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Saturday, January 14, 2006

After Friday The 13th... A Full Moon! And Moore... Much More...! ;)

Bizarre things happen sometimes...

Such as the untimely demise of my venerable TV set... smack dab on Friday The 13th... when I had commented the day before and all Friday itself that I did not believe in any bad luck associated with "Friday The 13th" - except when it comes to moviemaking and if you're a film director inheriting a "chapter of the saga"... better go with "Alan Smithee" then, after all is said and done and you have to "sign" the piece of "art" that comes out at the other end... of the creative process!

Saturday The 14th gives us a FULL MOON... how peculiar, in an interesting way of course!

And, all along, I had planned to spotlight today a most peculiar tragic coincidence - one that cost two lives, decades apart.

What were the odds indeed that two boxers separated by twenty years but bearing THE SAME NAME would both die in their prime...? Tis strange coincidences like these that give birth to talks of "curses" and "jinxes" - and here, we have the "curse of Davey Moore". The first Davey Moore died from a pounding he took in the ring, in 1963, during a televised bout to boot... and then there was the second Davey Moore (foolhardy and overzealous as he was - what was he thinking choosing to become a boxer under the name "Davey Moore"?!? Had he not seen what happened to the original - while he was boxing too? Obviously, the second Davey had not a bone of superstition in his body...)
The second Davey would see his bones crushed though - underneath his own car, in a bizarre accident. This reinforces the belief of there being a "curse" here, much more so than if the second Davey had also died in the ring (Benny The Kid had died in the ring and on TV in 1962 - the original Davey Moore had been one too many televised brutal deaths in too short a time span and boxing would not be televised as much as it had been after that tragedy. By the 1980s though, when the second Davey Moore was around, he could have always died LIVE... and only on pay-per-view.)

I am actually surprised no other boxers have tried to garner "instant notoriety" by taking the name... I am even more surprised to not have seen any WRESTLERS take the name to new... ah, better not go there. Surely it came to Vince McMahon's attention - but he chose not to do it. Maybe out of respect for the two young men who died so young. Maybe because he has some decency and even a superstitious streak to him, after all... wow... who knew. Most probably though it is simply because the name is far from being in the "public domain" yet - and he cannot copyright it exclusively to his "WWE" circus... the shame, eh, Vinnie Mac? *

Things like this though, ultimately, make you believe... Not in curses, hexes or jinxes - no. It makes us believe that there are such things as fate... destiny... kismet... and a greater meaning to all of the tiny events, tragic or trivial, that chain together to form... our history!


Friday, January 13, 2006

Curse Of Luminous Friday Night Videos! (And Not Only...)

Tis that time again - time for a new playlist to adorn The Luminous Blog... aka TLB Prime! And that alone is overshadowing today both the fact that we are not quite through yet here with our sub-series "spotlighting curses"... as well as the fact that today is Friday The 13th! (Yikes.)

Around here, there seems to be a curse presiding as it is, EVERY TWO FRIDAYS indeed... the curse of LFNV! Seems like each and every new playlist that comes on here has to have one or two tracks that simply will never play! Sometimes half the playlist won't play! It is unbearably frustrating! If these tunes are not available for playback - why allow me to choose them and add them to my playlist then?!? No one at Video Code Zone will ever answer me on that one! Another reason mayhaps for "Luminous Friday Night Videos" to be cursed... would be that the name vaguely reminds one of a cheap flick titled Friday Night Lights - which does not star a Luciano (thank God) but does star a Lucas! Lucas Black... if I am not mistaken, an actor who was an important part of the short-lived series American Gothic... but that is another story! The main two reasons why Friday Night Lights is such a sorry excuse for wasting celluloid are: actor Billy Bob Thornton (good old Billy Bob - and I can't like nor trust a Thornton since choker Joe, so...) AND director Peter Berg... Having some sort of kinship to their joint effort must be a curse all unto itself...

As for today's spotlighted curse - it also lacks credibility seeing as it dates back no further than 1997 and was allegedly so stylistically and dramatically worded by a frustrated Houston football fan... When Houston redneck sports fans are that loquacious and well-spoken, in the spur of the moment, I'll be ready to sign up for kamikaze operations or something! NO ONE down south (or up north for that matter - past the 49th parallel) can come up with the following "just like that"...

"They have cursed us with this, and all of the heartbreak and misery of losing for so many years. Our city's name will be attached to this disgrace forever. For that, I curse them, the Tennessee team will not win a Super Bowl until Houston gets a new team, and the new team wins two of them!"

The "disgrace" in question was having lost what was to be one of the Houston Oilers' last few playoff appearances EVER... and to lose it to the BUFFALO BILLS (who would garner the dishonor of losing four straight Super Bowls!) in what was deemed "the NFL's Greatest Comeback" ever in post-season history... is quite disgraceful indeed. Especially since the franchise folded afterwards - and was moved to true redneck country - in Tennessee!

"Friday Night Lights", by the way, looks like it was filmed in some southern area of the United States indeed... No Super Bowls there since it is college or high school football... Every college football player dreams of being in The Big Game one day though - and to enjoy its ancillary festivities from within! Ancillary festivities which constitute Super Bowl Sunday (sometimes "Super Sunday"), and has made it become, over the years, pretty much a de facto American national holiday!
Truth is, "football" is the name given to a number of different team sports - and Americans only ripped it off! The most popular of these world wide is Association football, which is called soccer in several countries. However the term is also applied to Rugby football (Rugby union and Rugby league), Australian rules football, Gaelic football... as well as American and Canadian football.

Did you know that Tennessee was also named by a very lost Spanish explorer? The earliest variant of the name that became Tennessee was recorded by Captain Juan Pardo, the famed Spanish explorer, when he and his men passed through a Native American village named "Tanasqui" in 1567 while travelling inland from South Carolina. Those Spaniards... they are STILL looking for that Fountain of Youth and El Dorado... eh? Maybe a séance tonight is in order - just to ask Ponce de Léon directions to these places or something...!

Speaking of superstitious/paranormal beliefs... just steer clear from ladders and black cats today - just in case!

And now... 13 for 13! The thirteen songs for a Friday the 13th... forget the fact that they will stick around here for two entire weeks (that is, if the playlist doesn't screw up completely - and I lose it and scrap it and make up a new one over at "freefreevideos" or something...!)

So - take a breather - yeah, BREATHE! Once again, the playlist's randomly picked tunes (one artist led to another near the end there) have a little something for every taste... just about!



Thursday, January 12, 2006

The Curse of S.I. Today - Not CSI - S.I.

The nasty rumors that merely gracing the cover of this particular magazine is a major jinx that forebodes all manners of bad luck heading your way shortly thereafter are... well... to put it mildly... rather silly!

It is true that, as we have seen in previous posts, some individuals and sports franchises have gone through hard times shortly after getting spotlighted on the cover of Sports Illustrated... However, it is a small percentage of those spotlighted that actually went through a really rough time afterwards. It is nothing like The Madden Curse, which has been unrelenting affecting each and every athlete who ever graced the jacket of a new edition of the Madden NFL game! Or that athlete's team...! Now THAT is consistency! For a curse or jinx, that is...

Sports Illustrated, in sharp contrast, has featured many a blissful athlete who remained untouched by any bad karma his whole career through... Plus, they have had the laaaadies... on all of those swimsuit issues covers! I have never heard of any of these lamenting about their getting the nod (and honor - and privilege) to grace the cover of that landmark annual "event" of an issue...! It was no bad luck to their careers at all - it was supposed to be a stepping stone or a crowning achievement, even!

Hmm... then again... I have never heard of pretty much any of them - after their heralded brief moment in the spotlight, frozen in time on a glossy cover forevermore... Even Cheryl Tiegs and Christie Brinkley have gone by the way side... whatever they are up to these days...! Carol Alt... hmm... did she ever grace the cover? Heidi Klum's aura of nymph-like interest (otherwise referred to as "the buzz around her") was ephemereal at best... Need I go on?

Having said all that... even those athletes who have seemed not to be affected by their passage on the cover of S.I. (such as Muhammad Ali and Bobby Orr, seen here) have eventually gone from "the Greatest" to "the former star" faster than it takes the average adolescent to thumb through the models section of those special swimsuit issues...!


Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Blackhawks... Were Never Like That!

Okay - the title today is an uninspired attempt at evoking an old Gino Vanelli song that was actually about black... cars!
The Curse of Muldoon has prevented the Chicago Black Hawks from "finishing first" - whether in their division or, one could theorize, "first over all" which would be when one is the last team standing... the Stanley Cup champion! And the Hawks have not finished first in that absolute sense since 1961. (They will not finish first in any way imagineable by recuperating the likes of Martin Lapointe... a player the Boston Bruins could not wait to see depart for somewhere else! Ironically, Bruins and Black Hawks are linked by another curse still - the curse of the Espositos! "There is a Curse of the Espositos, resulting from the 1967 trade of Phil Esposito, Ken Hodge and Fred Stanfield to the Bruins for Pit Martin, Jack Norris and Gilles Marotte. This trade not only gave the Bruins the scorer they needed to join with defenseman Bobby Orr to become Stanley Cup champions and a perennial contender, but may also have denied the Hawks the chance to win some Cups, and denied Phil a chance to play alongside his brother, Tony Esposito, who arrived in a trade from the Montreal Canadiens in 1970." ~ I knew Phil to be into some cussing but... wow, a curse all his own! Well, okay, he shares it with brother Tony... but that is another story, of course.)

Muldoon was no goon, by the way - he was in fact the Hawks' coach who was unjustly and quite unceremoniously fired by team owner Frederic McLaughlin after his team lost its very first playoff series in 1927 to... the Boston Bruins.

The Hawks' top line was comprised of Mickey MacKay, Babe Dye, and Dick Irvin (...) "each finishing near the top of the league's scoring race". And I thought "Babe Ruth" sounded effeminate... "Babe Dye" takes the cake! As for Dick Irvin... NOW I understand why his prodigal son had such bias against the Boston Bruins during the course of his broadcasting career...


Tuesday, January 10, 2006

And Now For A Truly "Seasonal Curse"...

From baseball to... hockey! Finally! And the Curse of 1940... a curse that was but no longer is, much like the Curse of the Bambino...
And, much like the latter one too, it seems to have great chances of being "on" again! Yikes... Some ailments we can only obtain temporary relief from, sadly enough.

The New York Rangers were unable to win the Stanley Cup ; and, unlike Babe Ruth, the prime suspect -Mervyn "Red" Dutton- has never hidden the fact that he did curse the Rangers! He was quoted saying that they would never win the Cup as long as he would live! And it came to pass all right - for he passed away in 1987, and the last Cup win for the Rangers at that time had been in 1940 indeed. They would finally get over the hump in 1994 - but it proved to be extremely difficult (much like Raymond Bourque's quest for a Cup was - getting close twice with Boston, then again with Colorado... he finally won it with the Avalanche, but everyone agreed that it had been one of the hardest Cups to clinch EVER! Bourque was jinxed too - no doubt about that! Hey - he had to be ; he grew up practically where I GREW UP! We all get jinxed around these unhospitable parts... but that is another story!)

Ironically, one harrowing bit of "evidence" that seems to prove that the Rangers were indeed cursed happened to Brian Leetch - the defenseman who is, for all intents and purposes replacing the jinxed Ray Bourque in the Boston Bruins line-up... "In 1993, with hopes high, the Rangers finished last, largely because of an injury to defenseman Brian Leetch. In the kind of incident many fans ascribe to curses, Leetch arrived at the Garden in a taxi, stepped out, and broke his ankle when he slipped on a patch of ice, a most ironic injury for a hockey player."

Hmm... 1993... the year that the Bourque and Neely Boston Bruins proved (to me anyway) that they too were affected by the curse of the Bambino - somehow! As I always say, the uncrowned Stanley Cup champions of 1993 are the Boston Bruins team that comprised Dave Poulin, Andy Moog, Brian Smolinski, Adam Oates, Cam Neely and Bourque - among others! Poulin has been quoted saying "this team had it all" and it would have gone all the way if they had not somehow trampled all over themselves and shot themselves in the... ah... skates? Losing three of four games in overtime in the very first round of the playoffs... Three games they would have easily won under normal circumstances! Shocking AND revolting... But I digress...

Another amazing bit of synchronicity for you, in regards to the once (and current again?) "curse of 1940" - in 1994, "(New York State rival) Devils fans had picked up the "1940" chant and the curse myth from (other State rival) Islander fans, and it was noted that the hockey seating capacity of the Brendan Byrne Arena (later renamed the Continental Airlines Arena) was 19,040. The series went the full seven games, and the Rangers led 1-0 when Valeri Zelepukin scored with 7.7 seconds remaining in regulation. Many Ranger fans were sure that the Curse of 1940 had struck again. But in the second overtime, Stephane Matteau scored to give the Rangers the game and the series."
Numbers don't lie - but that was a sign that this curse would be reversed - temporarily at least! Much like the curse of the Bambino indeed, in 2004... exactly ten years later... hmm... Nope - numbers don't lie!
Count Your Blessings!


Monday, January 09, 2006

Hernandez And Morrissey - together again for the first time

The intertwining of the cursing continues today with "the curse of Keith Hernandez" - infielder and cocaine user extraordinaire! Just like Rocky and the Bambino, he was ousted from the team and the city that he had grown to be so attached to... and he went cussing, apparently. Just like the Bambino, he wound up in New York - the Mets rather than the Yankees though. The similarities end there, for Hernandez was already addicted to cocaine while with the St-Louis Cardinals - his coming to New York simply gave him a wider array of suppliers... The Bambino became addicted to booze while in New York ; in Boston, he was just fine... but it is another story we've covered already...

Of course, the cursed team here is the St-Louis Cards, who have seen bizarre and revolting turn ot events rob them from many a championship since Hernandez's departure... Their loss to the Boston Red Sox in the 2004 World Series completed the breaking of the Curse of the Bambino. First instance of curses meeting and getting tangled up... In the 2005 National League Championship Series, "the Cardinals lost to the Houston Astros, who had never won a pennant in their previous 43 seasons of play, and whom they had beaten in the previous year's NLCS. But the Astros went on to lose the World Series to the Chicago White Sox, both breaking the Curse of the Black Sox and extending the Curse of Judge Hofheinz."
All curses were seen together, after the game, sharing a brewski...

Keith Hernandez though lacks the larger-than-life quality of a Bambino, a Judge or even a bunch of Black Sox...! Just my opinion - but I have little respect for cocaine users, crack-er jacks, sniffers, pushers, junkies, druggies, shooters, smokers and everyone associated with their sorry lot! Hernandez was a part of the most disgusting line-up EVER in the history of major league baseball - the New York Mets of 1986 (who, incidentally, prolonged the Curse of the Bambino by a few more years when they snatched victory from the Red Sox that year - the Sox may have had adulterer Wade Boggs batting for them, but they had a line-up of players with CLASS in comparison with the thugs of New Amsterdam...! Jim Rice, Spike Owen, Don Baylor, Dwight Evans, Marty Barrett, Rich Gedman, Calvin Schiraldi, Dave Henderson... even Bob Stanley and Bill Buckner! These guys deserved to win... NOT the jerks that surrounded Hernandez at all... Baseball records do not tell of the lows that some of these players would reach, off the field for the most part.)

Keith Hernandez, of course, insists that he never cursed the team that he was so proud of being a part of in the early days of his career - which is, to me, akin to the Curse of Morrissey! Morrissey's "praise and support to young bands during the 1980s and '90s" - which translated into short-lived success, if any... Just check out the list of bands that Morrissey praised so passionately - none are even vaguely familiar...!

Another curse I just noticed... the curse of the non-compliant PCs! Static builds up on the damn modem... nothing's working... the PC looks like a useless piece of junk... and then, a mere thirty seconds of unplugging the black cord of the modem and everything is back to normal. Hmm... Tis would be the curse of technology in my vicinity - even when things have no apparent reason to malfunction, they still do!
Okay - I am better now!


Sunday, January 08, 2006

Judge Not Or Thou Shall Be Judged...!

Oops... another Baseball-related curse! Spoke too soon yesterday, when I clamored for more "seasonal curses" (and the moment I did, temperatures dipped from "mere cold" to "bitter cold" levels... hmm... curse of the thermostat? Hey - stat! Statistics Sundays creeping its head into today's post... Yay).

The Curse of Judge Hofheinz is suspicious though... "Because the team's first owner, Judge and former Houston Mayor Roy Hofheinz, was the first baseball team owner to put his team in a domed stadium (the Astrodome) and the first to use artificial turf, it has been suggested that "the baseball gods" placed a curse on the team."
HA! Was it Pan then? I figure that Pan, who hangs out in the woods so much, would supply the materials to make all of those baseball bats...! And the paperwork to place all those illegal bets on the outcome of post-season play... for the likes of Paste Pot Pete there... *lol* But that is another story...

I suspect these so-called "baseball gods" of course to be something *else* entirely, quite evidently... No Pans, no deadpans, no seytans and no teflons here... but rather the ghosts of old-tyme players! No one any more purist than those guys! Thus, you see where I am getting at here... I see the Bambino creeping his head into this one too! And DiMaggio... And Mantle... And Gehrig... All those Damn Yankees, basically... Yogi Berra too (wait - Yogi isn't dead yet - is he? No; dead men don't sue *Sex And The City* for defamation of character... I think!) But no - not the Chicago "Black Sox" - no!
These alleged "baseball gods" don't always hang out in Costner's Field of Dreams (dreams and extra innings - right?) - they will roam all the ballparks of the world too! Okay - maybe not the entire world; but since a Boston paper coined the term "World Series", the impression of worldliness has remained... And the fact that players from the Dominican Republic and other South American countries are in the major leagues help in giving that impression greater credence... But really now; with all teams (except one lousy one - used to be two lousy ones) based in the United States - I see not much worldly flavor other than some latino names up and down the batting order! But I digress...
Hence, the ghosts of these reputed-to-be "baseball gods" scoffed at the sacrilege perpetrated in Houston! They gasped in horror as they saw "astroturf" replace natural grass; they who always played the game on grass (not meaning that they were high or anything like that though - heck, there weren't even steroids around back in the day!) and they were enraged not to see an open sky anymore (to properly ascend again - lest I am assuming too much in thinking that these ghosts are heavenly bound in any way... but I am digressing again!)
And now Houston has to pay the price - for they have sinned, see? They shall be cast out from the Field of Dreams... when they all croak that is!? They shall never get over the hump... or is that over the pitcher's mound? Whatever... Houston - we have a problem! The "baseball gods" don't like you - and you will never win it all now... never! The 2005 post-season is quite telling; they finally got past the League Championship Series... only to lose the World Series in a SWEEP... losing to a team that had not won it all in 88 years (the Chicago White Sox - not the Red Sox! Boston had not won in 85 years when THEY swept the St-Louis Cardinals in 2004. The same Cardinals Houston got by in 2005... only to lose again but for the first time in the World Series! Ow - the wrath of the gods is as cruel as ever... even when these are the deities of America's favorite pasttime and not a bonafide pantheon of old myth here). Of course, you will note my sarcastic tone here and generally disbelieving tone; for there are no "gods" - there is only One God!
And the Astros just have lousy timing; that's all there really is to it!


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