Author Archives: Stephon Johnson

Fox Network at 25

STEPHON JOHNSON: FOX was able to cater to the younger generation better than anyone except for MTV. Was that a good or a bad thing?

CHRIS PUMMER:The really creative stuff in the Internet Age is all finding a much smaller niche than what big broadcast networks are by definition. So I think for sure Fox, being that network that broke into that club, probably will be the last of its kind. Continue reading

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Bill Maher

CHRIS PUMMER: Bill Maher’s name surfaces more and more these days for the controversial things he says. Is this how he’s staying relevant? Continue reading

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Community vs. 30 Rock

AKIE BERMISS: I was an early adopter of Community. It debuted when I still had cable and I still watched television live. But it was one of the last shows I did that with. Increasingly, as a man pushing thirty, I’ve found new television shows have very little to offer me. I don’t get excited by reality shows — the pseudo-drama just doesn’t do it for me — and, being a professional singer and vocal teacher, I can’t stand shows like American Idol or The Voice. So I was finding myself marginalized more and more by primetime television. Call me old fashioned but I miss the days of primetime half-hour sitcoms followed by hour-long dramas at 10pm. To me, those were the days. I guess I was young and things seemed simpler then. But also, I rather think if I am going to sit down and waste an hour, I’d rather it be scripted material performed by professionals and shot by experienced techies.

CHRIS PUMMER: I think Akie’s comparison of 30 Rock to the dynastic Bulls of Michael Jordan is apt. Because while Community is brilliant, 30 Rock has been at least that brilliant for much longer now. Continue reading

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New Orleans Saints and Bounties

KRYSTEN OLIPHANT: If player safety were the big issue here, then the Packers would’ve gotten some sort of punishment in 2007. But they “stopped.” (Seriously, how can you even prove that?) If it was player safety, Goodell wouldn’t be pushing 18-game seasons, more Thursday games and Monday games that shorten recovery time, and he wouldn’t be fighting the NFLPA for health benefits.

CHRIS PUMMER: I just seriously doubt these punishments are anything other than an image-related ploy. And until I see something more tangible put forward by the NFL without being compelled by litigation, I’ll continue to doubt the motive. Continue reading

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Manning vs. Manning

MIKE SILVA: You want a great quarterback? Give me Peyton. You want a championship quarterback? Give me Eli.

CHRIS PUMMER: Football being a team sport, I don’t think Eli Manning’s two Super Bowl titles puts him in the same class as his older brother. Continue reading

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New Van Halen Album

KEVIN ZIMMERMAN: I’m hardly the world’s biggest Van Halen fan, but the new album, A Different Kind of Truth, is surprisingly decent — a lot better than I (or I’m guessing most people) would have believed. Continue reading

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In Briefs: Punxatawny Phil vs. Paul the Octopus


HOWARD MEGDAL Punxatawney Phil or Paul the World Cup-predicting Octopus- which psychic animal do you choose? I will write in support of the great, Sandy Koufax-like career of Paul.

AKIE BERMISS Is it really Punxatawney Phil…

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Rutgers Football: Is The Best Behind The Scarlet Knights?

HOWARD MEGDAL: My teams cannot hurt me with futility. I grew up a Rutgers football fan.

CHRIS PUMMER: Greg Schiano did a fine job turning around a Rutgers program that he also left in the lurch with his sudden departure last week. But as a coach, he wasn’t a unique talent, and to think the Scarlet Knights couldn’t find another capable coach is overreaction. Continue reading

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Michele Bachmann’s Downfall: Sexism?

DANI ALEXIS RYSKAMP: Michele Bachmann predicted “a miracle” in Iowa only to come in functionally last (ahead only of Jon Huntsman, who didn’t campaign in Iowa; Herman Cain, who is no longer running at all; Buddy Roemer; and “No Preference”). Not surprisingly, Bachmann offered her concession speech not long after. And I’m inclined to believe – perhaps too generously – that it wasn’t sexism that cost Michele Bachmann in Iowa.

CHRIS PUMMER: Save the sexism talk. Bachmann’s ship sank because if would have been lunacy to consider her as President of the United States, and the media should be shamed for ever trying to tell us we should have taken that prospect seriously. Continue reading

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Melvin Mora Remembered

MIKE SILVA: How often do late season call-ups make a huge impact on a team in the postseason? Some names that come up off the top of my head are Shane Spencer with the Yankees in 1998, K-Rod in Anaheim in 2002, and Francisco Cabrera with the Braves in 1992. The Mets had two such players under Bobby Valentine: Melvin Mora and Timo Perez.

CHRIS PUMMER: Melvin Mora’s career batting line after his 30th birthday: .281/.354/.441 in more than 5,000 plate appearances. That’s a pretty good career, even before you consider that he was used as a utility player until he was 33. If he’d posted the same numbers before 30 with the same number of plate appearances, he’d have finished with 3,006 hits. Continue reading

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