The New Democrat Online

Monday, November 24, 2014

Harry Ransom Center: Video: The Mike Wallace Interview: Diana Dors in 1957



I don't know a whole lot about Diana Dors. Over the last few months I've been watching a few of her films to get to know more about her, because what I've seen and heard about her, has been very interesting and have been pretty impressed. The so-called Silent Generation of people born in the mid to late 1920s and 1930s lets say, produced several very attractive Hollywood goddess's that all had multiple talents. Gorgeous, sexy baby-face women that all had multiple talents. Marilyn Monroe, Jayne Mansfield and Diana Dors are all from this era.

There are several others from this era including Kim Novak, Angie Dickenson and Barbara Eden. But I mention Marilyn, Jayne and Diana, because they were very similar in talents and abilities and perhaps even personalities and how they presented themselves. And were all advertised as Hollywood bombshells that could do multiple things. Both Marilyn and Jayne just didn't bomb out, but both died in their mid-thirties from apparent suicides from drug abuse. Diana by far had the longest and most successful career from these three entertainers.

That is a big reason why I'm so interested in Diana Dors. She made it, unlike Marilyn Monroe and Jayne Mansfield. She had a fairly long career, especially compared to the others and wasn't just a Hollywood bombshell or a blonde bimbo. She wasn't a bimbo, but someone who had a very good career as an actress and had staying power. And had a successful career as an actress for thirty years until she did in the mid 1980s. She died early as well in her early fifties, but had a very good and even long career, unlike Marilyn and Jane.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Best Domain Vidz: Video: NFL Films: NFL 1958-Championship-Baltimore Colts @ New York Giants: The Most Important Game in NFL History


This post was originally posted at FRS Citizen Journal on Blogger

Was the 1958 NFL Championship game the best game ever played, well if you look at the 5-6 turnovers in that game and both teams getting in the red zone and not scoring and other mistakes like that of course not. The 1967 NFC Championship between the Dallas Cowboys and the Green Back Packers especially if you consider the weather conditions and where the game was played in Green Bay, Wisconsin, was a much better played game. 

But the Cowboys and Packers still manages to play very well in that game. Even though it was played under those conditions. And the Hall of Fame head coaches Tom Landry and Vince Lombardi coaching that game and all the Hall of Fame players that played in that game. Cowboys DT Bob Lilly, WR Bob Hayes, CB Mell Renfro. For the Packers QB Bob Starr, OT Forrest Gregg, OG Jerry Kramer, DE Willy Davis, LB Ray Nitchke and others. I believe thats the greatest game ever played as far as the quality of the game.

And that's different from the most important game ever played. Because the 1958 NFL Championship had more to do with the future of the NFL as well as pro football. It made it easier to form the American Football League because of the attention that the 58 NFL Championship got, because now it was clear that there was room in America for more than twelve Pro football franchises, that were all in the NFL. And the NFL wasn't looking to expand, but instead consolidate the revenue that it had. 

The NFL had just survived the Korean War where it lost players to that war, World War II obviously same thing the Great Depression and somehow survived financially from that and came out better and on top from where it was before. What makes the 1958 NFL Championship and yes it was a very well played game and even a great game to watch as far as how entertaining it was, was for one it was the most important game ever played. You're talking about the two best teams in pro football playing for the NFL Championship in New York at Yankee Stadium in front of a live national televised audience, with two great football teams that had great coaching. 

For the Baltimore Colts coached by Weeb Ewbank who's in the Hall of Fame. For the New York Giants, forget about their head coach Jim Lee Howell and (I know with a name like Jim Lee Howell how can you forget that name) but you got Vince Lombardi as the offensive coordinator and Tom Landry as the defensive coordinator. As they say in Brooklyn, forget about it! That's all you need to know about the Giants coaching staff.  

And then you Hall of Famers for the Colts like QB John Unitas the greatest ever, RB Len More, RB Alan Ameche who scored the winning TD in the game, OT Jim Parker maybe the greatest OT of all time. WR Ray Berry one of the greatest possession WR of all time. DE Gino Marchetti maybe the greatest DE of all time, CB Johnny Sample and many others. The 1958 Giants as far as Hall of Famers, on offense RB Frank Gifford, on defense DT Andy Robostelli, DT Rosey Greer, MLB Sam Huff. 

These are three of the greatest defenders of all-time and they had the best defense in the NFL as well and scored enough points to win. With  Frank Gifford, FB Alex Webster, WR Tobin Rote and QB Charlie Connerly who could both run and pass and do them well. Anytime you get a matchup like that, under those conditions in a championship final on network TV and radio with all the major newspapers covering the game, you got something special, the NFL at this point was a major sports league. 

But Major League Baseball was still number one and college football was probably number two as far as team sports. But this game set the stage because of the audience it drew, still one of the highest rated programs and intended games in pro sports history, for the NFL by the early 1970s to be the dominant sports league in America if not the world. 

What the 1958 NFL Championship Final did, was set the stage for the NFL and the AFL to become the number one sports league in America because of the teams that played it, the players that played in it, how well they played. And of course the audience it drew, because now America could see how great of a sport pro football was and decided they wanted to see a lot more of it. 



Elias Estrada: Video: MSG's New York Giants Chronicles: Mark Bavaro, The Giants Horse



When I think of great all around tight ends, I think of guys who can block first, which is the most important job of a tight end. Has good hands and catches the ball well and catches the ball well in traffic. And can run with the ball, doesn't have to be fast, but who gets open and can gain yards after the catch. Mark Bavaro had all of those skills and was great in all of those areas and then some perhaps to the point that when he was healthy, you are not only talking about the greatest tight end of the 1980s, but perhaps the greatest tight end of all-time when he was healthy and in his prime.

Today's tight ends are almost thought and only thought of as big receivers who are supposed to catch the ball, especially on third down and in the red zone. "Yeah and if he can block, great, but we are going to throw the ball forty times a game anyway. And we may just run the ball to give our quarterback's arm a little break". But there's a really important reason why the tight end lines up next to the offensive tackle. Because the TE is an extension of the offensive line and his job is to block and help the OT with double teams.

If your tight end doesn't block, you are not going to run the ball very well. Because now the defense will always have a linebacker free on the outside to stuff the run or rush the QB. And the smart defenses will lineup their best blitzing outside linebacker against the weak pass catching TE. To take advantage of that matchup, but if you do that against Mark Bavaro, you are now risking your best blitzer getting stuffed at the line of scrimmage. Because Mark Bavaro was like another offensive tackle with his ability to block.

Mark Bavaro was perfect for New York City and North Jersey and Bill Parcells. Tough blue-collar Italian guy like Bill Parcells who fit in so perfectly with that community. Not just Italian-Americans in that area, but the broader working class of the New York area. And had it not of been for his leg injuries, we are not only talking about a first ballot Hall of Famer who would already be in the Hall of Fame right now, but perhaps the greatest all around tight end of all-time. That is how great Mark Bavaro was.

Blitz Burghed: Video: The Immaculate Reception: The Starts of the Raiders-Steelers Rivalry


This post was originally posted at FreeStateExtra on Blogger

To me for a rivalry to be great or for it to even be a rivalry, the two teams involved have to at least be good. Not just consistent winners, but consistent playoff teams. Not teams that generally 8-8 or 9-7 or worst and every few years sneak into the playoffs. But teams where just getting to the playoffs is not enough for them to have a successful season. Teams that have it as their goal every year to win their division and win the league championship. 

The New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcon Fans and even though both teams are good now and making the playoffs and in the Saints case winning the Super Bowl in 2009, but historically both franchises have either been mediocre or bad. The Falcons didn't make the playoffs until 1978, their twelfth season and are now in their forty-eighth season and they have only made the playoffs in back-to-back seasons once. The Saints didn't even have a winning season until 1987 their 21st season and played and won their first Super Bowl Iin 2009 their forty-third season. So Falcon-Saint games traditionally haven't meant much.

Unlike Packer-Bear games, Packer-Viking games, Bear-Viking games, Redskins-Cowboys, Redskins- Giants etc. It's when the games are important that they have meaning is when they become rivalry's because that's when both teams prepare real well and tend to play their best and when the games are played real hard and physical and get real tense and you see big hits and borderline cheap shots and everything else. And the fans really get into it and even go to the other teams stadiums to watch their team play that the games become rival games. Which is exactly what you get in the NFC East where everyone is a big rival of the other.

That's exactly what the Steeler-Raider rivalry was in the 1970 and 80s to a certain extent. Because every time they played in this time period, their games were about who would have home field advantage in the AFC Playoffs. And have the better chance of winning the AFC Championship and going to the Super Bowl. And the rivalry that the Pittsburgh Steelers had with the Oakland Raiders in the 1970s, is similar to the rivalry the Steelers have with the New England Patriots today because they are playing for home field advantage in the AFC Playoffs almost every time they play each other.

But with the Steelers-Raiders rivalry of the 70s, you're talking about two of the three best franchises of the 70s that made the AFC Playoffs a total of sixteen times, that won fifteen division championships between the two of them. Won five AFC Championships and won five Super Bowls. They knew to get to where they wanted to go they were going to have to beat the other team. It was really that simple because both teams in this decade both had the same goal every year, win the Super Bowl. And since they were both in the AFC, that meant beating the other team especially in the AFC Playoffs just to get to the Super Bowl and this why this rivalry was so great and intense. 

Rivalry's are between two good teams and franchises, otherwise they don't mean anything. They're just another game, rivalry games are important, even when one team may be having a down year because they can make their season by beating the other team. Which would be like their championship. "We didn't do much this year, but at least we beat that team and made their season a little more difficult. Perhaps cost them a home game in the playoffs". And the team who lost that game remembers losing that game, takes that with them going into the next season and try's to get their revenge, which makes the rivalry that much greater.






Zuguide Movie Trailers: Video: Wag The Dog 1997 Trailer: A Movie About a Real Made Up Presidential Scandal


This post was originally posted at FRS FreeStatePlus on Blogger

The late 1990s was a crazy and fascinating time for many reasons politically and other things and also one of the best periods for Hollywood as far as making movies. Some of my favorite movies of all-time come from 1997-99. Wag the Dog 1997 being one of them, Jackie Brown 1997 being another as far as I'm concern the best Quentin Tarratino movie of all-time. Out of Sight 1998 being another one, Primary Colors 1998 another one of my favorite movies. Cop Land 1997, The Big Lebowski 1998 maybe my favorite comedy of all-time with a great comedy duo in Jeff Bridges and John Goodman. Very Bad Things 1998 another very funny movie, Wild Things 1998 very funny.

But one movie in particular because it fit in perfectly with the times especially politically. The Monica Lewinski scandal breaks in January 1998 the same month that the Pope visits Cuba which I doubt made the United States Government very happy especially with their embargo policy of Cuba. And also when President Clinton was probably at his most popular. Wag the Dog came out about a year earlier, in the Summer of 1997, two American embassies in East Africa were bombed and then America attacks both Sudan and Afghanistan. 

Because the Clinton Administration believed that the Sudanese Government had a role of the African bombings. Again we attack Afghanistan as well that same month August 1998, but here's the thing and why Wag the Dog is so relevant. That movie is about people working for the White House creating the appearance of a war in order to get the media and people's attention off the latest sex scandal of the President.

After America attacked Sudan and Afghanistan by sending in missile strikes, Republicans in Congress Senator Dan Coates of Indiana whose generally a pretty rational and responsible person, right away questions whether the missile strikes had something to do with the Lewinski scandal. And was done as a distraction just like in the movie Wag the Dog and even said something to that effect. "I wonder or I hope this is not a Wag the Dog moment for President Clinton". The movie came out just a few months before the Lewinski scandal broke. Wag the Dog is a movie about the President being in trouble with another sex scandal. He's a popular President up until the scandal and looks like he's flying to reelection.

But the scandal breaks and of course his opponent in the race a U.S. Senator played by Craig Nelson try's to make the most out of it. Senator Nelson lets say is way down in the polls and is looking for anything he can to break through. Someone in the White House calls in a veteran big shot political strategist to deal with the scandal played by Robert DeNiro and he gets the idea that what the President needs is a distraction. To get the country's attention off of the sex scandal and comes up with the idea of a fake war and hire a Hollywood producer played by Dustin Hoffman to put this show together. 

Wag the Dog is a great movie for several reasons, one because of how relevant it is, perhaps not realistic though especially in the information age. And this movie did come out in 1997 as far as them being able to cover up a fake war without the Defense Department, CIA or someone knowing about it. But it's still a very funny movie, well written and a great cast Robert DeNiro, Dustin Hoffman, Bill Macy, Ann Heche, Craig Nelson, Dennis Leary and others. And how desperate that these politicos were to save a Presidency and would even create a fake war to do that.






Frank Russo: Video: Captain: The Thurman Munson Story: Mr. New York Yankee of The 1970s


This post was originally posted at FRS Citizen Journal on Blogger

I'm not an expert on Thurman Munson, he died in 1979 and I didn't start watching baseball until 1983 but what I've heard about Thurman Munson, is that there's not nearly enough information or reporting about him one of the most underrated and under appreciated baseball players of all time. We are talking about one of the best all around Catchers of the 1970s, right there with Carlton Fisk and Johnny Bench. Same skills as both players but ran better and could hit for a better average. 

This was a catcher who was a 300 hitter and back then that almost never happened. Besides I'm a Baltimore Orioles fan and the New York Yankees are our arch rivals and Orioles fans hate the Yankees and we had a very good rivalry with each other in the 1970s and 80s and the Yankees cost the Orioles a three division titles in the mid and late 1970s, 76-78. But again what I've heard and know about Munson, is a great all around catcher who was headed to the Hall of Fame. 

And even though he only played eleven seasons 1969-79, again since he was one of the best all around catchers of an entire decade that alone should be enough to give Thurman Munson consideration for the Hall of Fame. Anytime you're one of the best players at your positions and one of the best players in the game for an entire decade, that alone should give you strong consideration to be in the Hall of Fame. But thats not up to me but it took a plane crash in the Summer of 1979 to keep Thurman Munson out of the Hall of Fame because he's a player that played in pain constantly, similar to Mickey Mantle another great Yankee and who was headed to the Hall of Fame.

If you want to know if Thurman Munson was a great baseball player or not, you need to know what makes a great baseball player. To me thats someone with no glaring weakness's and at least with a few glaring strengths and you show these skills consistently for a solid period of time, 5-7 or ten years to me for a catcher to be a great Catcher, you can't just be a guy that calls a great game, defends his position well and throws the ball well, Rick Dempsey of the Orioles did all of those things very well. 

And for about ten years about as well as they could be done. But he was basically a 230 hitter with very little if any power and not much of a run producer his entire career. But he was a good clutch hitter in the playoffs but that alone even with being a great Defensive Catcher. Doesn't get you in the Hall of Fame, the reason why Thurman Munson was a great catcher because he did everything that Rick Dempsey could do if not better. 

But he was also a 300 Hitter who drove in runs. Who also had solid power but not great power but definite threat to go deep. In the American League the two best catchers in the 1970s were Carlton Fisk and Thurman Munson and you could go either way and for that decade I would lean towards Munson, because he played through injuries without losing production. Fisk missed a lot of time because of injuries. When I think of the term captain as it relates to sports, I think of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar of the Los Angeles Lakers who his teammates called Cap. 

But captain also fits Thurman Munson of the New York Yankees who was not only the captain of his teams but the leader the quarterback, the on field coach of that team that his teammates knew they better do their jobs or the captain was going to get on them. Who always did whatever he could to make sure his players were in the best position that they could be so they could play as well for the Yankees as possible. Thurman Munson was the Captain of the New York Yankees.





Saturday, November 22, 2014

Basketball Doc: Video: ESPN's SportsCentury: Dr. J Julius Erving, The Doctor Runs Basketball House



If you think about Dr. J as the dunker and watch all of his dunking highlights and that is all you know about him from mostly a basketball pop or hip hop culture perspective, what you know about Julius Erving is probably only what you've seen about him on ESPN or YouTube. And you are even too dumb or too young and perhaps both to truly understand the greatness of Julius Erving. Julius wasn't a great dunker, but a great basketball player who also happens to be perhaps the best dunker of all-time. But that was just part of Julius's greatness.

The Doctor of Basketball was also a great defender and a great rebounder. Think about it, 6'6 or 6'7 small forward with thirty-thousand career points and ten-thousand rebounds. How many other small forward have done that, no one else. A great man-on-man defender who could stop his man, but always knew what else was going around him. How did he get all of those great breakaway dunks, by playing the passing lanes and picking off passes and exploding to the bucket for those great dunks. Or running the floor with someone else feeding him the ball.

The Philadelphia 76ers of the late 1970s and early 1980s were perfect for Dr. J. Because they were a great defensive team that scored a lot of their points by taking the ball away from the other team and running the floor. Which fit Julius perfectly because that is how he played. And then add Moses Malone to the picture in 1983 and now you have a great defensive and breakaway team that now has a dominant force in the middle on both offense and defense and the 76ers became complete.

Dr. J became a great team player in 1983 with Moses Malone, because now he had another great player around him and no longer needed to do everything for the 76ers to win. And could rely on Moses and make his other teammates better and use them as well and just play his great all around game on both offense and defense. And what you had as a result are the 1983 Philadelphia 76ers as simply one of the best pure teams of all-time with Julius leading the way. And we got to see how truly great a player Julius was and he and the 76ers got the rewards of his greatness.