Live from Princeton Heights, here are a few things on my mind that won't seem to leave, so pardon me while I ramble on this fine Monday evening. Who else can jam sports, entertainment, and lifestyle into one column? Tip the adult beverage and follow me to freedom.
- Cancer sucks, reason #255: the gifted actor Reg E. Cathey passed away on Friday at the age of 59 after a long battle with cancer. He was the beloved Freddy on House of Cards, but to me, he is the trusted face who could brighten up any movie or television show he appeared in. He was never the groom, but he made groomsmen jealous with how much he could do with a smaller role. Ironically enough, his work on Cinemax's Banshee as Detective Julius Bonner stuck out the most. It was a reoccurring role that gathered speed as the series aged, but it was a classic example of the actor's skill. Cathey had around ten minutes of screen time, but owned every one scene he was in. He had a voice that pulled your eye to the side of the road and a "what you see is what you get" presence. I'll miss him.
- Denis Villenueve is one of the hottest directors working today, and he owes a lot of credit to composer Johann Johannsson, who died at the too young age of 48 this past weekend. Johannsson scored three of Villenueve's movies: Prisoners, Sicario, and Arrival. The man lit up those films with music that lifted the writing and illuminated the actors' work. Take Arrival for example. The Amy Adams bolstered science fiction tale depended heavily on sound connecting with the visuals, and Johannsson's work was signature. Without composers, films would lack mood and reverence. I'm one of those film addicts who can work out to film scores. Artists like Johannsson can't be replaced. Buy one of his scores. Lay down. Let it come over you. That is how you can pay respect to his work.
- Word of the wise to Uber riders: there are a number of fine reasons to buckle up during a ride, getting tossed through the windshield chief among them, but for the driver's sanity, silencing the beeping sound from the dashboard leads the pack. Be safe and relax your driver.
- You know what's funny? Women who put on heels to go on, and later complain about how painful they are. I think comfortable walking is more important than looking cute.
- What else is very funny? People who pay for high dollar drinks at Tin Roof and then wish to split a $15 Uber ride with their three friends. More comedians need to be Uber drivers.
- Advice for Cardinals fans: don't expect a big move before the season starts. John Mozeliak and Michael Girsch are loading up on poker chips at the table, waiting for the big hand. Do you want to pay for Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, or Jake Arrieta? No thanks. Just wait. The same Cardinals fans who blast the team for a bad contract (Dexter Fowler) whine about the team not spending to spend.
- Remember this instead. Seeing the way the team went all in on Giancarlo Stanton-remember they made the best offer of any team-gives me hope they will spend those poker chips on Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, or Josh Donaldson next winter. The Cards paid to compete in 2018, not outright win the World Series in January. Roll with it. Luck has nothing to do with it. It's all strategy.
- The Cardinals didn't make the playoffs in 2017, but they still finished in the top ten in the National League. They aren't the Cincinnati Reds.
- Fact: the people who say they won't buy tickets or watch games are full of it. They do. All summer long.
- What makes a band great? Putting on a great show in front of a live audience. I am sure Abbey Road could make me sound like Billy Joel with the right equipment, but at a live venue, I'd sound foolish. When you climb on a stage and perform in front of a paid crowd, you can't hide a thing. Tonight, the underrated rock band, The Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, plays the Delmar Hall. 75% of you haven't heard of them. You will after my full report tomorrow morning.
- Are you ready for a medium heated take? The Blues aren't a Stanley Cup caliber team this year. Maybe not next year either. If you can't beat top teams in the NHL more than once every week, you won't win 12 playoff games. The Blues have heavy contracts weighing them down at the moment. After this season, Paul Stastny's third line production at #1 line pay goes away. After next year, Jay Bouwmeester's deal goes away. Mark your calendars for a 2019-20 Stanley Cup run.
- One of my favorite lines from people is, "hey man, just get a babysitter." These people have no idea how hard it is to lock down a reliable sitter and how much it costs. Who wants to go out with friends for 2-3 hours, get moderately smashed, and then go home to relieve the babysitter? The parenting division of adulting is the real hard knocks. It's lazy advice to tell a parent to just get a babysitter like it's similar to grabbing a water bottle out of the fridge.
- Lance Lynn isn't coming back to the Cardinals, but if I were the Milwaukee Brewers, I'd offer Lynn a contract. He's downright money for 200 innings, 15 wins, and 180 strikeouts this year. This would make Cardinals fans extremely mad.
- Tom Brady lost. That is music to my ears. He was beat by an opposing quarterback named Nick Foles, who was released by Jeff Fisher. He was bested by Chris Long, who the Rams refused to re-sign. Loving it.
- I don't watch much college sports, but without a Michael "sent from the basketball gods to save Columbia" Porter Jr., the Missouri Tigers are playing pretty well, right?
- How is Lebron James doing?
That is all the news fit to print, folks. Come back next week for more bullets. Thanks for reading.