Game of Thrones 104
Maybe I am in the minority, but for the most part I have been pleased with the first four episodes of Game of Thrones.
The difference in perception, in my view, is that a) these four have not lived up to the hype, and b) there is an unexpected amount of pressure considering the limited window.
As for point A, no show in the modern era of TV has generated the amount of social media conversation, expectation, hype and in turn, expectation as GoT.
It means good episodes are seen as not great. That's a blessing and a curse.
Think of it this way, when the Sopranos went dark, there was a lot of head scratching about the final few episodes, especially the season finale. In retrospect, it was perfect, right?
And we knew that with this many storylines to wrap and only six installments to fit it all in, it was going to feel rushed.
(Rushing may have led to the infamous coffee cup mistake on the table in the dinner at Winterfell on Sunday night's episode. It was all the rage on social media - all GoT things are - but HBO's response was extremely well done.)
Rushing also has forced the show to ignore the space-time connection.
Folks like Euron Greyjoy are getting across the seven kingdoms with the speed of a Concord. Everyone that is except for Bran, who is sitting his weird tuckus in Winterfell staring into space.
(Seriously, if you have NASA-level spying service like Bran being a three-eyed raven, how in the world is The Mother of Dragons getting ambushed? Dude can see the future. There should never be a surprise attack right?)
There were several money scenes in episode 4. Top-notch even.
The burning of the bodies to start. The good-byes between Jon Snow. The sharing of the news of Jon's real identity - with the Starks, then from Sansa to Tyrion and then Tyrion to the bald guy with no privates. The ambush and the dragon getting speared. Arya and the Hound reuniting and heading to Westeros. Jamie realizing that he is a complete scumbag and the love of a good (and big) woman can not change that.
I thought episode 4 was way better than most viewed it, especially after rewatching it.
But I understand the angst - wrapping up long-standing relationships like those between Jon and Tormund and Jon and Sam ending abruptly feels quick and somewhat unfulfilling. But other than dying, the end is coming for all those relationships in two more weeks regardless.
And that was the truth, whether you have loved the four episodes of the final season or loathed them.
The Warriors and Rockets are tied 2-2. The best series between the best teams of this postseason is now a best-of-three. Giddy-up.
(Side note: Editing needed here. We wrote Monday that both the Eastern Conference series were tied 2-2. I was wrong. The Bucks won last night to take a 3-1 series lead and effectively end the Kyrie Irving experience in Boston.)
Back to the West, the Rockets won Game 4 last night to not things. Also, the Nuggets-Blazers also are tied at 2, but man, that feels like the other semifinal in an ACC tournament when Duke and UNC meet in the semifinals right?
Here's the point, though.
Watching James Harden play is so predictable and so dribble-dribble-dribble-dribble-dribble-dribble-dribble-dribble-step back or dribble-dribble-dribble-dribble-dribble-dribble-dribble-dribble-head fake-drive that I am actually rooting for the Warriors.
Which surprises me.
I know that NBA folks and TV folks are not keeping their fingers crossed for Warriors-Bucks (hey, what is this 1975?), but a Giannis-KD face off would be pretty sweet no?
(And dude, what Giannis Antetokounmpo was awesome in his awesomeness last night. A tidy 15-for-22 for 39 points with 16 rebounds and only four turnovers is boss sauce friends.)
Tiger Woods got the Medal of Freedom on Monday. He's the fourth golfer - Arnie, Jack and Charlie Sifford, who was the first black man to play on the PGA Tour - and the 33rd athlete to receive the award. (Side note: Tiger named his son Charlie after Sifford.)
The medal "recognizes individuals who have made exceptional contributions to the security or national interests of America, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors."
OK. So there's that.
Here's another golf tidbit that we meant to get to Monday.
Max Homa is far from a household name, but his win over the weekend at Quali Hollow punches his ticket to a lot of events for the next two years.
And the more Max the better. For the fans. For the media. For the game.
Golf needs Tiger because of his dominance. We all understand that.
Golf certainly could use someone like Homa for his personality. Dude is laugh-out-loud funny on Twitter.
How about some of these gems from his Twitter (@maxhoma23):
When he was really struggling a couple of years ago - "Had a few caddies hit me up recently hoping to team up. They heard they usually get weekends off which is apparently a great selling point"
On playing in the Masters, which he will get to do next year - "I don't think I'd be nervous on the first tee at my first Masters. It's always been a dream of mine to play that tournament. I'd jump right past nervous and skip straight to violently ill, unfit to be in public"
On religion - "Despite 6 years of Hebrew school and the completion of my Bar Mitzvah, the most Jewish I've ever felt came after looking at a home with extravagant Christmas lights and immediately thinking "that electric bill must be brutal"
On the perfect golfer's point of view - "I don't use a green reading book because if I did, I wouldn't be able to blame my caddy when I missed"
On relationships - "My friend started dating a girl in Dec. & the Xmas present panic is real. Go too small & she's sad. Too big & she's scared. Fun for me tho"
On another golf observation - "God bless the 16 handicapper giving his 18 handicapper friend swing lessons on the range"
On the aging process - "Theres clearly an age a man hits where he all of a sudden decides that running shoes look good with jeans. Like a bar mitzvah but different"
On reading people - "Just witnessed a guy with southwest priority boarding choose a middle seat. Pretty discomforting to know there's a serial killer on my flight"
And finally on the most recent Medal of Freedom winner - "Hey @TigerWoods if u decide to make ur comeback at the Zurich I'd be honored to be ur partner. We can even play ur ball in alt shot. Call me"
Right behind the Baylor School boys and Tiger, I am officially in the Max Homa fan club.
This and that
- The owners of Maximum Security appealed the decision to DQ their horse. It was denied. This will end up at the highest levels of court.
- Bob Ley is extending his sabbatical from ESPN. Dude is the longest-tenured on-air personality and has represented the ever-fading part of true journalism at the world-wide leader. I hope he returns because I have always enjoyed his professionalism and the direction of his work on Outside the Lines. If does not return, I say thanks Bob.
- Cool promotion here from Klondike bars - the tasty ice cream treat. (Side question: Is "tasty" before "ice cream treat" redundant? I think yes.) Klondike is offering free Klondikes to someone willing to name their child Klondike. Now if, say Budweiser matched that deal, we may need to talk the Misses into one more tot. Ladies and gentleman, may we present Bud Light Greeson. (Works way better if it's a boy of course.)
- Rodney Harrison says being in the Patriots Hall of Fame means more than being in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. His stance centers on being voted in by the fans.
- Braves pitcher Kevin Gausman, who allowed five runs (three earned) in 4.1 innings in a 5-3 loss to Dodgers last night, has been suspended five games for throwing at that Marlins knucklehead.
- For what it's worth, Donald Trump's approval rating is at 46 percent, which is the highest of his presidency.
True or false. True
(If you watch) True or false, you have been pleased with the first four episodes of GoT.
(If you don't watch) True or false, you now are irritated at just about every GoT fan at this point.
True or false, you have to be over 45 to say 'even-steven.'
True or false, Tiger Woods deserved the Medal of Freedom.
It's May 7. On those day in 2012 paeleoclimatological research states that dinosaur flatulence warmed the Earth.
Wow, talk about dangerous emissions.
See died on this day in 2011.
Rushmore of all-time ESPN on-air personalities.