It's Friday. So it's time for some incoherent rambling and random links.
Recently I voluntarily saw 1) Knight & Day and 2) The Expendables. In theaters no less. Where I paid $13 per ticket for movies I knew would be bad. The hope, of course, is that they would be good bad movies. These are movies that are so bad that they somehow come full circle all the way around back to being good. I haven't decided yet if they succeeded. I am leaning towards yes. Why? The key for me is that I have to believe they intended to make a good movie but failed. Don't give me any of these intentionally bad movies that you can only enjoy ironically like Snakes On A Plane. That is some bullshit.
No, I want movies where the directors and actors delusionally believe they will make something awesome but as an outsider familiar with their work you know they have no fucking chance. The 80s perfected this. What a decade. Go watch Tango and Cash, for example, and tell me that a) it's not completely insane and b) those involved created the insanity intentionally. You can't.
I would bet when Tom Cruise and Sly Stallone created these movies, they thought they had masterpieces on their hands.
As for the Bengals, I believe they may have executed this concept to perfection with their roster. Two rules right now dominate the decision to bring crazy people onto your team.
- You can handle one or two crazy guys, as their crazy gets diluted by the larger, sane roster
- Anymore than that and the crazy guys hang out with each other and the crazy feeds upon itself an auto-catalytic process that eventually explodes and destroys everything around it
The Bengals acquired so much crazy that they went all the way back around to sane. And it's working out. And I love it.
The funny thing will be that if it succeeds, all those folks hoping for tons of juicy, wild stuff to write about the Bengals will be disappointed. The season will surely interest Bengals fans, but outsiders might actually end up finding our team a little dull. Ha. Best evidence that's working so far? TO's open letter to the fans.
Along those lines, for people wondering if TO & Chad can share touches, Football Outsiders answers the question pretty much definitively. It will be just fine, they say. And since they are scientists, it's indisputable. Money quote:
Owens and Ochocinco may end up fighting over reality show strumpets, they may gang up on Palmer or Marvin Lewis, but they aren't going to fight over the amount of touches they get. Why? Because both of them have always had to share the load.
What else, what else. Oh. The Bengals passing game. We were just talking about that. And it's a kinda big deal if we want all this Superbowl talk to be anything more than just talk. I don't have good news for you folks. Sorry. From that same Football Outsiders column comes this sobering (and very un-Friday like) point:
A bigger worry in the preseason shouldn't be who the ball is thrown to, but how far it is going. Owens' four catches yielded just 23 yards on Sunday, while Ochocinco's long catch resulted in four yards. Palmer is averaging just 8.8 yards per completion, meaning that he has picked up where he left off last year, dinking and dunking to a fault. If that keeps up, Palmer could target Owens and Ochocinco 200 times each and still have two unhappy receivers, plus thousands of angry fans.
(fiddles nervously at desk, then remembers its pre-season, shrugs off concern...for now)
Elsewhere around the NFL, for the Hard Knocks fans out there enjoying rookie FB and future leader of the Resistance against our robot overlords, John Connor, check out Joe Posnanski's article about Connor's counterpart in camp, Tony Richardson. He's the elder statesman who mentors Connor even as Conner tries to take his job. I ran into Tony at a local wine/booze shop in NYC a couple years back. Super friendly guy with a clear weakness for copious amounts of awesome and rare booze. Great qualities. We're pretty much best friends now. You'll notice the parallels with Reggie Kelly and Gresham.
Who Dey. Game tonite should be a nice warm up. Eagles have good vertical passing game and tend to defend the vertical passing game well, two areas the Bengals need to also turn into strengths.