15 thoughts on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

For 89 years, all of America has shared in one Thanksgiving tradition: watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. It is broadcast on NBC for three hours and takes up about 2. 5 miles of New York’s streets.

The 2015 parade featured 17 giant balloons, 12 marching bands, 27 floats and close to the same number of celebrities.

Watching the parade isn’t my personal family tradition, but I sat through the broadcast to see what all the hubbub was about. Here are my thoughts:

1. Loving that the first hour of the parade is actually dedicated to Broadway and not the actual parade. Is that so the rest of it can catch up on the 2.5 mile walk?

2. As much as I’m all for an hour of Broadway, the Macy’s parade isn’t the greatest outlet to showcase something rooted in live performance. The performances really lacked the luster they typically have. Even Something Rotten!‘s fabulous “A Musical” number was tarnished by lip sync.

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3. The casts of The King and IFinding Neverland and School of Rock the Musical didn’t even have mics on. At least pretend, you’re not lip syncing.

4. NBC really capitalizes on the event. It not only had the cast of The Wiz Live! perform a sneak peek, but it also had random interviews with the celebrities of its upcoming shows Telenovela and Superstore, in addition to already-airing Blindspot.

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5.  What other time do you get to hear Matt Lauer explain the premise of Spongebob Squarepants as the giant square balloon floats by? Magic.

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6. Who decides which artist is paired with which float? As in, who decided Daughtry would best pair with the Avocados from Mexico float? And Shawn Mendes on Pirate’s Booty?
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7. While we’re talking about the acts, who picks the lineup? Since when have the Plain White T’s or Daughtry been relevant? How about Christian rock group MercyMe? Shout out to whoever got Pat Benatar though. That was outstanding.

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8. When does Underdog get away again?

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9. Snoopy and Woodstock are still my favorite balloons. Snoopy has appeared in the parade more than any other character.

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10. How much do viewers at home miss when they cut to advertisements? Wouldn’t you be super disappointed if you were that marching band or that dance group that got skipped over?

11. What does it take to help hold the balloons? Apparently, a decent amount.

12. Matt Lauer and Al Roker, for whatever reason, found it hilarious that Savannah Guthrie said “nut mobile” when Planters had its turn in the parade. Either that’s an inside joke or they are just as immature as the masses.

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13. The adults dancing on the floats are living life right now with their corny-as-hell moves while the actual children look rather miserable.

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14. The puns are out of this world. Thank you Savannah for this gem: Pikachu has an “always electric” personality.

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15. Instead of having dozens of lip syncing artists, feature more performance groups, such as the 610 Stompers and the Kruti Dance Academy. Those are acts most people don’t typically get to see and they can actually display their talents and not just mouth along to it.

If the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade isn’t a longstanding tradition in your family, you probably won’t get why it’s such a big deal. It’s quite a spectacle. Macy’s spends an undisclosed amount on it, and it shows. It’s not something viewers need to dedicate three hours to, but it’s worth it to have it on in the background while you prep Thanksgiving dinner and set the table.

23 thoughts a non-sports fan had while watching Monday Night Football

Never in my 21 years have I ever uttered the phrase, “I’m watching the football game tonight.”

Until now.

I know nothing, nor do I care to know anything, about sports. I talk about the industry as if it was a disease. An innate grimace takes over my face when a football game is on a television, and it unfortunately always is — somewhere. My level of boredom rises beyond a healthy level, and I have a tantrum worthy of a 3-year-old who didn’t get a cookie if I have to spend another minute of my life watching men run around a field/ court/ rink/ what have you.

I didn’t always detest sports. In fact, I actually liked them when I was younger. I played softball for years and even owned a collection of baseball cards. Then, I discovered there was better content on TV and in theater.

I just cannot comprehend the appeal of sports. Hence, I decided to challenge myself to watch a Monday Night Football game — the New York Giants versus the Philadelphia Eagles. Here are my thoughts:

1. The game started at 8:30 p.m. Quarters are only 15 minutes long, so the game should be about an hour and a half tops, right?

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2. OK, we’re five minutes into the first quarter, and I think I’ve gotten the gist of what’s going to happen. Are we done yet?

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3. Why are there so many replays? I get it. The guy got tackled.

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4. Aren’t they supposed to dance in the end zone when they score a touchdown? Why did that craft die?

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5. I really like that quarterbacks are bringing back the fannypack. It’s a very efficient and glamorous accessory.

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6. Eli Manning isn’t doing DISH TV commercials, so I’m a little disappointed.

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7. What’s the deal with these announcers? No, seriously. I would rather listen to Gilbert Gottfried read the entire 50 Shades of Grey series than listen to the incessant screeching of these guys. Combine their unceasing chattering with the referee’s whistle and the roar of the crowd and you’ve got yourself the perfect recipe for a migraine.

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8. On a positive note, I really appreciate the lines the broadcast places on the field to help viewers see the line of scrimmage and the yellow first-down line — yeah, I know what those are. I wouldn’t be able to understand anything without them, which makes me question how fans watching the game at the stadium can comprehend where the ball is or where the team needs to go without those broadcast graphics. I’m also curious why they probably paid a lot of money to see this when they could sit in the comfort of their own home to watch the game while wrapped in a blanket and eating nachos that don’t cost $20.

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9. Sometimes, I think these players are purposefully running into the group of large, burly men whose job it is to stop them.
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10. Isn’t the stereotype supposed to be that football players tap one another on the tush? They’re just hitting their helmets. You’re already at a great risk for a concussion; cut it out.

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11. The Giants suffered a turnover with 10 minutes left in the second quarter, and coach Tom Coughlin was NOT happy about it. I wish the camera stayed on him more. He was great.

12. What do the teams do during commercial breaks?

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13. How many cameras are filming this game?

?

14. Wow, these announcers are never lost for words.

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15. Why are you doing a timeout with six seconds left in a quarter?! What could you possibly accomplish within that timeframe?

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16. At 9:26 p.m., only 11 minutes were left in the second quarter. Guess when it actually ended. 10:05 p.m. Since when does 11 minutes take 39 minutes to play out?

17. What luck that I chose to watch a football game during the night they premiered the Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer!

18. Is there a halftime show?

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19. I’ll be honest. I fell asleep for the majority of the third quarter. I’m not even sorry about it. Every moment looks the same to me, so I’m pretty sure I didn’t really miss anything.

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20. Can you do more interceptions? Those are cool. Enough of this one-yard gain stuff. It’s intolerable.

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21. They scramble after a football like pizza rat does after its slice of ‘za. I can relate.
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22. I’m sure there’s a strategy to the plays they make, but every single thing they do looks exactly the same to me.

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23. The game ended at 11:35 p.m. How did one hour of actual game time take three hours to play out?!

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The Eagles beat the Giants 27-7, and a piece of my soul has withered away. I think I’ve met my football-watching quota for the next 21 years of my life. How anyone voluntarily and consistently watches those games is beyond me.

Never again.

Why ‘A League of Their Own’ is the best sports movie for non-sports fans

From Field of Dreams to Rudy to Slap Shot to Rocky, many renowned sports films are at viewers’ fingertips, all ripe with dramatic storylines, heart-wrenching and relatable confessions and moments of triumph or loss whose impact can be maintained through generations.

Above all of the titles available, one stands out: A League of Their Own.

This 1992 Penny Marshall-directed film tells a fictionalized account of the real first female professional baseball league — the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League — which existed from 1943 to 1954 to ensure baseball stay popular while the men were fighting in World War II. The film centers on the Rockford Peaches (three-time-champions), its manager Jimmy Dugan (Tom Hanks) as well as its players, including Dottie Hinson (Geena Davis), Kit Keller (Lori Petty), Mae Mordabito (Madonna) and Doris Murphy (Rosie O’Donnell). It’s also about the battle to make a new league from nothing — and being successful while doing it.

Aside from just being a really well-made, high-quality film, A League of Their Own is a movie that any audience can enjoy — not just the sports fans. For those who don’t enjoy spending three hours watching “the pigskin” be thrown around, sports movies aren’t exactly the No. 1 choice. If a viewer actually enjoys boxing, then Rocky is probably a lot more tolerable. Remember the Titans is an excellent, emotional film, but one can only watch these guys be tackled so many times.

Instead, watch A League of Their Own. Yes, the film is about the first female professional baseball league. Yes, there are scenes depicting baseball games. However, the overall takeaway has nothing to do with the sport. It’s entirely more about female empowerment than it is about baseball. Now, most sports films are about more than the sport itself, but in A League of Their Own, its pace differs from the rest. Most other sports films dedicate tons of time to depicting games being played out — just in case the audience forgets which sport this film is about.

It doesn’t take a lot of time depicting the baseball games. Instead, the film expertly uses montages to bring the viewer to the same conclusion that, you guessed it, they’re playing baseball. It skips over the obvious of what could occur in a baseball game and instead takes more time to develop the characters’ relationships with one another. Right from the beginning, viewers feel a sense of protection for Marla Hooch (Megan Cavanagh), who is bullied for her looks. Then the audience voraciously cheers her on as she finds love and a happy life. When Betty “Spaghetti” Horn’s (Tracy Reiner) gets the news that her husband has died in the war, the audience cries with her because they’ve grown attached to the character. Spoiler by the way.

On a non-thematic note, the montages also just serve as utterly amazing, action-filled scenes that capture the audience’s attention. Baseball can be repetitive, but A League of Their Own makes every move entertaining. Not even Remember the Titans can really say that. They’re set to 1940s-esque, jazzy tunes and they’re so entertaining to watch.

Watch that and honestly say you don’t feel empowered and ready to play some baseball.

Additionally, the acting is incomparable. Geena Davis and Tom Hanks are generally flawless in every role A League of Their Own features impeccable performances by the two. Who can forget Hanks’ iconic “there’s no crying in baseball” scene or when Dottie catches a ball with her bare hand? From her phenomenal dance sequence to teaching Shirley (Ann Cusack) how to read by using erotica, Madonna unexpectedly gives a killer performance as “all the way Mae.” It’s an amazing all-star cast.

Films like RockyField of Dreams and Remember the Titans are solid sports films, but for those who aren’t exactly watching to see the sport played out, A League of Their Own is the way to go.

*picture via screencrush.com

Court Street Craving Roundup: Eat Uptown before Homecoming; congrats vegetarians

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via David Wilson

Ohio University’s Homecoming week-long celebration is just around the corner, which also means the lines for restaurants Uptown will also be out the door and around the corner. Tip: Hit up your favorite Uptown eateries early in the week and satisfy your Salaam or Bagel Street Deli craving sooner rather than later. Expect the usual hour wait at Casa Nueva to increase to two to three hours.

Athens Eats

The Jewish community is celebrating Sukkot this week. The holiday not only commemorates the historical pilgrimage through the desert, but it also is known as an agricultural or harvest festival. (The Post)

Athens is trying to combat its rate of homelessness. One such service are churches offering meals to those in the area. (The Post)

The teens on Chopped Teen were very serious about being teen chef superstars. One went so far to chop a watermelon. See which contestant won $25,000 grand prize. (The Post)

The Indian Mound Festival is still kicking. Festivals mean food — food truck food. (The Athens Messenger)

Regretting all of those Big Mamma’s burritos? The chicken ‘n’ waffle sandwiches from Uptown Grill? You might want to pick up a diet, but make sure you’re eating the right foods. (Backdrop Magazine)

In honor of World Vegetarian Day on Oct. 1, check out this “dish of the week” from Chelsea’s Real Food Truck, “The Veggie.” (Backdrop Magazine)

Need something to help wash down that Veggie sandwich? Visit the Little Fish Brewery. (Backdrop Magazine)

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via Mike Mozart

Food in the news

Carnitas is back at Chipotle! Everyone rejoice — well, everyone who isn’t in Cleveland, Atlanta, North Carolina and South Carolina. (CNBC)

Jennifer Lawrence can shove a surprising number of marshmallows in her mouth. Celebrities, they’re just like us! (E! Online)

It’s October, so everything needs to be spooky and scary. Need some tips? Watch Halloween Wars. It premieres Sunday at 9 p.m. (Food Network)

Recipes to try

Celebrate World Vegetarian Day with these 30 — yes, 30 — recipes. (Food Network)

No EVOO is needed for this Rachel Ray recipe for chili mac. (Food Network)

The Food Network is very ready for fall and wants you to tweet about it using #FallFest. (Food Network)

Court Street Craving Roundup: Fall into the pumpkin season; try new corn beer

via David Wilson
via David Wilson

Welcome to the Court Street Craving Roundup where each week we’ll be bringing you the latest news on Athens eateries and other food-related topics in the area.

Athens eats:

It’s fall and that means everything has to be pumpkin-themed or you’ll be kicked out of America. Here are six fall-themed recipes you can even make in your dorm.  (The Post)

Summer rain brought a lot of pain to local farmers. (The Post)

Jeff Market will close in April and reopen in 2017 with an international foods section. Then, international students looking for food from their home countries don’t have to drive more than 70 miles to Columbus to get it. (The Post)

The Athens Farmers Market is looking to move to the Athens Community Center. (The Post)

Are you feeding the groundhogs on West Green with leftovers from your dining hall swipe? You probably shouldn’t. (The Post). 

An Athens woman is selling her “New Earth Teas” in the local food section at Kroger. It’s more organic and is caffeine free. (The Athens Messenger)

Hold the pumpkin roll. The Athens Pumpkin Festival will not take place this year. (The Athens Messenger)

Ever wonder what a beer made of corn tastes like? Now you can try it. Microbrewery Little Fish Brewing Company has released the Shagbark Pilsner, which is 20 percent corn from Shagbark Seed and Mill, a local organic mill. (The Athens News)

Do you want a quesadilla from Casa Nueva? After you read this, you will. (Backdrop Magazine)

If you want to grab a quick snack while checking out an exhibit at the Kennedy Museum of Art, you’re now out of luck. The Ridges Cafe has closed until further notice. (Backdrop Magazine)

 

Food in the news:

via Mike Mozart
via Mike Mozart

Wisconsin isn’t the only cheese state. Ohio was the first state to produce Swiss cheese. From Life Savers to Chef Boyardee, many popular foods originated in the Buckeye State. (The Columbus Dispatch)

Take note. A beef-jerky business that began in an Ohio State University dorm received a $100,000 JPMorgan grant. (The Columbus Dispatch)

Eggs are actually good for a few weeks after their expiration date. You can also cook with sour milk. It may seem gross, but it’s all true. (NPR)

About one-third of United States children and teens eat fast food every day. I bet their McDonald’s Monopoly cards get filled out pretty fast. (Daily Record)

 

Recipes to try:

The perfect chocolate chip cookie is within reach. (Food Network)

It’s hard to have time to prep meals. Food Network Kitchens compiled some easy-to-make dinners, breakfasts and snacks. (Food Network)