In my college years, I became obsessed with Paul Thomas Anderson’s films. To this day, “Magnolia” remains my favorite movie of all time. The love for PTA was, in no small part, thanks to the consistently magnificent performances of Philip Seymour Hoffman. The roles were sometimes leading – “The Master” – and sometimes supporting – “Magnolia,” “Boogie Nights” – and sometimes so small you’d miss him if you blinked (and if he weren’t so damn captivating every time he was on the screen) – “Hard Eight.” Sometimes he jumped out of an otherwise spotty movie – “Punch Drunk Love” – and lived into a character so completely that you’d watch it again just to see that guy. And those are just the PTA movies!
Damn. It was incredibly tough to hear yesterday that, at age 46, Hoffman had died. He could carry the biggest lead you could throw at him – “Capote” or “Love Liza” or “Synecdoche, New York” – or he could steal the scene with the smallest, must subtle bit part – “The Big Lebowski” or “Hard Eight” – and I haven’t even mentioned “Almost Famous” or “Moneyball” or “Patch Adams” or “Doubt” or “Charlie Wilson’s War” or … it’s too much. Too many fantastic performances. I am so bummed.
- So, the Super Bowl was something of a dud, with the Broncos blown out by the Seahawks from the word go. Near the end of the laugher, I tweeted out something that generated (to my surprise) a little controversy:
You know, if the Cubs finally made it to the World Series again, only to get blasted like this … I'd still take it.
— Brett Taylor (@BleacherNation) February 3, 2014
- Watching your team dismantled on the highest stage, after coming so close to a championship, can’t possibly be fun. The closest equivalent(s) Cubs fans have in recent memory are the last night straight playoff losses, but none are quite at the level of a blowout in the Super Bowl. The pain of Games 6 and 7 in the 2003 NLCS are right there, but those weren’t piss-poor performances by the Cubs. This Broncos loss was something on another plane. So, let me ask: would you rather the Cubs didn’t make the playoffs at all in 2014, or would you want to see them make the World Series knowing full well that they would lose in four games to the Yankees by an average score of 15-0? Wouldn’t it be worth the season and the playoff ride that preceded it? Wouldn’t it be worth ending 70 years of no World Series appearances?
- An MLB.com fantasy preview for the Chicago Cubs. I don’t know much about fantasy baseball, but I’m going to assume that seeing so many Cubs players listed as worth “$1” is probably not a good thing.
- Sam Hughes, a National Crosschecker for the Cubs, has been named the organization’s Scout of the Year. A nice plaudit for the 17-year Cubs veteran scout.
- Jayson Stark argues that there’s actually more parity in baseball than football, despite what you might think.