It’s never fun seeing players get carted off the football field in the middle of a game. It’s part of the violent game we love so much, but it’s one of the least enjoyable parts. In their Friday night preseason game in Detroit, the New England Patriots saw one of their franchise stars, wide receiver Julian Edelman, carted off the field with a potentially season ending injury. Mike Reiss of ESPN reported the Patriots suspect Edelman tore his ACL, which is certainly the worst case scenario for this situation.
In a night where the Red Sox lost 16-3 to the Orioles, and Eduardo Nunez got hurt in the process, and the president decided to pardon a racist sheriff, and this same president decided to ban transgender troops, and all this happened as a hurricane was about to hit Texas, Edelman’s injury was just one of many terrible things that made me forgo my initial plans to watch a movie and half-watch episodes of That 70’s Show I’ve already seen to follow the news on Twitter. Apparently Friday nights aren’t allowed to be fun anymore unless you go out, and keep your phone in your pocket the whole time.
Normally, I would write today to complain that the NFL preseason is too long, and how the injuries are the hardest thing to reconcile as a football fan who also possesses empathy for other human beings. Normally, I would write today to point out that the NFL does not have guaranteed contracts for it’s players, and even though the National Hockey League does many things wrong as a business model, at least their players are guaranteed to get their money when their careers in their violent sport are cut short. Normally, I would write today about how Roger Goodell and the NFL owners are running their league and the game of football into the ground, because parents are seeing how players are treated, and America’s best young athletes will be steered more and more towards soccer, basketball, and baseball, and a four game preseason is just one of the many greedy flaws that will be the league’s undoing if things don’t change. Normally, I would write today about how ridiculous it is that the Patriots chances of repeating as Super Bowl champions are seriously compromised by the loss of their star wide receiver, but I have also watched enough Patriots football over the years not to overreact to one injury.
As unfortunate as it is, the Pats are built to survive the loss of Edelman, and they have proven it time and again. Tom Brady tore his ACL in 2008, and they still went 11-5. Last year, Rob Gronkowski was taken out in the middle of the season, and they went undefeated without him, including the Super Bowl. Edelman is a great player, and has been such a great Patriot that #11 is now “his number” and not Drew Bledsoe’s number in my mind. But they still have Danny Amendola and Chris Hogan, and they traded for Brandin Cooks from the New Orleans Saints in the offseason. They bolstered the backfield by adding Mike Gillislee from the Buffalo Bills, a move that both weakened a divisional opponent and made it so Brady would not have to lean as heavily on the passing game as he had to in the playoffs.
Bill Belichick values depth and versatility when building their roster, and that philosophy is abundantly clear with the collection of offensive skill players they have. The defensive unit is a different story, and I would be writing a much different post if Alan Branch suffered a season ending injury last night, but I’ll cross that bridge when depth in the defensive front-seven becomes an issue during the season. For now, the Patriots and their fans can wait for the MRI and hope for the best, but even if their worst fears are confirmed, the offense is in a good position to make the best of a bad situation.
The whole evening put things in perspective. I would normally be more upset about this injury, but it was the fourth worst thing to happen that night and only impacts the Patriots and their fans. I don’t like getting political in my writing or in my social interactions but these last several months have made it tough to compartmentalize. Why am I spending time writing and worrying about things that ultimately do not matter? What’s even the point? I have been wrestling with this question since the election, and I still don’t know the answer. At least football season is around the corner to provide the escape I need from the weekly weekend madness of reality.
This is a new series of posts I’ve decided to write. I love talking and writing about movies, but rarely see new movies in time to review it before everyone else saw it. Now, I’m jumping into it fully aware that I should have seen these movies a long time ago. Who knows, maybe you haven’t gotten around to seeing it either!
When Steve Jobs past away, it was perhaps the biggest celebrity death of 2011. It wasn’t exactly a surprise, as he had resigned as the man in charge of Apple due to health concerns, but it was a time to reflect on the life and legacy of a man who had changed the world in so many ways. From the personal computer to the iPad, few humans have done more to change the daily routines of the species in the way Steve Jobs had. Thomas Edison comes to mind, but few others have had an influence as expansive as Mr. Jobs. Naturally, a biopic about the life of Steve Jobs was something Hollywood would want to make because the people would want it, but it may have been a little too rushed.
I remember hearing about Jobs while it was still in production, but did not hear a whole lot of hype, and didn’t see it until it popped up on my Netflix homepage last week. I remember an image that went viral that was a side-by-side of a young Steve Jobs from the 70s next to Ashton Kutcher in costume as Steve Jobs from that era. It feels as if Hollywood felt pressured to make a Steve Jobs movie while Ashton Kutcher was still young.
The biggest problem with Jobs was that it tried to do too much. It spans 30 years of Steve Jobs’ life, from his days wandering the campus of Reed College to the introduction of the iPod. There is only so much time in a movie, and there were several aspects of the movie that could be movies by themselves if they had been given the time to dig deeper. I would watch a movie just about Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak building the Apple II in Jobs’ parents garage. I would also be interested in a movie about the wars Jobs fought with IBM, Microsoft, and Apple’s own board of directors in the 1980s. Jobs barely touched on the innovations Steve Jobs made in the 21st Century or with Pixar because it would have been a four hour movie. Jobs was stretched thin by its own ambition, much like Apple Computer was with the introduction of the Macintosh in 1984. Lincoln and The Social Network succeeded as biopics because they didn’t take on such a vast time frame. If Steven Spielberg and Tony Kushner had tried to make a movie about Abraham Lincoln’s entire life leading up to abolishing slavery, I would still be at the movie theater, and I saw it in December of 2012.
Ashton Kutcher’s performance was admirable. They did a good job of making him look old in the iPod presentation, and he showed a great range in the highs and lows of Steve Jobs’ life, but he’s one of those actors who I have trouble taking seriously. This performance was a step in the right direction, but I still see Michael Kelso from That 70’s Show. It’s hard to play a pioneer and innovator in a serious movie when he was this guy earlier in his career. It’s unfair, I know, but it’ll have to take a better movie than this one to change my mind on Ashton Kutcher.
Jobs was a decent movie, but it could have been better. I initially gave it four stars on Netflix, until I saw a PBS documentary on the life and influence of Steve Jobs that I liked more, but not enough to give five stars, so the documentary got four and Jobs was downgraded to three. It was entertaining, but not the world changer that its subject was.