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Goodspeed Revisited

"The Rock" came on a movie channel the other day. As always, I felt compelled to watch. I love that movie, saw it three times in the theater (ah, to be young and have discretionary income again...), and watch it anytime it comes on TV now.

"Welcome to the Rock."

OK, that actually works better if you are with me and can hear my spot-on Sean Connery impersonation.

*Editor's Note: by "spot-on", James means if you are three sheets to the wind, he sorta, kinda sounds like Connery.

Anyone remember what an awesome supporting cast The Rock had? Ed Harris, Steve Harris, John McGinley, the guy from West Wing*, Michael Biehn, etc.

*Editor's Note: he means John Spencer. Apparently James is already three sheets to the wind.

The other star to share the screen with 007? Nicholas Cage. I don't know if it is my love of the movie that clouds my judgment, but he actually does well in this role. I like him as the nerdy analyst who slowly comes to grip with the fact that he may have to kill someone to complete the mission and save lives.

Oh my God. Did I just type that? Someone let me know if this movie is as bad as I now think it may be. That's terrible. Next you're going to tell me Jerry Bruckheimer produced it.

Editor's Note: Yep. And yes, James is drunk.

Where was I? Oh yeah, Nic Cage. I liked him in the Rock, but it seems to me that may be his last good role, at least in my opinion. Which is a shame, because he had so much promise when he started:

Fast Times
Peggy Sue Got Married
Leaving Las Vegas
Raising Arizona
Honeymoon in Vegas
The Rock (yes, I'm including it. Go write your own blog)

Editor's Note: I don't know what to say. Dumbfounded.

Now check the list of movies after the Rock, starting with his next, Con Air. I think he inadvertently committed career suicide when he tried to pull of the Southern Accent in Con Air. OK, maybe it's not that bad, but I can not watch that movie anymore without cringing. Which is too bad, because they land a freaking jumbo jet on the strip in Vegas. How frickin' cool SHOULD that be? And yet... Nic Cage sounds like a demented Rainman is all I think of.

Con Air started a slide of 5 bad movies in a row: Con Air, Face/Off, City of Angels, Snake Eyes, 8mm. Ouch.

All right, I think you can all see where I am going with this, right?


Sigh. All right. The Mike Shanahan era started off with so much promise. He has won two Super Bowls, for crying out loud. After the craziness of Jim Zorn, Shanahan was a welcome oasis of professionalism and a beacon of hope (not drunk anymore, stupid editor).

Editor's Note: Yes, he is. He copied that off a press guide. Ozzie Guillen's maybe?

Sure there were some among us who questioned the stable of geriatric running backs, and the trade for McNabb raised a few eyebrows. But let's give him the benefit of the doubt! Two Super Bowls! And for a while, our patience was (kind of) rewarded. We drafted an offensive lineman in the first round for the first time since Samuels. Hooray! In training camp, we heard Fast Willie had lost a step, but that's OK, because LJ looked good, very good even.

Then the season started, and we beat Dallas in the opener! All right! We could overlook for now the fact that our offense only managed 3 points, because, well, we hate Dallas. It's all good! This would be around the time of Guarding Tess for Nic Cage. The warning signs are there, we just chose to ignore them.

Then we go into a little slump, losing to the Rams and Texans. But the high point of the season has to be winning three of four against the Eagles, Packers, Colts and Bears. Leaving Las Vegas, anyone? One last gasp of greatness, or very-goodness anyway. Yes, we knew the D had some major problems by then, and the offense wasn't clicking, but we were winning games in spite of all that!

Then, to borrow a phrase from Chinua Achebe, Things Fell Apart. McNabb benched in Det. Bye Week (we didn't lose on the positive side). An ass-kicking on national TV to the Eagles. A brief respite with a win in Tennessee (National Treasure is a fun flick, not great, but enjoyable), then disaster against the Vikings, Giants and Bucs, culminating in the benching of McNabb for the season.

What the hell happened? What a roller coaster of a season, eh? But unfortunately, one that culminated in mostly down hill drops at the end of the season, which doesn't leave we the fans with much basis for hope for next year.

Kind of like how I feel about most Nic Cage movies that come out now.

So much promise when Shanny/Nic started, but ultimately ending in disappointment. Sure, there were flashes here and there, but nothing sustained.

So the question is, can Shanahan turn it around? Can he recover from the Con-Air-fake-accent move of trading for and benching McNabb? Can he recover from the horribly awful Snake Eyes debacle of how he handled Haynesworth?

Of course he can. Just win. Baby.

Editor's Note: copyrighted, Al Davis.

But it will not be easy. A year ago at this time, the fanbase was enthusiastic, excited, and pumped to have a professional helm the franchise.

Now? We are hoping we can avoid looking through our fingers at the TV next year like we all did for 8mm.
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