Excitables For the Week of Jan. 20-21

What are we gonna do when football goes away in a few weeks, sigh. What the heck are we gonna write about? I know, spring training is not that far off. Anyway, here are the things we’re looking forward to this weekend.

NFL playoffs (New Orleans at Chicago, Sunday, 3:30 on Fox; New England at Indianapolis, Sunday, 8 pm., CBS) — Only two more games before the Superbowl and while the New Orleans Saints have become everyone’s favorite home team, I’m actually looking forward to the late game on Sunday where Peyton Manning will try to exercise the ghosts of Tom Brady and the Patriots. For those of you not familiar with the history, it’s a lot like Charlie Brown trying to kick that football Lucy’s holding. Yeah, it’s been that kind of frustrating for Peyton.

Our Superbowl pick for what it’s worth is New Orleans vs. Indianapolis. Not so much for the Saints but because we’re looking forward to all the interviews with Archie Manning (Peyton’s father and New Orleans former quarterback) asking him who he’s rooting for. Should be interesting. See NFL.com for coverage.

NY Giants SuperBowl XXI (Friday, 8 p.m., NFL Network)— While we’re on the subject of football. It’s been a rough few weeks for Giants fans but the NFL Network is airing a documentary on the NY Giants Superbowl XXI team tonight at 8 p.m. The special is part of the America’s Game series, which is a countdown of the best SuperBowl teams of all time.

Rome, (Sunday night, 9 p.m., HBO ) — The bloom is a bit off the rose for this series as HBO has already announced that it’s the second and last go-around for Rome. The show with its large cast and expensive sets is simply too expensive to produce. Still, history buffs will marvel at the detail and atmosphere of the show. This is not a marble-white, Hollywood version of Rome but rather a dirty, violent and crime infested city. Most likely the bloodiest series on television.

The Plot Against America, Philip Roth — We’re behind on book reviews and we promise to catch up next week but we just started reading this book by Newark’s Roth and we’re hooked. Don’t be put off by the literary pedigree here. This is a fascinating, easy read and for New Jerseyans it’s probably just as entertaining to read about 1940s Newark as it is the book’s main hook: What would the country be like if Charles Lindbergh won the 1940 presidential election and the country never entered WWII.

The Hitcher— The only new movie opening this weekend (when was the last time that happened) is a remake of The Hitcherthe Rutger Hauer, C. Thomas Howell 80s flick. There’s nary a review available on the Web, which is usally not a good sign, but perhaps the best thing this film has done is remind us of how good the original really was. If you’ve never seen it and have the time it’s worth checking out on DVD.

Happy weekend everyone.

JC

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