Thursday, March 05, 2015

23 skidoo

Last year, when the Saints got rid of Darren Sproles, Lance Moore and Jonathan Vilma, I (and many others) thought maybe the team was playing 11th-dimensional chess. The resultant season unequivocally proved otherwise.

So forgive me if I feel like releasing Pierre Thomas is the latest example of what is, in fact, broken Pong. I'd feel better about the whole age/cap thing if I thought something better was on the way. I'm not yet convinced there is. I think right now the organization is desperate to clear some salary space above all else. Between that and the Benson family turmoil, the Saints look to be playing seriously from behind right now. I hope I'm wrong, just like last year.

Did you know the Saints have never been better than 7-9 in any year ending in a 5 (and were usually much worse)? This year's team could be the best 5-team ever with a mediocre season. Small victories.

Maybe I should wait at least until the draft to harrumph, huh?

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Pictures from Saturday's snowfall

Last Saturday, it snowed here in Reno, which doesn't happen nearly as often as it should. I took pictures, which can be seen in this gallery or right here. (Three days later, this snow is virtually all gone.)

Snow falls at Canyon Creek Park in northwest Reno on Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015.
Snow falls among trees at Canyon Creek Park in northwest Reno on Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015.
A playground sits empty on Robb Drive in northwest Reno on Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015. 
Snow blankets a baseball diamond at Terrace Sports Complex in northwest Reno on Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015. 
A trail is open for business behind Rollan Melton Elementary School in northwest Reno on Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015.
Snowfall partially obscures mountains and a neighborhood behind Rollan Melton Elementary School in northwest Reno on Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015.
Snow-capped rocks overlook a trail behind Rollan Melton Elementary School in northwest Reno on Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015. 

Monday, March 02, 2015

Fifty Shades of Red, White and Blue

A lot of people didn't like this Saturday Night Live spoof ad with Dakota Johnson and Taran Killam: 



It's not my favorite either (I own the Best of SNL Commercials DVD and have seen most of the others, so I have lots to choose from), but I think it's a success.

Solid satire will always have some edge to it. That's the point. In this case, the spot mocks overly treacly commercials that equate a product with serving in the military. The sketch injects that with recent reports of Western teenage girls joining ISIS. That second part might make this an artifact within a year (though it works now), but the first part will always be timely.

Some insurance companies cater to military families and thus incorporate the armed-forces element into their ads. Fair enough. Other product lines occasionally run a shout-out spot to the troops. Still, there's much fodder for satire any time someone uses the military (or any other patriotic trope) to sell things. Or even to sell itself, as is the case with the Kid Rock/NASCAR National Guard ad. (Seriously, that one's not far from the over-the-top Family Guy spoof that I'm pretty sure preceded it.)

For me, just as when an advertising campaign mars a formerly beloved song, so can it cheapen patriotism. The least we can do is joke about that once in a while, hit or miss. That's also very American.