Monthly Archives: July 2012

BALLADEER’S BLOG’S PRESEASON POLL FOR CCCAA COLLEGE FOOTBALL

 Welcome to Balladeer’s Blog’s 2012 CCCAA College Football Preseason Poll. The 2012 season for the divisions covered here kicks off on August 22nd!

To your left is Joe Mountie, the mascot for the Mt San Antonio College Mounties, the number one team in my CCCAA poll. The Mounties’ comeback attempt against San Francisco in last year’s championship game fell short but they’re on top for now in the rankings.

The Rams are at number two, so these two powerhouse teams are threatening to become to CCCAA football what Whitewater and Mt Union are to NCAA Division 3 football!

1. Mount San Antonio College (Called “Mt SAC” for short) Mounties   ###   2. City College of San Francisco Rams (defending champs)   ###   3. Riverside Tigers   ###   4. Butte College Roadrunners   ###   5. El Camino College Warriors   ###   6. College of San Mateo Bulldogs   ###   7. Saddleback Gauchos   ###   8. Continue reading

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ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST: THE NUMBER TWO FRONTIERADO MOVIE

 Frontierado is this Friday, August 3rd! Just 2 shopping days left!

ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST is, to me, the definitive Spaghetti Western. This movie incorporates all of the best elements of Italo-westerns and has the additional advantages of actual artistic merit and some location filming in the real American West. One of the most distracting elements of many Spaghetti oaters is the fact that the films were mostly shot in Spain’s Jarama Valley, which is great for a Spanish Civil War buff like myself, but that valley doesn’t really resemble the American west that the stories are set in.

Sergio Leone got to shoot some scenes for this flick in Monument Valley and such authentic scenery definitely helps in a film that exploits visuals to a degree unseen since the age of silent movies. This is undeniably an action film, but Leone and his co-writers on the script ( Bernardo Bertollucci and Dario Argento. I’m serious!) intentionally used the framework of an archetypal western plot about the railroad, land-grabbing and westward expansion, yet made it all seem fresh.    

I often jokingly call this movie Evil Is A Man Named Frank, because, in a masterpiece of reverse-casting Leone put Henry Fonda himself in the role of the conscienceless, sadistic and predatory Frank, the lead villain. Watching the black-clad Frank calmly blow away a defenseless child early in the film lets the Continue reading

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ARIZONA WESTERN COLLEGE MATADORS TOP BALLADEER’S BLOG’S NJCAA COLLEGE FOOTBALL POLL

 Welcome to Balladeer’s Blog’s FIRST EVER preseason college football poll! The NAIA, NCCAA, D2, D3 and CCCAA will also get preseason polls from yours truly in the coming weeks.

As much as I hate to see summer come to an end I’m with the rest of you in waiting impatiently for August 22nd, when the 2012 college football season kicks off in the divisions covered here at Balladeer’s Blog.

The Arizona Western College Matadors (logo at left) top this NJCAA poll. The Matadors may have fallen to the East Mississippi Lions in last year’s NJCAA Championship Game in the El Toro Bowl, but have enough talent to convince me they could be playing for the title once again.

1. Arizona Western College Matadors   ###   2. Iowa Western Reivers   ###   3. East Mississippi Lions (defending champs)   ###   4. Blinn College Buccaneers   ###   5. Butler (KS) Grizzlies   ###   6. Hutchinson Blue Dragons (won the last 3 Salt City Bowls)   ###   7. Continue reading

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THE MOST LAUGHABLY WEIRD SPAGHETTI WESTERNS

Django Kill

Django Kill

What better way to start Frontierado Week than with a look at some of the most obscure but laughably weird Italian westerns? And what better way to start that list than with one of the countless  Spaghetti Westerns with phony Django titles?

The upcoming release of Quentin  Tarantino’s Django Unchained   will  reboot the Django saga by making him an African American and pitting him against racist villains out west. This will nicely blend Django’s bounty hunter tale with the 70s blaxploitation westerns  starring Fred Williamson and others as former slaves blowing away Neo-Confederates in the Wild West.

Franco Nero starred as the original Django but sadly has just a cameo in the reboot. The original movie was a monumental success everywhere in the world except the U.S. back in 1966. There was only one other “official” Django movie (also starring Nero) but there were literally nearly a hundred false Django movies featuring different actors in the lead role (my favorite being Terence Hill) or that just plain retitled and redubbed other Italian westerns to make them seem like Django movies.

1. DJANGO KILL (1967) – Originally titled If You Live, Shoot!, this was one of the many Eurowesterns to be re-released to theaters years later as a phony Django movie just so it could clean up on the guaranteed cash cow of the Django name. In this one our pseudo-Django finds himself involved with a kidnapped teen boy, the gay outlaws who have kidnapped him (seriously), and their Wild West castle (?) where they torture their victims medieval-style, including roasting them on spits. Pseudo-Django shoots gold bullets in this flick and greedy townspeople rip open the corpses of the gunmen who fall to him just to get at the precious metal.

2. THE PRICE OF POWER (1969) – The John F Kennedy assassination gets restaged in the Old West in this movie that Continue reading

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Filed under Bad and weird movies, FRONTIERADO, Spaghetti Westerns

THE COOLEST HELMETS IN SCFA COLLEGE FOOTBALL

 Balladeer’s Blog would like to help all of us hang on until the 2012 college football season kicks off. My latest method has been by treating readers to some of the coolest helmets in the divisions of college football covered here.

Today’s installment highlights teams from the SCFA. The Antelope Valley College Marauders (logo at left) would have made the list but, like last week’s ASA College Avengers, their cool logo doesn’t show up well on their football helmets.

 8. SAN DIEGO MESA COLLEGE OLYMPIANS

Location: San Diego ,CA

Conference: Mountain Conference

Comment: Olympians is a timely team name what with the Continue reading

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Filed under college football, Cool Helmets

SILVERADO: THE OFFICIAL WESTERN OF FRONTIERADO

 SILVERADO (1985) – I’ve never made any secret about how Silverado is, to me, the official movie of this holiday. The film has all the high spirits and family appeal of Star Wars plus the well-choreographed action scenes of Raiders of the Lost Ark. On top of that Silverado features all the  highly stylized gunplay of the best Spaghetti Westerns but NOT the mud, blood, sweat and brutality of that genre. This movie is pure escapism and features the kind of preternaturally accurate gunslingers that I jokingly  describe as “Jedi Knights in the Olllld West”. These guys (as well as most of the villains) can literally shoot the needles off a cactus, simultaneously draw and shoot with pin-point accuracy and can just “sense” when some low-down hombre might be pulling a gun on them, even with their back turned and from half a room away.    

Scott Glenn and Kevin Costner portray brothers Emmet and Jake Johnson, Danny Glover portrays their African-American friend Mal, and Kevin Kline has the most layered role as the gambler/gunfighter called Paden. In the Continue reading

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LIBERALS AND CONSERVATIVES AND CHICK-FIL-A

Are Muslims who own restaurants also going to be forced to express support for gay marriage? How about abortion rights? How about treating women as equals? Somehow I didn’t think so.

 Welcome back to the favorite site of Independent Voters, Balladeer’s Blog, as always coming to you from an America being torn to shreds by the repulsive fanatics called Liberals and Conservatives. I’ve never hidden my support for gay marriage but I also never imply that people who disagree with me should have their constitutional rights violated.  American Liberals clearly DO feel that way, however.

Recently Dan Cathy, the owner of the successful Chick-Fil-A restaurant chain, blasphemed against American Liberalism’s most sacred scriptures by expressing his outdated opinion supporting the traditional definition of marriage. Democratic officials in Boston and Chicago, including Obama’s best buddy Rahm Emanuel, let their imperial disdain be known and claimed that Chick-Fil-A franchises would not be welcome in their cities because of this.

I have often made clear my contempt for American Liberals because of the cowardly way they refuse to criticize Islam’s homophobia and misogny the same way they criticize Christianity’s homophobia and misogyny but not even I thought they were low enough to pull a maneuver like this.

Since the Chick-Fil-A owner is a Continue reading

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