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Weekly Roundup Episode 44: Circling Wagons to the Other Side

Welcome to another edition of Weekly Roundup. For the first time in my entire existence: My Chicago Bears and my families Buffalo Bills are in the post season together at the same time! Ya know people including my family themselves question: Why aren’t I a Bills fan like everyone else in my family?! Truth be told I wasn’t always a Bears fan. There was a time, where I was a Bills fan for 14 games and not completed a full season... As I decided to switch sides. Here’s the backstory.

Majority of my young life my special interests were video games, Yu Gi Oh, and of course movies. When it came to following an interest in sports, I honestly had no desire. I mean I went to a Bills game at seven years old, as all I can remember was locking myself in a small bathroom in an RV, people instructing me from the outside on how to unlock myself out, people cheering me on when I finally unlocked myself out, a strange old man saying “Way to Go Kid” like a proud Sam Elliot type figure, and the only thing remembered from the game is me crying begging my dad to go home... I just didn’t care for sports at that time. When I was getting buckets and winning championships playing over at my local YMCA basketball teams... That was when I realize that sports were a lot of fun, as I finally became a man and develop an interest in sports.

2005 was the first year ever in my life where I truly followed sports, as I began the 2005 NFL season rooting for the Buffalo Bills. Now lets be clear: In a way I didn’t openly chose to root for this team, in a way it felt forced onto me, maybe a little peer pressure as well. From the first thirteen games of that season, I recalled my father bringing home a plush Bills football after their 1-0 start beating the Texans, writing a journal entry in class about their 4-5 start, and the beating they received from the Chargers as my classmate told me all about his experience at the game. The Bills were never on TV so I didn’t watch any games prior to the 14th game, all I know is I was EXTREMELY EXCITED to watch the Bills Saturday night game against the Broncos.

December 17th, 2005 started off sweet. I went to eat at my local bar and restaurant Steiners by my house, had a pretty damn good meal, and enjoyed watching football games with my dad before the Bills Saturday night game. As the Bills and Broncos Saturday night game started, I was hyped and looking forward to a Bills victory. Well the Bills got onto a good start, but then after that... Disappointment. Ten year old Mitch lacked ability to receive a connection from any player on that Bills team, plus was extremely frustrated from the results from that game. With about maybe under five minutes left to go in the game... Ten year old Mitch stormed to his bedroom, crying his eyes out, at that moment he decided... He can no longer be a Bills fan.

Being the son of a dedicated but a well respected intelligent Bills fan was a complete shock to not only my family, but more so the man himself. However my father reacted differently compared to any other person in my family. I do believe me not being a Bills fan in a small significant way crushed my father, as he hoped to have a son to root on his team with. But I think my father saw a much bigger picture... That his son’s happiness was more important, than a silly team. There’s nothing wrong with treating a sports team as if it’s your life, but putting it over the ones you love is completely silly. Instead of throwing a tantrum like my family members would do to their own kids or own family, my father was perfectly fine with it and accepted me. I also think my father in a way respected me because I was becoming my own person and didn’t need to rely on acceptance from others, on who I wanted to be or wanted to do.

The next day I started scouting teams, as I wanted to move quickly onto my new team. One game that stood out to me was a Sunday Night game between the Atlanta Falcons and the Chicago Bears. When partaking this game I was sensing excitement, as I was truly enjoying football for the first time ever. One player that stood out was a Linebacker named Brian Urlacher. The way Urlacher played in this game was pure poetry, the grit, grind, passion, and soul he put into this one game was inspiring. That team and Brian Urlacher instantly clicked with me, as I then on became a Chicago Bears fan, which I have been a passionate and dedicated one over the last 15+ years and counting. I’ve enjoyed the Highs and certainly created some enjoyment during the lows, being a Bears fan has been one fun experience and I appreciate every second of it.

When I look back on those two moments, I’m in total agreement with my family as I’m shocked I became a Bears fan as well. Not because I didn’t turn out a Bills fan like the rest of them, I still wouldn’t do that if I can redo my life again. I just don’t like the team and not much of a fan of the fan base... I like the Bills fans that are knowledgeable about the game, instead of the Bills fans that treat it as a circus show, where the importance is making a fool out of themselves and getting overly intoxicated... I’m sorry I can’t stand them, but respect the Bills fans greeting me with kindness at the Bills and Bears game. But I’m more shocked I didn’t become a Patriots fan, considering the fact I’m so passionate about Boston sports, the city, and the culture of Boston as well. When it’s not the Chicago Bears I root for the Patriots, my dad does the same thing as well.

I’m happy both my family and I can enjoy a postseason, in which our favorites teams are partaking in the journey of accomplishing a Super Bowl. To my family I wish you good luck to your Buffalo Bills this post season. As far as who I’m rooting for between the Bills and Colts... Yeah, my little brother Adam Baeza is a Colts fan, who I love the living shit out of so... No Comment. BearDown B A B Y! Time to talk about movies really quickly, I have a busy schedule on my plate, work is kicking me in the ass!

The Midnight Sky Grade: D+

There was speculation George Clooney would be in contention for this upcoming Oscars, with his directed sic-fi space movie... For a good week.

The Midnight Sky is based off an acclaimed novel, but feels familiar space sci fi films such as The Martin and Gravity which Clooney had a small part in Gravity, you can also say it feels familiar to Wall-E as well. There is bits of potential in this, but honestly the pacing is completely dreadful and when it wants to pick up, providing the audience some entertainment value... It feels completely inconsistent with the previous setup tone it was going for in the first place. Like I’m not kidding it went from a quiet little adventure of a couple people stuck in an Arctic part of earth, then it all of a sudden became Gravity all over again.

George Clooney’s direction in this film is left to be desire, as the cast and crew were fine but no performance is worth mentioning at all. Also want to point out the cheap special effects from the new planet... That looked awful, like you can tell it didn’t look real. Though I didn’t like Lucy in the Sky, but I would much rather watch that film over this film, at least that space film tried something completely different, while Midnight Sky is offering nothing new to the table other than being forgettable.

Overall, The Midnight Sky was crap. I don’t recommend film, I suggest watching Tenet instead... For all the real ones that know that reference... Hell yeah.

Tony Parker: The Final Shot Grade: C-

I’ve enjoyed Tony Parker’s basketball career with the Spurs, as when I saw this popped up my Netflix feed, I was excited to watch this documentary hoping to learn something from this point guard legend.

Tony Parker: The Final Shot was certainly underwhelming, as the substance of this documentary was disappointing. I think there is more to uncover from this basketball star, including his marriage with Longoria as I was kind of surprised they didn’t talk about what had happen to where Parker and Longoria got inspired to have a divorce. The coverage of his career was the best part, as I learned a fair amount of new information and learned some things. However certain important moments of his career weren’t covered the way they should have been, as it almost felt kind of rushed especially his title runs. Last thing I want to conclude on is the editing... It felt out of order too. This is a basic bland sports documentary that wasn’t even good enough to get a 30 for 30 on ESPN sports documentary films.

Overall, Tony Parker: The Final Shot (Not sure why it’s titled that, they never talked about a final shot) was mediocre. I don’t recommend checking this one out, slow start bringing on the New Year in film.

Clementine Grade: D+

There are a couple good things to say about Clementine. One being I liked the song Karen (Otmara Marrero) introduced to Lana (Sydney Sweeney) at her lake house. I thought Otmara Marrero and Sydney Sweeney both had solid performances, nice chemistry together. There is also one sequence in the story that did actually worked and was actually engaging.

Clementine was extremely boring to me, as I didn’t get much out of the narrative from a meaningful perspective or an entertainment perspective. Especially when it came to Karen and her problems with this woman who could be her ex or could be her mother I don’t know, it wasn’t clear. I don’t get the whole deal with the lake house technician, just felt like an unnecessary supporting character that provided no purpose. The pacing is extremely slow, there is also barely much happening as my time felt wasted as it was hard to be engage in what was going on.

Overall, Clementine was meh. I don’t recommend checking this one out. -Mitch Smietana

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