I did not make this headline up
Encore is running old Bond movies every night at 8:00 throughout March. Last night as I sat through some of "Live and Let Die", I asked myself if Yaphet Kotto's Dr. Kanaga was the worst Bond villain ever. After thinking it over, I came to the conclusion that while bad, there have been far worse villains portrayed in the Bond series:
5 - Karl Stromberg (Curd Jurgens, The Spy Who Loved Me) - You know he's bad because he never smiles, won't shake your hand, and speaks in a clipped, monotone manner. Not a very original protrayal.
4 - Ernst Stavro Blofeld (Charles Gray, Diamonds Are Forever) - While Blofeld is arguably the greatest Bond villain, Gray's portrayal of him is just flat, lacking the creepiness of Donald Pleasance or the badassedness of Telly Savalas.
3 - Renard (Robert Carlyle, The World is Not Enough) - Preposterous character backstory coupled with zero charisma, Carlyle's Renard is just a boring thug.
2 - Gustav Graves (Toby Stephens, Die Another Day) - As if the Renard backstory wasn't preposterous enough, we have a guy who was born Korean only to be genetically altered to be a preening, sneering Englishman.
1 - Elliot Carver (Jonathan Pryce, Tomorrow Never Dies) - The least threatening of all the Bond villains, Pryce's Elliot Carver is essentially a ridiculous internet tough guy on steroids.
Bond fans - discuss....
It is a very slow time of year re: Michigan sports, and everyone seems to like our recent convo's about some personal stuff so lets push on. Today's question is: Where are you going for your Easter/Spring break this year? If you are staying put, then detail a favorite spring trip you took, but no MTV house party stories (is that still a thing?), we want to be gracious to our lady Mgobloggers.
It is hard to believe but the Softball season is nearly half way completed. We have finished the first segment of the schedule which is primarily weekend tournaments. The second segment of the schedule is the home series with Kent State then the start of the Big Ten Season.
We are currently 22-3 with loses to #1 Florida (twice) and #22 ASU. We are 7-3 over ranked teams, with wins against #3 Alabama (twice), #6 Florida State (twice), #9 Baylor and #21 ASU (twice).
We are ranked #3 this week in the Coaches Poll although we are tied with LSU, who are undefeated along with #1 Florida. Florida remained #1, and Oregon remained #2. We dropped to #4 in the USA Softball poll primarily due to the loss to ASU this past weekend.
Here are some of the team statistics and the national rank (in parentheses)
Batting Average: .345 (20th)
Home runs per game: 1.76 HR/G (4th)
OB %: .448 (13th)
Runs per game: 7.84 (15th)
Slugging %: .619 (5th)
Team ERA: 1.62 (10th)
One area of the game that we are certainly down as compared with previous years is overall team speed. We do not rank high in any of the typical "speed" catagories such as stolen bases, double per game and triples per game. This is a departure for Coach Hutch as she has always had great overall team speed. However, with the offense we have, the team speed is not as important because the timely hitting does enough damage.
We have a player that rank nationally in some important categories. Romo ranks in the top of 6 categories (10 games min).
B/A: 545 (6th)
Slugging %: 1.109% (4th)
OB %: .705 (2nd)
RBIs: 30 (20th)
Runs/game: 1.28 (8th)
HRs: 9 (T-6th)
As you can see, our offense is centered around Romo. The good thing is our 4, 5 and 6 hitters are good enough to bring her in as evidenced by Romo's Runs/Game statistic. If opposing teams choose to pitch to her, great. She will handle her business. If they choose to walk her, great. We have hitters behind her to bring her in.
I just hope more people realize what a very special player we have in Romo. We have not seen the likes of her in over a decade.
In the Individual pitching catagories, we have players in the following:
Ks per 7 innings (10 App min): Megan; 8.5 (32nd)
ERA (20 Inns min): Sara; .78 (9th)
BB per 7 Innings (10 App min): Haylie; 1.24 (17th)
It is great to see all three pitchers rank nationally. This is our core moving into the Big Ten season. Our bats will not be hot in every single game; however, we have 3 awsome pitchers that will keep us in games. This will lead to wins in tight games.
Overall a very good first half of the season. The first loss to Florida was tough to take, then the loss to ASU was heartbreaking. However, we had some very good wins that could have went the other way as well.
My prediction is we will lose one game each to Minny, Maryland and maybe PSU for a 27-3 second half record (20-3 B1G). This puts us at an overall record of 49-6. We will remain in the top 8 and host a Regional and then the Super Regional.
My prediction for the Regional (#3 Seed): Central Michigan (MAC Champ), Notre Dame (ACC Runner Up) and my dark-horse for Champion of the Horizon League: Oakland University.
The Super Regional will be at Alumni Field against La-Lafayette (#14 Seed).
There is no way the NCAA is going to let this go. Apparently this allows you to by pass NCAA rules and pay a player or team for certain things. Make a pledge, for example, that if they win you will give $20. Want a player to stay until they graduate, make a pledge for any amount you want and upon graduation the player will recieve the money. Like the idea, but how long before the NCAA puts it's foot down?
Hey Folks, I'm exploring EMBA programs with my final interviews to take place over the next two weeks. EMBA programs are pretty costly. I'm interested in hearing from the MGOCommunity on how an EMBA has impacted your career or the career of someone in your network. Examples of salary increases, promotions, increased exposure, global network and job opportunities, etc. would be great. Assume I will attend a top 15 program in the US.
The Softball Team got off to a good start today with a 9-1 Mercy-Rule win over San Jose State. We play #9 Baylor at 8pm at the annual Jdi Garman Classic at Cal State Fullerton.
Yesterday we lost to #1 Florida and #21 ASU. So another win today against #9 Baylor will certainly help the ole' spirits.
Premium Audio here: http://www.baylorbears.com/collegesportslive/?media=484096
Lawrence-CF, Christner-LF, Romero-2B, Blanco-1B, Sweet-C, Susalla-RF, Falk-DP, Swearingen-3B, Ramirez-SS. Wagner at P