Best Reader Comment for June 2014

Time once again to look back at the month that passed and select the reader who contributed the best feedback.  Past winners have included Abrawang, Bill Beck, CrankyCuss, EyeSpye, LibbyLiberalNYC, MalcolmXY, Pat Malone, Margaret Feike, Matt McMillan, Jan Sand, and Bob Skye.  The "chosen one" for June 2014 is Robert La Vallie who submitted a tsunami of excellent comments.

My favorite was this short but hilarious retort to my post "A Good Time to Be a Sports Fan:"

It is funny. Your title of this topic is "A Good Time to Be a Sports Fan." Then, you mention soccer. Soccer is not a sport. It is a foo foo activity with dots on the ball. 

Then, he hit the keypad and went on a roll with some brilliant doozies:

Response to May's Reader of the Month
by Robert

I have to admit that I was a bit disappointed last night that I did not win the post of the month. Nothing against the winner, but let's face it, it really wasn't that good. I then looked at myself, and, in all honesty, I could hardly blame Kikstad, as really, from what did he have to select? Very little. And so, with this entry, I fully anticipate winning this month's award. So, what shall we talk about? 

One word. Conan.

Yes, it is true. Conan, or should I say, KING Conan, hits the theatres just in time for Christmas next year. 

Thankfully, this takes place after Conan the Barbarian. It bypasses the ridiculous Conan the Destroyer and the terrible 2011 remake. According to Arnold Schwarzenegger, "Conan is very much alive. Age doesn't mean anything to me, because I work out every day. I work out twice a day, as a matter of fact. At night I work out with weights, and in the morning I do cardiovascular training. So for me, to get on the set and to swing the sword around again and to ride the horses and all those things doesn't mean anything [does not scare me], because I feel like I did thirty years ago. So as long as I stay in shape, that's the key thing, and to keep your body young."

The idea for this movie is that this takes place AFTER Conan has been king. Conan, like Arnold, is in his mid 60s now, so he will have to fight through an aging warrior body, having cracking bones, aches, and having to get back into the battle.

I, for one, will venture to the Halls of Valhalla and back, and slake my thirst from the cup of Valeria, for the opportunity to venture on one final quest with the true Conan. To crush my enemies, see them driven before me, and to hear the lamentation of their women.

And if you do not know what the above paragraph means, shame on you. Time to dust off your old copy of Conan the Barbarian.

And then this review:

You Will Be Disappointed by Her
by Robert

This week, I watched Her, a film starring Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Rooney Mara, Olivia Wilde, Portia Doubleday, and Scarlett Johansson as the voice of Samantha. The film centers on Theodore Twombly (Phoenix) soon-to-be divorced from his childhood sweetheart Catherine (Mara). Out of loneliness, he develops a relationship with Samantha: an intelligent computer operating system (OS) with a female voice and personality.

Theodore is fascinated by Samantha's ability to learn and grow psychologically. They bond over their discussions about love and life, and Samantha proves to be constantly available, always curious and interested, supportive and undemanding. 

Theodore is convinced by Samantha to go on a blind date with a woman (Wilde). To his surprise, he and the woman hit it off. As they are kissing, the woman asks if Theodore is willing to commit to another date with her, and when he hesitates, she leaves. Theodore mentions this to Samantha and they talk about relationships. Theodore and Samantha's intimacy grows through a verbal sexual encounter during which Samantha claims she can feel his touch. However, Samantha is all-observant where Theodore is concerned, and worries about her inability to give or receive physical gratification. Samantha suggests Isabella (Doubleday) as a sex surrogate, simulating Samantha so that they can be physically intimate. Overwhelmed by the experience, Theodore interrupts the encounter and sends a distraught Isabella away, causing tension between himself and Samantha.

Meanwhile, Amy reveals that she is divorcing her overbearing husband after a fight. She admits to Theodore that she has become close friends with a female OS that Charles left behind. 

At this point, the movie goes into the truly bizarre, as Samantha begins privately interacting [wink wink] with another OS.

And therein lies the problem with Her. There is not one lasting, committed relationship in the entire movie. Both the director of this movie and the developers of Samantha fail to evoke any sense of morality. As an example, the morning after Theodore and Samantha's "lovemaking," Theodore's response is, "I should tell you that I'm not in a place to commit to anything right now," and Samantha's reply is, "Did I say I wanted to commit to you?"

Because of this, infidelity sets in, though not the way you would think, and the result is a feeling of loneliness and emptiness. That is exactly how you feel after seeing this nihilistic claptrap.

The futuristic take on the evolution of technology is mere window (un)dressing for the 1960s "If it feels good, do it" modus operandi. The sleeping around would have more relevance if it were counterbalanced by any beacon of decency.

You can do a lot better than Her. Trust me.

Rating: Two (of Five) stars

Followed by this:

Most Over-Rated Players Today
by Robert

I would like to point out what I consider to be three of the most overrated players today, one from baseball, one from football, and one from basketball. 

Most Overrated Player: Baseball
David Wright: New York Mets

He is the face of the franchise, and you know what, the franchise is in a horrific state. Now, you may be thinking, "Well, this guy is a home run hitting machine, and the rest of the team is terrible."

Well, let's look at his Home Run stats for the past few years:

2011: 14 HRs
2012: 21 HRs
2013: 18 HRs
2014: 6 HRs [on pace for 14 HRs]

He is a decent player, to be sure, but is by no means a superstar. The contract the Mets paid him [7 years, $160 million] could have been used for other players. In my opinion, he is a good complementary player, but not the type of leader you need on a team like the Mets. 

What is stunning is that he has escaped any type of media criticism since his time with the Mets. For these reasons, and more, I rate him the most overrated player currently in baseball.

Most Overrated Player: Football
Peyton Manning: Denver Broncos

What, you say? Peyton Manning is one of the greatest QBs in NFL history. I would qualify this statement, as follows, "Peyton Manning is one of the greatest REGULAR-SEASON QBs in history." When you get right down to it, in the post season, Peyton Manning is far-too average. 

How average?

His win-loss record in the postseason is 11-12.

When you make it to the playoffs in 13 years, and have only one Super Bowl trophy, to me, that is failing to get the job done. For these reasons, I rate him the most overrated player currently in football.

Most Overrated Player: Basketball
LeBron James: [Team: TBD]

Note the above comment of "Team: TBD," as that pretty much sums up this basketball player. What I hear about Mr. James is that he is one of the top five NBA players of all time. 

This is a perfect example of short-term memory. 

So, let me see if I get this straight. LeBron James is one of the top-five players of all time.

So, who are the players not better than LeBron James?

Magic Johnson
Larry Bird
Michael Jordan
Julius Irving
Oscar Robinson
Tim Duncan
Jerry West

and the list goes on

Also, I don't recall one of these great players playing for a team, NOT WINNING for a team, moving to a new team and recruiting star players, NOT WINNING with that team, and now opting out of that team.

This is what LeBron James did, and is doing.

To be a great player, in my opinion, you must take a team and make it better, not join a team of superstars.

Kobe Bryant: 5 rings. He started with the Lakers, and remained with this team.
Tim Duncan: 5 rings. He started with the Spurs, and remained with this team.
LeBron James: 2 rings. He is going to be on his third team next year.

For these reasons, I rate him the most overrated player currently in basketball.

Just my two cents.

Others also commented this month, but their timing was unfortunate, picking a month when Robert awoke from cyber-hybernation. It's like choosing to play soccer against Pele during his peak. I still applaud all of you who tried:

Ben Sen
Chiller Pop
Cranky Cuss
James M. Emmerling
James Hart

As always, I extend my thanks to everyone who shared my posts on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media, and who posted a review of my City of Kik blog on (If you haven't reviewed it yet, please do so.) As I always say, and sincerely mean, I appreciate it.

Thank you for continuing to read, share, and comment on what I write.