H in the lottery house. The NBA Draft lottery is a chance for bad teams to get the right to hire the best young employees.

It's also a tribute to pingpong balls.

It was around 1900 when the first incarnation of the modern-day pingpong ball came about. It was thanks to an Englishman, James Gibb, who is credited with bringing hollow celluloid balls back to the Mother Country from the U.S. of A. Prior to the new millennium, balls were made of solid rubber or cork.

It wasn't until 1901 that another Englishman, John Jacques, registered the name Ping Pong as a trademark in England. Parker Brothers bought the naming rights and brought the game to America. That same year The Table Tennis Association is formed in England and the game is brought to China. In retrospect, not a good move.

It wouldn't be until 2000 when the next move to regulate the size of a pingpong ball would happen. The ball's diameter was amped to 40mm from 38mm.

But throughout its history, the pingpong ball has become a part of numerous other uses. So let's countdown the pingpong ball's greatest hits throughout its existence. If I missed something, don't be shy.

10. The Great Pingpong Ball Experiment happens in Africa, so this webpage says. I've never heard of the thing, despite its alleged greatness.

9. The Mythbusters raise a sunken ship with 27,000 pingpong balls, which is less than the number it took to raise a hungover John Daly. Ba-zing!

8. D.C. prohibits playing pingpong on sidewalks without a permit

7. Two Queensland, Australia mayors were decided by pulling a pingpong ball out of a hat, replacing the old tiebreaker of knifey-spooney.

6. The NBA Draft began having a lottery in 1985 using pingpong balls. Forrest Gump

5. This guy made this YouTube video of trick shots

4. Forrest Gump plays so well vs. the Chinese, he's invited to the White House by President Nixon.

3. Winona Ryder demonstrates her "Ping Pong Ball Trick" at the USO show.

2. Atari introduces Pong

1. Beer pong/beirut became the top use of pingpong balls in the 16-27 demographic.

On to the best blogs ... around!

With Detroit, Boston, the Lakers and Spurs all moving into their conference finals showdowns, one would think the NBA is thrilled to have such marquee franchises still playing. The Oldstyle doesn't see things that way.

If you like percentages, check out It's a more Chrisper sports blog.'s breakdown of the lottery teams' chances.

Derrick Rose will boom. D.J. Augustin will bust. Harst's View on Sports is booming, blahing and busting his way through the NBA Draft prospects.

What happens when the Stanley Cup Finals and the Belmont Stakes collide head on? Changing Lanes breaks it down.

Klick of the Day

Speaking of knifey-spoony, you call THAT a knife?

Posted on: April 29, 2008 12:45 pm
Edited on: April 29, 2008 1:21 pm

Alpha Blog: Miami teams like their coaches young

Driving this morning I heard a news report about the latest fad in the subprime meltdown -- foreclosure tours in Lee County, Florida.

People get in a big green bus and spend the day looking at homes banks have repossessed, and are now flipping at reduced rates. Erik Spoelstra has less of a Skeletor feel to him than Pat Riley. Some houses go for half the value of the purchase price.

The real estate broker in charge of this claims he's peddling in market-correcting behavior ("hey, now teachers can buy these homes"), not capitalizing on market misfortune. And that had me thinking about the Heat, the Dolphins, the Marlins and even the Hurricanes. South Florida's real estate market isn't the only thing that went boom goes the dynamite over the past three years. Its sports teams all imploded, foreclosed, and are now working to get back into shape.

And the area is doing it with a coaching youth movement. Maybe we call it sports-market correction, head coaching style.

Randy Shannon, age 42, is hell bent on developing the Hurricanes program the right way, which means something along the lines of abandoning the Sidney Deane-Larry Coker methodology of losing, but looking good while doing it. 

Fredi Gonzalez, age 44, doing more with less in ways only a midget porn star could appreciate.

Tony Sparano, age 46, an offensive line coach. Coaches with backgrounds in the trenches tend to always supplant coaches who worked up in the booth calling plays.

(Of note: Like interest-only loans offered in a booming housing market, offensive coordinator hires are often the last hurrah of a crumbling franchise. For further proof, keep an eye on the San Diego Chargers this season.)

Erik Spoelstra, age 37, who cut his chops as the Joe Francis of the Miami Heat.

So if you're a foreclosure hunter helping the South Florida market correct itself, or if you're a Miami-area sports fan, things can only get better from this point. The foundations are in place for some long-term success. At the very least, they'll be some slashed ticket prices for any game you want to take in this sporting year.

On to the best blogs ... around!Caleb Campbell (13) is in an unusual situation.  

Speaking of the Miami Heat, Harst's View on Sports looks ahead to next season and sees a team with Derrick Rose ... or Kevin Love. If it's Kevin Love, the Heat have much, much bigger problems being that the guy is a late lottery pick -- not a top three selection.

The Lions' selection of Caleb Campbell has our own Gregg Doyel wondering what to say. The Monday Hustle is in the same boat regarding the Army grad's situation.

It was a rough weekend for AFC North teams according to The View From Above. No team receives a grade higher than a C for their work selecting players.

For most of the decade the Steelers' offensive line was built to run the ball. Now Russ Grimm is gone and Big Ben is flourishing. So In Love with the Game, Mom's View says a philosophic overhual is required in the trenches.

Klick of the Day  

Sticking with the Miami theme, it turns out we need a few driving-correction courses. (Miami Herald)

Posted on: March 18, 2008 1:29 pm
Edited on: March 18, 2008 1:36 pm

Alpha Blog: Tuesday's finest bloggy dishes

Two talking points for Tuesday:

The Dalia Lama hasn't been misquoted this much since Cadyshack. Seriously, China's talking about this guy like we need to fire up the bat sign above Tibet and get the Caped Crusader to stop this evil Olympic-thwarting mastermind.

For whatever reason, I'm not buying into Alex Rios as a blossoming Fantasy star. He's not a power guy, he just happens to hit home runs (and stay at a Holiday Inn Express). I've avoided him all 42 baseball leagues I'm in.

On to the best blogs ... around!  

BB's thoughts breaks down the West Region and believe it not, has UCLA losing. I kid. But the blog does have Texas A&M beating BYU. Personally I don't bet against god, or any of her schools. Check out all the blogger's region previews while you're at it.

For an excellent take on the play-in game (read up degenerate gamblers), check out what dbacksfan414 has to say. Also a must-read for Coppin fans looking for a little pat on the back.

I'm a sucker for anything titled "blah, blah, blah. Really?" You throw the word "really" out there, in true Seth Meyers fashion, and I'll click on it. Famous words from an Eagle's fan shares his take on the Eagles' Dan Klecko signing. Really? You're going to put that apostrophe after the "e" on Eagles. Really?

Harst's View on Sports shares Harst's Top 5 NBA Teams of All-Time. There's not much to debate here, but I am curious. Where's the analysis? Insight? Lists are fun and all, but the blog-o-world-dome-land could use a bit more than just bullet points. I mean who spends their time making blogs that are essentially bullet points. Oh, wait. I've made a horrible mistake.To Mom's chagrin, clearly, no soap is even used at Casa De Kay

For people who don't use their bathtubs for making gin, I guess soaps tend tend to linger along the lips of the tub? In Love with the Game, Mom's View shares some insight as to why da vee-man put those little cellulose-derived creations out there and asks: how do certain scents effect you? To quote my man Frank Drebin, "raw sewage, I love it!"

(PS: How about an expose on all those worthless pillows da vee-man put on beds only to be taken off before sleep time?)

Why were we so quick to come down on Randy Moss when that whole restraining order business came down before the Super Bowl? A weird and wonderful journey examines why we love to build up, then tear down our celebrities. My take? We're a moody society. Don't catch us on a bad day.

For a Yankees season outlook that reads like an eye exam (how about now? Is it better or worse?), check in on our pal Stu on This. I should say, it's a very thorough eye exam.

OK, I wasn't completely fair. I said I'll click on anything with the word "really" (in true mocking tone) in the subject line. I also click on anything about movies. So The United States of Consciousness gets my click, despite me not tuning in to John Adams or Distburbia. I will recommend what's next in the blog's queue -- Ratatouille. It challenges Nemo for Pixar's top-ever movie status. I did just send back Eastern Promises to our mutual friend, NetFlix. It's classic Cronenberg (Crash, History of Violence...), and if you want to see a Viggo (at times naked) tour de force, or simply like flicks about the Russian mob, check in on it. Really!

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com