October 4th, 2010

Spain

New York, New York

Life is magical and full of joy.

Nice wins by both the Jets and Giants yesterday left me feeling jolly by night's end. (And believe me, I could use it. I still can't shed the last dregs of the crud I got on the way back from Australia, the Irish trip is bearing down like a freight train, and for whatever reason I am sleeping very poorly of late).

The Jets beat Buffalo pretty much every way one team can beat another. Offense, defense, throwing, passing, you name it. Well, okay, it was only the Bills, and they look pretty woeful this season... but this is the sort of game that the Same Old Jets of years past would have blown, coming off their emotional, hard-fought victory over Miami the week before. The Jets of old were infamous for losing games they should have won. Sanchez is showing real signs of improvement, the D was solid, and the running game showed up big time. Congrat to LaDainion Tomlinson, who ran like a mother and seems to have found the fountain of youth. Shonn Green got 100 yards as well, and we even had a Joe McKnight sighting (though I still miss little Leon). And next week we get Santonio Holmes back! That should make the O even more formidable.

The Giants game was much closer. I love good defense and I got plenty of it in this night game between two of the NFL's most storied old-time franchises, the G-Men and the unbeaten (previously) Chicago Bears. Ten sacks, and there could easily have been more. Both Jay Cutler and his backup Todd Collins knocked out of the game, leaving someone named "Caleb Hainie" as QB of the Bears. "Caleb Hainie" sounds like a character out of PETTICOAT JUNCTION, but actually he outplayed both Cutler and Collins in his brief stint. Even so, the game was in doubt well into the fourth quarter. The Bears D, while not as sack-happy as the NY D, was equally stout, and Eli and the boys could not seem to get anything going. All those three-and-outs were especially galling since out new punter really sucks (where have you gone, Jeff Feagles? Manhattan turns its lonely eyes toward you!), so every exchange worsened our field position.

For most of the game the G-Men clung by their fingernails to a 3-0 lead, knowing that one good Bears play was all it would take to put them behind. But finally in the last quarter, to my relief, Eli and Ahmed and Hakeem Nicks made some plays, and the G-Men survived a couple of bad fumbles, scored a pair of touchdowns, and put this one away. Whew.

The Jets have the Vikings next week. The G-Men have to face the red-hot Houston Texans. Uh-oh. We better come to play for that one. Meanwhile, I have a week to savor these wins.
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Two for the Road

Froggy would like to hint around with you madmen some more, but Andy is too damn tired right now. It's less than a week before I fly off to Ireland, and I'm still exhausted from the long trip to Australia... so I will forgo the games this time around and just tell you straight out that David & Dan and HB0 have filled two more roles for GAME OF THRONES.

The part of Hot Pie will be played by a newcomer named BEN HAWKEY. And as Lommy Greenhands, we will have EROS VLAHOS, best known for his role in the "Nanny McPhee" movies.

BEN HAWKEY


I hear some of the purists pointing out that Lommy and Hot Pie don't actually appear in the first novel. You're not wrong. In the books, they don't appear until the first Arya chapter of A CLASH OF KINGS... but they'll be in season one, looks like.

Other announcements should be coming soon, though it's not likely that I'll be the one making them. I'll be packing or flying to Ireland, and afterwards to Malta. We've very close to naming actors for the roles of Stiv and Ser Meryn Trant, waiting only HBO approval, and Nina and D&D have been looking at Kevan Lannisters as well. Soon, I think...