Kevin Cage of @spotlightsaga reviews…
Ballers (S03E01) Seeds of Expansion
Airdate: July 23, 2017 @hbo
Ratings: 2.476 Million :: 1..22 18-49 Demo Share
‘Ballers’ is back on HBO, planting its hyper-masculine seed wherever it can slide in. No really. It sounds crass, but the metaphor is woven beautifully throughout the S3 premiere of the sports-centric, premium cable dramedy. Ricky (John David Washington) is having a baby, it’s not exactly what he had in mind until he was told it definitely WAS happening, after he was told it wasn’t when he thought it could be a possibility. Ah, don’t you just love the way irony tastes? Well, I hate to break it to you, but that’s not exactly irony that’s sticking to the sides of your tongue… No, no… Thats more or less manipulation, take it or leave it. Amber (Brittany S Hall) is playing the game that she must play, she knows exactly how Ricky feels about her and his 'Bad Boy’ image precedes him. It’s not that we think Amber is wrong for how she handled the situation, it’s actually totally brilliant… It’s just not exactly on the up and up, but when you’re dealing with a Man-Child who’s just now coming to a place in his life where he’s starting to come to terms with his existential reality, then the best strategy is to give the quintessential player a game to play.
All this fertility talk has got our favorite underdog Spencer Strasmore (Dwayne Johnson) spooked. He brags about his 'pull-out game being 100’, and Ricky suggests that maybe it’s 100 because his his loins aren’t exactly producing the fruits of his loom. This cascades into a mini-obsession for 'The Rock’s Spencer character and even compels him to mention it to his doc, Dr Robbins (Stacy Ann Rose), who at this point, knows way too much about his life. In true Spencer Strasmore fashion, when Dr Robbins immediately sets him up with an appointment to face the truth of his fertility matter head on, Spencer dips and throws all the 'swimmer’ talk somewhere deep behind the walls of what we could probably consider a wall built with bricks laced with toxic masculinity. Besides, Spencer has other 'Seeds’ to think about. He borrowed money from Ricky in S2, 5 Mill to be exact, and he needs to capitalize on his next big venture to make paying Ricky back a reality.
We get a bit of a big name guest star as Steph Curry and his girl give Spencer a call and he attempts to seize the opportunity to break out of the world of the NFL & into the world of the NBA. Only, nothing in 'Ballers’ ever goes the way it’s planned… NOTHING. Remember that. Steph cancels on Spence, Mr Anderson (Richard Schliff) is pissed because he’s depending on a high profile guest of honor at a big dinner party that night. In a desperation move and without a replacement, Spencer takes his ever-encouraging, chihuahua-esque, best friend’s 'feel good’ advice and treats himself as the 'Main Event’ at Mr Anderson’s private soirée where Spencer is to woo a potential massive client, Wayne Hastings (Steve Guttenberg - Can I get a fuck yeah?!). Wayne buys into Spencer’s big speech and I gotta tell ya, so did I!
Ever since I was a teen, watching 'The Rock’ dropping 'The People’s Elbow’ & raising 'The People’s Brow’ while laying the smack down on opponents on WWF/WWE television, I knew Dwayne Johnson was a star. Seeing him truly embody the spirit, the ups and downs, the origins, just the tooth & nail of this character, Spencer Strasmore, throughout 3-seasons of 'Ballers’ truly cements him as not just a real life, big time, Hollywood actor, as we’ve already seen him establish… But here in 'Ballers’, he’s a legitimate, respectable character actor who is a real contender to eventually plant serious awards on his mantle sometime in the near future. If Dwayne Johnson has yet to earn your respect, then you haven’t been paying attention. He’s the real deal. He’s selling Guttenberg the dream of a potential NFL team in Vegas, and you can just feel the electricity in their back & forth. These are the times when the show truly comes alive and here again we see the theme of 'planting a seed’ come full circle.
Let’s not forget about Charles (Omar Benson Miller). He has quickly become one of my favorite characters on the show. We’ve seen his struggle from out of work ex-football star to cheesy car salesman to rising star and major player on the Miami Dolphins coaching staff. The pressure is real for Charles. He’s getting hives, he’s being thrown to the wolves (and by wolves I mean media), and he’s being tossed into a position he probably isn’t exactly qualified for. I can’t help but think that whatever experiment the coaching staff and owners are concocting behind the scenes, that Charles is the fall guy… Or could be easily thrown into that position if whatever they’re going for turns sour. Another seed planted for S3… Plenty to grow on, and it looks like we’re going to get much more than just the breathtaking camera work and cinematography in my beautiful city of Miami this season! Let her rip, y'all! Ballers gon’ Ball!
SUPER BOWL XLVII PINNED BROTHER VS BROTHER WHEN THE 49ERS & RAVENS WENT AT IT, BLACKOUTS, COMEBACKS IN THE END RAVENS WON THE SUPER BOWL FOR THE SECOND TIME IN THEIR HISTORY:
The Ravens’ attempt to convert Joe Flacco into a pocket passer remained a work in progress as the 2012 season began. Terrell Suggs suffered a tendon injury during an off-season basketball game and was unable to play for at least several weeks. In the opener on September 10, Baltimore routed Cincinnati 44-13. After this easy win, the team headed to Philadelphia. The Eagles had struggled during their Week 1 match in Cleveland and were not expected to win, but a bizarre game ensued thanks to the NFL facing another lockout mess, this one involving the league’s referees, who were replaced by ex-college officials. The replacement officials were widely criticized throughout the league. This game featured multiple quesionable calls that went against the Ravens, perhaps costing them the game 24-23.
Returning home for a primetime rematch of the AFC Championship, another bizarre game ensued. New England picked apart the Baltimore defense (which was considerably weakened without Terrell Suggs and some other players lost over the off-season) for the first half. Trouble began early in the game when a streaker ran out onto the field and had to be tackled by security, and accelerated when, at 2:18 in the 4th quarter, the referees made a holding call on RG Marshal Yanda. Enraged fans repeatedly chanted an obscenity at this penalty. The Ravens finally drove downfield and on the last play of the game, Justin Tucker kicked a 27-yard field goal to win the game 31-30, capping off a second intense and controversially-officiated game in a row for the Ravens.
The Ravens would win the AFC North with a 10-6 record, but finished 4th in the AFC playoff seeding, and thus had to play a wild-card game. After defeating the Indianapolis Colts 24-9 at home (the final home game of Ray Lewis), the Ravens traveled to Denver to play against the top seeded Broncos. In a very back-and-forth contest, the Ravens pulled out a 38-35 victory in overtime. They then won their 2nd AFC championship by coming back from a 13-7 halftime deficit to defeat the New England Patriots once again, 28-13.
The Ravens won Super Bowl XLVII on February 3, 2013, beating the San Francisco 49ers 34-31.
Super Bowl XLVII was an American football game between theAmerican Football Conference (AFC) champion Baltimore Ravens and the National Football Conference (NFC) champion San Francisco 49ers to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the2012 season. The Ravens defeated the 49ers by the score of 34–31, handing the 49ers their first Super Bowl loss in franchise history. The game was played on February 3, 2013 at Mercedes-Benz Superdomein New Orleans, Louisiana. This was the tenth Super Bowl to be played in New Orleans, equaling Miami’s record of ten in an individual city.
For the first time in Super Bowl history, the game featured two brothers playing against each other—Jim and John Harbaugh, head coaches of the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens, respectively—earning it the nickname Harbaugh Bowl or The Harbowl. In addition, Super Bowl XLVII was the first to feature two teams who had undefeated records in previous championship games (Baltimore, 1–0; San Francisco, 5–0). The 49ers, who posted a regular season record of 11–4–1, entered the game seeking their sixth Super Bowl win in team history (and first since 1995), which would have tied the Pittsburgh Steelers for the most by a franchise. The Ravens, who posted a 10–6 regular season record, made their second Super Bowl appearance in 12 years, having previously won Super Bowl XXXV. Ray Lewis, the Most Valuable Player (MVP) from that game, as well as the last remaining member of the inaugural Ravens roster from 1996, also played in this game, his last before his retirement from professional football.
Baltimore built a 28–6 lead early in the third quarter before a partial power outage in the Superdome suspended play for 34 minutes (earning the game the nickname Blackout Bowl). After play resumed, San Francisco scored 17 unanswered third-quarter points to cut the Ravens’ lead, 28–23, and continued to chip away in the fourth quarter. With the Ravens leading late in the game, 34–29, the 49ers advanced to the Baltimore 7-yard line just before the two-minute warning but turned the ball over on downs. The Ravens then took an intentional safety in the waning moments of the game to preserve the victory. Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco, who completed 22 of 33 passes for 287 yards and three touchdowns, was named Super Bowl MVP. Flacco became the 4th quarterback in a row to receive MVP after Drew Brees at Super Bowl XLIV, Aaron Rodgers at Super Bowl XLV, and Eli Manning at Super Bowl XLVI.
CBS broadcast the game in the U.S., and charged an average of $4 million for a 30-second commercial during the game, the highest rate for any Super Bowl. According to Nielsen, Super Bowl XLVII was viewed by an estimated average of 108.69 million people in the United States, with a record 164.1 million tuning into at least six minutes of the game.] Beyoncé performed in the Super Bowl XLVII halftime show, which featured a reunion with her fellow members from Destiny’s Child,Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams.
2014 NFL PRO BOWL PLAYERS ANNOUNCED - The 2014 Pro Bowl will be played Jan. 26 from Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii. And on Friday the NFL announced the rosters for the game. For the first time the teams will be “Unconferenced” with players being selected by team captains – Hall of Famers Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders on Wednesday, Jan 22, 2014.
Here is a list of players that made the cut:
QUARTERBACK: Tom Brady (Patriots), Drew Brees (Saints), Peyton Manning (Broncos), Cam Newton (Panthers), Philip Rivers (Chargers) Russell Wilson (Seahawks).
WIDE RECEIVER: Antonio Brown (Steelers), Dez Bryant (Cowboys), Josh Gordon (Browns), A.J. Green (Bengals), Andre Johnson (Texans), Calvin Johnson (Lions), Brandon Marshall (Bears), Demaryius Thomas (Broncos).
OFFENSIVE TACKLE: Branden Albert (Chiefs), Jason Peters (Eagles), Tyron Smith (Cowboys), Joe Staley (49ers), Joe Thomas (Browns), Trent Williams (Redskins).
OFFENSIVE GUARD: Jahri Evans (Saints), Ben Grubbs (Saints), Mike Iupati (49ers), Logan Mankins (Patriots), Louis Vasquez (Broncos), Marshal Yanda (Ravens).
CENTER: Ryan Kalil (Panthers), Alex Mack (Browns), Mike Pouncey (Dolphins), Max Unger (Seahawks).
TIGHT END: Jordan Cameron (Browns), Vernon Davis (49ers), Jimmy Graham (Saints), Julius Thomas (Broncos).
RUNNING BACK: Jamaal Charles, Chiefs; Matt Forte, Bears; Frank Gore, 49ers; Marshawn Lynch, Seahawks; LeSean McCoy, Eagles; Adrian Peterson, Vikings.
FULLBACK: Marcel Reece (Raiders), Mike Tolbert (Panthers).
DEFENSIVE END: Greg Hardy (Panthers), Cameron Jordan (Saints), Robert Quinn (Rams), Cameron Wake (Dolphins), J.J. Watt (Texans), Mario Williams (Bills).
INTERIOR LINEMEN Gerald McCoy (Bucs), Haloti Ngata (Ravens), Dontari Poe (Chiefs), Justin Smith (49ers), Ndamukong Suh (Lions), Kyle Williams (Bills).
OUTSIDE LINEBACKER: John Abraham (Cardinals), Ahmad Brooks (49ers), Tamba Hali (Chiefs), Justin Houston (Chiefs), Robert Mathis (Colts), Terrell Suggs (Ravens).
INSIDE/MIDDLE LINEBACKER: NaVorro Bowman (49ers), Vontaze Burfict (Bengals), Luke Kuechly (Panthers), Patrick Willis (49ers).
CORNERBACK: Brandon Flowers (Chiefs), Brent Grimes (Dolphins), Joe Haden (Browns), Patrick Peterson (Cardinals), Darrelle Revis (Bucs), Richard Sherman (Seahawks), Aqib Talib (Patriots), Alterraun Verner (Titans).
FREE SAFETY: Jairus Byrd (Bills), Earl Thomas (Seahawks), Eric Weddle (Chargers).
STRONG SAFETY: Eric Berry (Chiefs), Kam Chancellor (Seahawks), Troy Polamalu (Steelers).
PUNTER: Brandon Fields (Dolphins), Johnny Hekker (Rams).
PLACEKICKER: Matt Prater (Broncos), Justin Tucker (Ravens).
PUNTER RETURNER: Antonio Brown (Steelers), Dexter McCluster (Chiefs).
SPECIAL TEAMER: Justin Bethel (Cardinals), Matthew Slater (Patriots).