GAME OF THRONES: SEASON 4 REVIEW

BE NOT AFRAID: NO BOOK SPOILERS (But there are plenty of show spoilers.)

arya_gameofthrones_season4_finale

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What the world really needs is someone to critically think about, discuss and appreciate the grand spectacle that is Game of Thrones. Luckily, we are here to appeal to the niche audience that appreciates this show on a micro as well as macro level. Episode 90 hands out awards for the season MVP, asks logistical questions about Tyrion’s ability to slink through tunnels and hallways and takes stock of all the major plot and character developments from Season 4. We are living proof that book readers and show watchers can live like Hot Pie in a bakery – in peaceful harmony. Finally, a place for people to feel safe to talk about this show. You’re welcome, internet friends.

2014 FIFA WORLD CUP PREVIEW

WORLD_CUP_COVERLISTEN HERE [audio http://traffic.libsyn.com/doubleapodcast/AAPod_89_2.mp3]

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The World Cup is a grandiose spectacle celebrating a beautifully simple game. It is a complicated event, ripping through a country struggling to overcome economic disparity like an unrelenting cyclone, sure to leave behind a mess Brazilians will be forced to clean up. A Jules Rimet trophy would be a fleeting moment of bliss for Brazil, followed shortly by more protests aimed at a government’s reckless spending and a corrupt, laughable organization. FIFA is the oil spill tainting the rich, expansive ocean of international soccer, an international punching bag that appears to grow stronger despite sustaining Tyson-like haymakers from global media regularly.

And yet…

The collective enthusiasm for the World Cup has never been higher in the United States of America. USA sends a team with a spitfire manager aimed at systemically overhauling the country’s reputation and style. There are prodigies teeming with talent and stalwarts that have earned respect at the highest levels of club soccer. Coverage by ESPN, which will broadcast the tournament domestically, has exceeded expectations leading up to the event and most certainly will continue to do so moving forward. No amount of turmoil and corruption can quell the wellspring of support that seems to grow a little more every four years.

These next 32 days will ask us to look past the shiny veneer FIFA has slapped on the site of the world’s most popular tournament. And for the most part, we will. We won’t think of favelas crumbling when Michael Bradley laces a through ball to Clint Dempsey. We won’t think of gross economic disparity when Lionel Messi embarrasses grown men with maddening runs and touches. We won’t think of Sepp Blatter the Puppet Master when Luis Suarez strikes a goal with an unmatched fury. We will soak in the moments, both memorable and heartbreaking, hoping for better in the future but expecting more oil to contaminate the game we love.

 

 

JEOPARDY! CLUE CREW MEMBER JIMMY McGUIRE

The famed Jeopardy! Clue Crew

The famed Jeopardy! Clue Crew

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I have long been convinced that Daniel Vaughn has the best job ever. (Well not that long, considering his position is barely a year old.) The man has two requirements: eat barbecue, write about it. That’s it. He doesn’t have to drudge through boring meetings or dress up in fancy clothes every morning. He eats barbecue, he writes about it and repeats the cycle throughout the year. It just may be the perfect occupation.

Yet, flying under the radar in the race for most desirable profession is that of the title of Jeopardy! Clue Crew member. For years, I thought they stationed the enthusiastic clue crew members in front of green screens while they mimicked the awe one would be struck by at Mount Rushmore or the Pyramids of Giza. It didn’t seem possible that traveling around the world and reading Jeopardy! clues could be an actual, full-time gig. So I decided to get in contact with Jimmy McGuire (pictured above), who has been a clue crew member since the group’s inception in 2001. Like myself, he’s a Pittsburgh native and Ohio University graduate. But unlike myself, he has traveled to all 50 states and more than 40 countries spreading the Gospel of Trebek. Traveling the world, reading clues, being a domestic ambassador for the game show – these are some of Jimmy McGuire’s job requirements and I will never cease to be jealous of them.

We talked about the inner workings of Jeopardy!, how the hell he got this position, what his role really is and what he calls Alex Trebek. (Hint: it’s great.) I was looking to find out some grimy details about Jeopardy!, that his job really isn’t as fun as it seems. Turns out, it’s even better. Look out, Vaughn. You’ve got some competition.

The day is mine! [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6KOc_vVmSM]

DECEMBER MOVIE PREVIEW AND REMEMBERING PAUL WALKER

December_movie_preview

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The fellas preview December’s most interesting cinematic offerings, offering their takes on Oscars potential for certain films and bust potential for others. Trailers for all the movies discussed are listed below. But Adam and Anthony begin and end the podcast on a somber note.

Last Saturday, Paul Walker died in a car accident. The actor appeared in a number of movies, some forgettable, others entertaining. But the 40-year-old made his bones as undercover-agent/NOS-enthusiast-turned-rogue-cop-turned-Grecian-isle-inhabitant-turned-badass-driver-again-turned-American-citizen-again Brian O’Conner in the Fast and Furious franchise. The movies were never ones to receive critical acclaim, but to guys between the ages of 18-25, those movies were the most addictive adrenaline rush they could find on a screen. Walker delivered quotable lines, batted those baby blues at Jordana Brewster and drove like a badass for five of the six Fast movies. And though the seventh will likely still feature Walker, the series won’t quite be the same. The Double A Podcast pours out a Corona or drains some nitrous oxide for Paul Walker.

MOVIES PREMIERING DECEMBER 6th

OUT OF THE FURNACE [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ClzRVlMhU2E]

INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXMuR-Nsylg]

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THE DISAPPOINTMENT PODCAST

EP64_COVER

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Adam’s voice has returned in time for the fellas to wallow in disappointment. Yes, the Pirates had a miraculous, unforgettable run and in absolutely no conceivable way was the 2013 season a disappointment. But after the Buccos’ game 5 loss to the Cardinals, there couldn’t help but be a moment of sadness, frustration or whatever other unpleasant feeling you want to ascribe to the pit in Pirates’ fans stomach. It didn’t feel great and it probably took a few days, and may even take a few more, to truly appreciate how wonderful the season was.

That being said, it got the fellas to thinking about the Steelers’ disappointing campaign so far and other movies, actors, TV shows and people in general that have disappointed in recent years. The final season of Entourage (perhaps the most regularly dissected bit of pop culture on the pod not related to Dom Torreto) comes up, as well as a few actors that could have had better careers.

The fellas also find out that Carl’s Jr. and Hardees are more or less the same thing among other captivating tidbits in an otherwise somber podcast.

AUGUST MOVIE PREVIEW

August Movie Preview

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A bit late this month due to Adam and Anthony’s respective vacations and/or adventures to California, but the August movie preview is here. The fellas take a look at the most intriguing cinematic offerings of the month. Can Neil Blomkamp turn Elysium into a critical and commercial hit, like he did with District 9, with a big studio and a $100 million budget behind behind him? (Lordy we hope so.) Is the fellas’ unbridled excitement for Simon Pegg’s latest venture warranted? (Yes. Yes it is.) What the hell is happening with centaurs and Percy Jackson? (No effing clue.) And is it strange how excited Adam is for The Spectacular Now? (Again, yes. A thousand times yes.)

But this month there is an added twist: for all most major movies, the fellas will throw out their admittedly rough predictions for opening weekend box office numbers. (Early results are not too great.) Make sure to check back throughout the month for updated numbers. (All numbers in millions of dollars.) Continue reading

SPORTS MEDIA FRENZY

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Over the past decade or so, there has been the birth of a media critic and fan. A role that was once reserved for an ombudsman has splintered off into a series of media blogs, websites and reporters. Like politics, sports or business, media has become a beat unto itself.

With that in mind, Anthony and Adam take a deep dive into the current sports media landscape. They discuss ESPN reuniting with Keith Olbermann, Nate Silver joining the Worldwide Leader and what the future looks like for Fox Sports 1. They also talk about TheMMQB.com, the new website helmed by the most popular voice covering the NFL, Sports Illustrated’s Peter King. The site is another example of a journalist capitalizing on their personal brand and (at least in media circles) celebrity. Is it good that journalists are able to capitalize on individual brands or does it promote a celebrity-journo culture that contradicts some of journalism’s fundamental tenants?

The fellas answer that in more in Episode 53 of the Double A Podcast.