24: The Longest Dead Series Discussion of Our Lives – Season Five

“EVERYONE YOU LOVE DIES RIGHT AWAY”

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24 is a groundbreaking and important television series. Beyond the thrills, kills, twists and tragedies is a show that reached a new level of serialized storytelling and set the bar for action and suspense on network television. Lasting for 8 full seasons–192 Episodes plus a TV movie–24 is one of the longest-running shows of the past 15 years. Others, like Grey’s Anatomy, NCIS, Smallville, all three CSIs and three of four Law & Orders, may have run longer, but the argument can be made that none of those shows are equally as worthy of contributing to the debatably labeled and vaguely-defined “Third Golden Age of Television Drama” that began with The Sopranos in 1999 and is now fading with the end of Breaking Bad and the impending finale of Mad Men. Perhaps 24 doesn’t quite reach the dramatic heights of those shows, or others like The Wire and Deadwood, or even The Shield, Lost or Battlestar Galactica, but it was always a strong awards and ratings contender and it was just so addicting and fun to watch.

Please join us—Patches, Zach, Jeff and MegaMix—as we take a look back at this series, discussing one season every month until the premiere of the new 12-episode miniseries 24: Live Another Day in May 2014.

This month’s discussion is focused on Season 5 of 24, which premiered in January of 2006.

It contains SPOILERS for the entire series of 24 and strong language. Parental discretion is advised. Discussion occurs in real time. Continue reading

Animal Bowl III

Last year I wrote a lengthy post about the possibility of the 2012 NFL season culminating in a “Bird Bowl” between the Baltimore Ravens and the Atlanta Falcons. Alas, the Har-Bowl prevailed and the Ravens remained the only “bird” team to win the Super Bowl and became the first bird team to win it twice.

2013 left us without an opportunity for a Bird Bowl as the defending champion Ravens failed to make the playoffs. However, the Seahawks and Eagles made it to the postseason and, of course, the Seahawks will play in the Super Bowl on Sunday. They are the eighth bird team to make the Super Bowl after the Eagles (1980, 2004), Falcons (1998), Ravens (2000, 2012), Cardinals (2008) and of course the Matt Hasselbeck-led Seahawks team (2005).

Notably, the Seahawks will be facing the Denver Broncos, another animal team. This is the third ever “Animal Bowl.” The first was in 1998 (Broncos over Falcons) and the second was in 2006 (Colts over Bears). I guess it’s just a thing for Elway and Manning.

While I obviously recommend you read the original Bird Bowl post (it has aged well after a year, if I do say so myself), I’ll copy this little bit from the end of that entry for your reading pleasure:

–Notable Super Bowl matchups between teams with similar/related names:

  • Colts over Cowboys (1970) – the Chisholm Trail Bowl
  • Raiders over Vikings (1976) – the Marauder Bowl
  • Cowboys over Broncos (1987) – the Rodeo Bowl
  • Redskins over Bills (1991) – the Wild West Show Bowl
  • Cowboys over Bills (1992 & 1993) – the Double Redundant Bowl
  • Ravens over Giants (2000) – the Game of Thrones Bowl
  • Buccaneers over Raiders (2002) – Brad Johnson’s finest hour
  • Patriots over Eagles (2004) – the Murrica Bowl
  • Packers over Steelers (2010) – the Blue Collar Bowl

[and, particularly apropos given the recent attention to Washington’s NFL team]

–While the Washington Redskins and the Kansas City Chiefs both made the playoffs in 1971, 1990, 1991 and 1992, the closest we’ve come to an “Insensitivity Bowl” was in 1991 when the Redskins won the Super Bowl and the Chiefs lost in the divisional round.

NFL Playoff Expansion: Everyone Gets a Trophy!

Let’s make ’em about THIS big

Recently, there has been some talk in the NFL of expanding the postseason by adding two extra teams–and thus, two extra games–to the playoff schedule. There certainly some good that comes out of this potential change.

  1. The league would cut preseason games from 4 to 3 for each team.
  2. The league would have two more games with clear “stakes” between “good” teams which would theoretically make for exciting viewing and increased TV ratings.
  3. Hopefully, the league will stop talking about expanding the regular season to 18 games (in other words, adding 32 individual games to the regular season).
  4. The league would probably make a lot more money from all of this.
  5. The league would decrease the chance of leaving 11- and 10-win teams out of the playoffs altogether. (I’ve discussed 11-win playoff misses before).

I can get behind at least the first three of the above. What do I care if the league makes more money? Of course, that’s probably the biggest motivator for expanding the postseason (and don’t give me any BS about giving HOPE to two more fan-bases). Continue reading