Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Foo Fighters Ice Bucket Challenge

The Foo Fighters have just done the Ice Bucket Challenge to fight ALS, and nobody can top this creativity, so don't even try.

Dave Grohl channels his inner Sissy Spacek as the band re-create the scene in the 1976 film Carrie where they dump pigs blood onto poor Carrie at the prom. Only this time its the ice bucket being dumped onto Grohl, complete with prom dress and crown. Grohl also nominated John Travolta (who was in the original film) and Stephen King (who wrote the book of course). Taylor Hawkins takes on the Tommy Ross role, getting hit in the head by the bucket.

Remember to donate: www.alsa.org. The Foo Fighters new album Sonic Highways will be released November 10, 2014 with an HBO series documenting the making of it leading up to the release date. The eight episodes show the recording of each song in eight different United States cities, with each song representing the music that has come from the city where it was recorded.
'Sonic Highways' Album Cover

Celestina Warbeck Gets The Pottermore Spotlight

J.K. Rowling has added more new content to the Harry Potter universe via the Pottermore website. This one is also directly connected to Universal Studios Orlando and the new Diagon Alley section that was added to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Celestina Warbeck was a character mentioned in the books as one of the most popular singers in the wizarding world, and Molly Weasley's favorite singer. It's one of numerous new backgrounds given on a Harry Potter subject which is mentioned but not delved deeply into.

The character is portrayed in Diagon Alley, performing shows at different hours of the day, so it was only fitting to add some background to the character, with a full biography written about her from Rowling. It's located in the Chamber of Secrets area of Pottermore in the "Floo Powder" section. It also allows you to listen to a song which is performed at Universal Orlando called You Stole My Cauldron But You Can't Have My Heart. Can't get to Orlando? You can watch the entire Universal Orlando performance by Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees below:

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Fan Runs Onto Field; Takes Free Kick in West Ham-Tottenham Match

At the West Ham United-Tottenham Hotspur opening day Premier League match Saturday, a fan ran onto the field during the game when a free kick was being set up. He took the free kick and actually had it on target after getting it over the wall, though it was easily easily saved by the goalie. All the players turned to watch the ball as well, which was quite funny. I'd love to hear their reactions.
Still impressive considering he was wearing jeans, regular shoes, and being chased by security guards. Not only that, but it was more on target than the actual player's following free kick. Maybe he can help Manchester United, who lost their first opening day home game since 1972 at the hands of Swansea City.

Though the fan was promptly arrested after his kick. Maybe Ted Lasso put him up to it.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Robin Williams Dead At 63

Actor Robin Williams was tragically found dead in his home at age 63, confirmed by his wife and publicist.

Apparently it was a suicide by asphyxiation, and police in Marin County, CA were alerted around 12 PM and found him in his home. The news had caused his wikipedia page to briefly crash with so many people flooding to it. 

Williams had battled alcohol and drugs in the past, and recently went back into rehab this past July. He talked openly in the past about dealing with depression and recently it had returned, possibly triggering his suicide. Its sad news, and we often forget that just because someone is a famous comedian playing happy, funny characters in big movies and TV shows, that doesn't mean they can't have problems in real life just like anyone else. 

Since rising to fame in 1978 on the show "Mork and Mindy", he made millions laugh with roles in many incredibly popular movies, especially during the 90s with a string of hit family movies. However, he also took on many more dramatic roles as well. Here's just a sampling:
1987: Good Morning, Vietnam. 
1989: Dead Poets Society
1991: Hook
1992: Aladdin
1993: Mrs. Doubtfire
1995: Jumanji
1997: Good Will Hunting
1998: Flubber
2002: One Hour Photo
2006: Happy Feet
2009: Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian
2013: The Butler

Friday, August 8, 2014

Ted Lasso Makes Triumphant Return

You can't keep a good lad down. Former Tottenham Hotspur coach, for six and a half hours, Ted Lasso (Jason Sudeikis) is back and in a brand new role. After being fired from his new job as an NBC Sports anchor, Lasso teaches us some life lessons like "Early drinkin' means early drunkin" thanks to the early start times in America. We also learned his nickname, Wanker, and that all soccer teams must now be sponsored by a Middle Eastern airliner.

USA Men's National Team World Cup hero Tim Howard makes an appearance as well. I'd probably pay to listen to Sudeikis do actual commentary for one of the Premier League matches in character as Ted Lasso.

He also gets a call to coach a new Premier League team at the end! Check out the entire video:

The Premier League is back on NBC/NBC Sports Network August 16. They've done a great job with coverage. One can only hope FOX is able to step up their game when they begin World Cup hosting duties for the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup from Canada.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Portland Stakes its Claim as Soccer City USA

19,123 Fans Watching the Portland Thorns in Action
Portland, Oregon, the quirky city in the Pacific Northwest featured lovingly on IFC's Portlandia, has made it known to the world that it should be prime candidate for Soccer City USA. The amount of buzz they generated in the lead up to the MLS All Stars vs Bayern Munich match has been outstanding. It delivered as well thanks to a raucous and appreciative crowd. Though it will be remembered for Pep Guardiola not shaking Caleb Porter's hand after being a bit angry with a rough challenge in a friendly. The Portland Timbers are one of the best run franchises in Major League Soccer (MLS), with a waiting list for tickets as games are routinely sold out. Now, Seattle does average 40,000 fans per game at CenturyLink Field, which is more than the 20,000 that the Timbers home (Providence Park) holds, otherwise Portland would have at least 30,000 per game and probably more if there were more seats. Seattle has certainly done a fantastic job, but you just have to love Portland. Its a smaller city than Seattle, and not nearly as high profile.

There really is another big reason for Portland getting an advantage over Seattle...their support of their National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) team, the Portland Thorns FC. Sunday night on ESPN 2, the defending champs were in a must win situation against the Houston Dash and managed to pull off the win. This was in front of 19,123 fans, an NWSL record. This isn't just some fluke though, they routinely get around 14,000 fans to games, and have reached 10,000 season ticket holders, which is a huge number for a women's team anywhere in the world. It's more than some MLS, NHL, MLB and NBA teams have. They also were profitable in their very first year, a rarity for any new sports franchise. The Thorns feature Alex Morgan (USA), Christine Sinclair (Canada), Nadine Angerer (Germany), Tobin Heath (USA) and Vero Boquete (Spain) among others. But even players who aren't big International stars have become fan favorites.

The current NWSL leaders, Seattle Reign FC, have done well by boosting their attendance above 2013 numbers to see the likes of Hope Solo (USA), Nahomi Kawasumi (Japan), Sydney Leroux (USA), Megan Rapinoe (USA), Jess Fishlock (Wales) & Kim Little (Scotland). They do have a ways to go before catching Portland in attendance, but are building a strong fanbase. Granted, they aren't affiliated with the MLS owned Sounders and the Thorns are owned by the Timbers. However, you can just feel that even if the Thorns were not owned by the Timbers, they would still be pulling in big attendance numbers. The Thorns simply have one of the best stadium atmospheres in all of sports. Fans bring creative signs and tifos led by the Rose City Riveters supporters group. They constantly chant and cheer until the end of the match, light up flares to send up red smoke when the Thorns score and cheer on their team even in a loss. One can hope they rub off on the rest of the NWSL.

The Pacific Northwest rivals of Portland & Seattle have given rise to enthusiastic & involved soccer fans, and it is now starting to spread elsewhere.