The Spectacle Blog

Steve Irwin, RIP

By on 9.4.06 | 11:40AM

There's very sad news today from Australia. Steve Irwin - who the world knew as "The Crocodile Hunter" -- was killed by a stingray while filming a special in the waters off an Australian island. Irwin was enormously entertaining, informative and one of the great showmen of the age. His typical shows -- with crocs, snakes and other truly dangerous critters -- often showed how dangerous his work was. But Irwin was a man's man, shrugging off injuries and making sure the show went on despite whatever wounds the creatures inflicted on him. This time, bad luck proved fatal. The stingray's barb apparently hit him directly in the heart. Thanks, Steve. You were one of the greats. Crikey, we'll miss you.

re: Doyle

By on 9.3.06 | 9:20AM

Quin, I made my suggestion about making Allen Doyle to the Ryder Cup team in all seriousness. If, as Johnny Miller said (and I agree), Doyle is the best player in the world from 100 yards in, he would be a fine competitor. As for your assertion that "no way is he even among the best 150 golfers in the world," you contradict yourself by noting that Doyle "hung around the cut line" at the U.S. Open. That would seem to prove he is about #75.

And in any case, ranking in stroke play events does not absolutely indicate effectiveness in match play, nor especially in team match play.

Most important, in team match play, sheer grit and guts count, and Doyle has proven that in spades.

How many show-pony-studded American Ryder Cup teams have you seen that just stunk up the place? A fair number.

Okay, just because I can, and just because I've got a blog, off the top of my head, I'll pick my own Ryder Cup team, and I bet I'd have an even chance of beating the official squad -- on sheer desire and gratitude.

New Seven Wonders of the World

By on 9.1.06 | 9:08PM

1. The Berlin holocaust memorial
2. The Wynn hotel casino
3. The southern border of Northern Cyrpus
4. China's railway to Tibet
5. Tuvalu
6. North Korea, at night, as seen from satellite
7. The Green Zone

Swashbuckle? No, Swishbuckle

By on 9.1.06 | 7:56PM

When last we left the new 007, Daniel Craig, he was announcing he had been scared out of his wits by a ride in a fast boat with some Royal Navy guys. I kiddingly prophesied that this new version of the coolest tough guy on the planet would go way too far, given his renunciation of booze, cigarettes and guns. Sometimes the jokes I make are made unfunny by subsequent events. I really hate this one.

According to this report, Monsewer Craig appears in the new version of In Cold Blood in which he plants a homosexual kiss on another character. Cubby Broccoli must be turning over in his grave. At this rate, Craig will make Bond unrecognizable. It's like the NY Times. The brand will be worthless soon.

Don't go away mad, Mr. Craig. Just go away. Soon.

Rainy Day

By on 9.1.06 | 3:42PM

Here in DC, with a hurricane a comin' or tropical storm or whatever it is, this new worldwide contest/survey should provide at least a good half an hour of entertainment on this rainy, windy, and quite unlovely Friday: new7wonders.com.

KofiWatch: Installment 7,981

By on 9.1.06 | 1:11PM

Kofi Annan has now announced that the Syrians have agreed to stop sending arms to Hizballah in Lebanon, even adding that they'd conduct border patrols to prevent smuggling. This will, surely, be bandied about in the Security Council as proof positive that no steps need be taken against Syria. It's not accompanied by any complaints from Nasrallah, which tells all.

Kofi's off to Tehran tomorrow. And more results like that will follow.

I spoke this morning to a senior administration official who said that Syria is still the route "a lot of bad guys" are taking into Iraq.

Note to Dr. Rice: please remember Casey Stengel. At a rather low point in the Mets' history, he asked, "Can't anybody here play this game?" That's a question we ask of the State Department.

RE: Agassi

By on 9.1.06 | 1:00PM

Quin: last night's U.S. Open match-up was unbelievable. To go back and forth in the fifth set between deuce almost every game (I counted close to 15 in one game) was true agony, especially knowing that Agassi could have easily destroyed and ended the match when Baghdatis' leg cramps set in. Agassi demonstrated (along with questioning the ref on a call) that he has become a true gentleman in his older age (remember the good ol' days of yelping and bandanas). Perhaps it is the love of a good woman (isn't that always the way really) that is the cause. Thanks Steffi.

But my favorite part of the match was the interview afterward between Agassi and John McEnroe. Mr. Obvious noted that in order for Agassi (age 36) to win the big enchilada he has to win five more matches, or in other words, conquer five more youngsters. Whatta doll.

Agassi Agonistes

By on 9.1.06 | 12:03PM

I never thought I would see, again in my entire life, a tennis match as gripping as the one Jimmy Connors played in beating Aaron Krickstein on Labor Day of 1991, Connors' 39th birthday. But the incomparable Andre Agassi and the highly entertaining, heart-filled, and ultimately incredibly classy Marcos Baghdatis at least equalled that Connors event in their U.S. Oepn match last night. It was so nerve-wracking just watching that I felt my chest tightening and my temperature rising. Both players overcame pain and myriad challenges, both played unbelievably high-level tennis throughout, and both deserved the support of the crowd. In the end, with Agassi having barely hung on while Baghdatis suffered horrible cramps in both thighs, Baghdatis' comments in defeat were a heartfelt paean to Agassi's place in the history of the game. Bravo! And may Agassi continue his improbable match through this, his last tournament.

Not Doyle

By on 9.1.06 | 11:57AM

Lawrence Henry makes an interesting suggestion in saying that Allen Doyle should have been named to the Ryder Cup team, but it's just not practical. He may be a gritty competitor, but really, there's just no way that he's even among the best 150 golfers on the planet. Beating the geezers and hanging around the cut line at the US Open just doesn't equate to competing with the top players in the world. But Larry's column was a fun read, anyway!

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