Walking Hopefully Into Winter

(Image Credit Mark Burgess/Egmont Publishing/The Best Bear In All The World)

As I walk into winter…random, hopeful observations along my trail as the days get colder…but also longer.

A thought or two about the latest installment in the “Star Wars” franchise. As with most add-ons to an iconic entertainment library you’re going to find a diverse variety of opinions about how well the filmmakers did or did not honor the spirit of the legendary series. I saw the original “Star Wars” when it first opened. I’ve seen all the other movies. Considering what this new film’s ambitious goal was, a genesis tale docking directly into the opening moments of the saga that unspooled almost forty years ago…I think they did a good job.

Except for the ending of course – admittedly a deal-breaker for some.

Others might say both endings failed…but I was good with the first one.

Those cryptic observations might entice you to see “Rogue One” if you haven’t already committed. I recommend doing so because ultimately I found more “good” than “evil” within. It was far from perfect – the movie could never reach those lofty expectations anyway – but still quite entertaining. I hope/may the Force be with you in any event.

“We have hope. Rebellions are built on hope.” – Jyn Erso, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”

I am confident the good folks at Disney hope everyone gets out and sees the film. They can use a big win after hearing the latest numbers from their ESPN property. The self-proclaimed “Worldwide Leader In Sports” has been losing subscribers at hyperspace speed as more and more folks cut their enormous cable bills, cut down on following sports altogether, etc. Sports are contained within the entertainment industry now. It’s only a game? It’s only a business. There are also rumors Disney might go rogue and also sell a battle-weary ABC. As I have noted before there are a lot of entertainment options these days – the competition for one’s time and attention has never been fiercer.

Proof? Some industry observers feel the number of active scripted television shows could approach 500 in the next year or so. According to FX Research 455 scripted original programs aired on American television in 2016.

In 2006…that number was 192.

The wife and I see about 30-35 motion pictures a year (in theatres). 336 movies are eligible for the Best Picture Oscar this year.

In 2013…that number was 289.

Back to TV…we watch a decent amount. I don’t know how interesting it is or how much you learn about someone based on their viewing list but what has our attention now includes…

Elementary, Supergirl, Scorpion, The Flash, Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D., Blindspot, Arrow, Survivor, Modern Family, DC Legends Of Tomorrow, The Big Bang Theory, Supernatural, Last Man Standing, The Amazing Race, iZombie, Stitchers, The Librarians, Playing House

There are no streaming shows here…that will change in the near future. We have a few we hope to start watching soon.

Hope is what I (still?!) have for professional and collegiate sports to eventually get their acts together and, as the money inevitably decreases from networks as they balance their ledger sheets to keep stockholders happy, decisions going forward might be based more on what is best for players and fans…not for those soulless, cash-driven, egomaniac owners, administrators and coaches.

Until if and when that happens…Philadelphia Phillies fans got some much-appreciated hope in the last day or so with the acquisition of one Clay Buchholz from the Boston Red Sox.

One headline in the local paper: “Fifty Shades Of Clay” (”Fifty Shades Darker” drops into theatres February 10 by the way…).

A combination of Clay wearing out his welcome in Beantown and a crowded list of potential starting pitchers there landed Buchholz here. He was not good – OK he was bad – for most of last season…but most all of the bad times were up at Fenway. His road numbers this past year are very much in line with his career marks. He’s 32, automatically becoming the grizzled veteran among a group of up-and-comers the Phils will send to the hill in 2017.

You know a couple years ago the Phillies had a $180 million payroll and were only behind those traditionally high-spenders the Dodgers and Yankees. Their projected payroll now is about a third of that. They are trying to acquire talent to stay competitive until they can fill all the holes left from that veteran corps that aged in place after winning it all in 2008.

And, after an Eagles season that finds the coach woefully inept in even the most basic of management skills…to another eventual mega-loss season for a Sixers team whose coach can’t even tell the media if “stars” are playing until he first checks with upper management…well, we can surely use this Christmas present of sporting hope. (The Flyers are doing OK but me thinks we’re still a ways away from another Stanley Cup…)

I take note of a Little League Baseball complex whenever I drive by it this time of year. I love the way the winter sun dances across the diamonds, the grass and dirt equally frozen, hard, unforgiving. It reminds me no matter how cold it gets or how much snow we get those fields will arise as one in a couple of months and start being prepped for yet another baseball season full of hope.

I played on those fields from ages 7-12. That was a long time ago. But the fields remain…as do the memories…which come to the surface for a visit every Christmas.

Childlike wonder? Yes, even we adults are capable of it.

A final word on hope for those who might question how much to have as we approach another New Year. It has been an “interesting” time for America.

For the world.

I have NEVER, EVER seen more cars and trucks sporting brown antlers and red noses than this Holiday season.


There must be hope if there are more people than ever pretending vehicles are reindeer.

Accidents between deer and vehicles are way down. Maybe our real deer – buying into the camouflage – actually think they’re looking out for fellow deer (albeit slightly larger and faster).

We should all look out for one another.

More than ever.

Walking hopefully into Winter…



About sportsattitudes

I'm Bruce. Born, raised and still outside the City of Brotherly Love. Managed (so far) to visit a dozen of our United States and Canada (twice). Addicted from birth to Television/Movies/Sports. Took three years of French and got credit for two of 'em.
This entry was posted in Blog, Blogging, Entertainment, Life, Movies, Personal, Television, Thoughts, TV, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

31 Responses to Walking Hopefully Into Winter

  1. Paul says:

    I’m a Blue Jays fan, so I’ve Buchholz pitch many times over the course of his career. I’ve always been a fan of him. I was hoping we would trade Halladay for him and a few others, back when he first burst on the scene, but we sent Halladay to the Phillies instead. I think he’ll be good in the NL. The Red Sox were yo-yoing him between the rotation and bullpen this past season if I remember correctly. Now he has stability it seems.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Meg Sorick says:

    There’s room on the Steelers’ bandwagon if you want to jump on. (Not that I expect them to get anywhere in the playoffs, but…..) We find ourselves watching more non-traditional sports than ever before. English Premiere League, Formula One racing and even a little rugby! And we are seriously considering dropping cable tv and just going with internet and subscription services like Hulu and Netflix. Plus with a high def antenna you can get a lot more channels than you’d think for free. I’ll keep you posted! We’ll be at the Steelers/Ravens game on Christmas day!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Meg, I think the Steelers can (still) do some real damage in the playoffs. Going to the Ravens game on Christmas…I’ll wave (from our sofa)! I am still watching and following the Premier League and glad you are as well. F1 – watch on occasion. I have seen the collegiate rugby championships – still trying to figure that sport out. We are soooo close to dropping cable. Let me know if you take the plunge first…I will report in when I cut that cord.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Quirky Girl says:

    While I’ve never been one to deck my vehicle out with antlers or red noses, I actually saw a school bus the other day flaunting those very same accessories. And you know what? I couldn’t help but smile. ”Tis the season, after all. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. susurrus says:

    Here’s to looking out for each other!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. George says:

    I’m distracted tonight, Bruce. Your boys are not making it easy for us. But I’m also not surprised..:)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. aFrankAngle says:

    I wonderful collection of snipets. My wife is the avoid TV watcher, but only watches one of the shows on your list … but the TV industry is approaching a time of change.

    Regarding your Phillies, my team did worse. The Eagles must have heard your grumblings are the took care of those rival Giants.

    Bestivus of holidays to you and your family … FYI: My holiday post goes live this evening, so stop by for treats.

    Liked by 1 person

    • A Festivus for the rest of us Frank! I will reserve any “Airing Of Grievances” for this site but will execute some “Feats Of Strength” in carrying the turkey around on Christmas. Best to you and yours…I may stop by later so leave a light on!


  7. garym6059 says:

    Since I got divorced my TV watching and sports viewing have declined dramatically no real reason other than the Reds suck. I still like watching my IU basketball, but not religiously anymore. How about those Eagles last night though! I saw that score this morning and knew right away Eli must have had one of his “point shaving” games that he’s never been investigated for!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Well said! Jingle on with hope

    Liked by 1 person

  9. J-Dub says:

    How many more of these damn “Star Wars” movies do we need?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Belinda O says:

    You had me with the picture of Pooh.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Nice sentiment…now imagine the horror of being a Colorado Rockies fan in 2016? Yeah, talk about mismanagement. And don’t get me started about the abysmal management for the Avs and Nuggets. Warm wishes for a 2017 that puts all the horror of 2016 to rest.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Amy O says:

    Yes, those frozen baseball diamonds bring hope!

    Liked by 1 person

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