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What Just Happened?

About 7-8 years ago, I brought home a gift for my wife. I rented a movie I thought she might enjoy (gather round children, and I'll tell you tale of movie rentals!): Love Actually.

I had gone on a string of picking movies before then and had chosen such virtuoso performances as XMen 2, Paycheck, The Italian job, the Matrix sequels, and so on. She wanted something a little less... testosterone-y.

Wasn't expecting much, for what it's worth. Saw it had a good cast, love Liam Neeson, Hans Gruber from Die Hard (Alan Rickman for the rest of you), Emma Thompson, Keira Knightly, and lots of other pretty famous people. Could be decent right?

Actually, yes. I am turning in my man card now by admitting that I love it. One of my favorite movies. Any genre. I'm James, and I'm a Rom-Comaholic.

So how long did it take before it hit me that I loved it? The dialogue is fast and witty, and perhaps the scene that did it for me is in the beginning where the new Prime Minister (played by the ever dreamy Hugh Grant) has this exchange with his new house staff:

Natalie: Hello, David. I mean "sir". Shit, I can't believe I've just said that. And now I've gone and said "shit" - twice. I'm so sorry, sir.
Prime Minister: It's fine, it's fine. You could've said "fuck," and then we'd have been in real trouble.
Natalie: Thank you, sir. I did have an awful premonition that I was gonna fuck up on the first day. Oh, piss it!

Heh. Still makes me laugh.

As I am looking back at what I have written so far, I feel the need to ensure my readers that my wife wrote the parenthetical about Hugh Grant. In fact, I think she may have written the whole thing so far. Let's turn to football, shall we?

Going into the 2011 season all throughout the summer, I had us pegged as a 4-5 win team. If we got a lot of breaks, 6 wins was possible, though unlikely.

Something has happened as I've started this movie... er, season though. I feel that Hope, Actually is all around (fans of the movie will get that. Sorry, to everyone else).

Our running game looks good. Really good. And I know, I know, it's just preseason and we should all remember that, but I certainly don't remember having that feeling last preseason. Could it be that the zone blocking system Mike is famous for might actually have taken hold?

And was that our defensive line I saw getting pressure without a blitz a few times? Surely not (movie references abound in this entry - see if you can spot them all!), can't remember the last time that's happened. And do my eyes deceive me, or do our young receivers actually look pretty good? Huh, how strange.

But you know what really did it for me? When I talked to my dad and he mentioned it looks like the Skins are playing as a team. Dad has watched a lot more football than I have (as a function of being older than me. A lot older. I should stop now if I want the inheiritance, shouldn't I?) and that has been the one thing that has disgusted him the most in between the Gibbs years. We don't play like a team. That one is hard to quantify, isn't it? But I think we're getting there.

Not to put a damper on things too much, but we are a young team. Very young. There will be mistakes, maddening at times. And I'm not convinced our QB situation is close to being resolved, and certainly not long term.

I'm not saying we're winning 10 games, though I don't think 8 is out of the question. I am saying that we are going to be a headache. That teams will not overlook us much longer. That we're the Rams from last year: young, with a lot of heart, playing hard the full game, and just making life difficult for the opponent, while occassionally shooting themselves in the foot.

Love Actually is a long movie, well over two hours. Perhaps we won't receive the payoff this year, but I see good things coming. I have actually been very pleasantly surprised this preseason, and am thinking that trend very well may continue.
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