Every college football season Balladeer’s Blog chronicles the intense gridiron rivalry between the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) and NCAA Division 3. For the 4th year in a row my readers can cast votes to say who they feel would win a game played between the national champions of the NAIA and the national champions of D3.
Balladeer’s Bowl IV will pit the GRAND VIEW UNIVERSITY VIKINGS (NAIA Champs) against the UW-WHITEWATER WARHAWKS (NCAA D3 Champs). To prevent the Continue reading
“Gee, your curtains smell terrific!”
Christmas Carol-A-Thon 2013 continues here at Balladeer’s Blog! Time once again for an under-the-radar version of A Christmas Carol. This time it’s the 1977 BBC TV version starring Michael Hordern as Scrooge. Hordern was better known to some people as the voice of Paddington Bear way back when. There’s a lot of charm to this 58 minute version even though it’s got 70′s sitcom-style lighting and special effects that even the makers of the original Dr Who show could have looked down their noses at.
The dialogue is drawn directly from Dickens so it flows nicely and the segment with Continue reading
Balladeer’s Blog’s Christmas Carol-A-Thon for 2013 continues! This time around I’m examining a 1965 production from California PBS station KCET. The title may not sound action-packed and appealing but Dr Frank Baxter was to the 1950’s and 1960’s what Carl Sagan and The Reduced Shakespeare Company were to later decades.
Just as The Reduced Shakespeare Company made the works of the Bard of Avon more accessible and therefore more popular among non-Shakespeare fans Dr Baxter’s Shakespeare on TV series inspired younger generations to take an interest in the works of the great Elizabethan playwright. And like Carl Sagan’s series Cosmos made him a virtual rockstar of the scientific field Dr Baxter’s entertaining and educational Bell Laboratory Science Series of film shorts made him enormously popular among teachers and students in every school that used those shorts as classroom aids. The Bell Laboratory Science Series educational shorts were so effective and beloved they were still being used in the 70’s and 80’s.
This black & white hour-long holiday special features Baxter at a Continue reading
TF1 in France
Christmas-Carol- A-Thon 2013 continues with one of the most visually enticing versions ever made. Unfortunately, it’s also virtually impossible to obtain for people who lack the nearly psychotic drive necessary to track these things down.
TF1 Television in France first aired this version of A Christmas Carol, which could be described as a Carol for the arthouse crowd. Not a put-down OR a compliment, just an observation. The performances are even more low-key than in the George C Scott version and the direction, by Pierre Boutron, is very inventive, bordering on a surrealist approach .The overall effect is like A Very Jean Cocteau Christmas or something. As with the Spanish Leyenda de Navidad this French production keeps the story in 1843 London and stars Michel Bouquet as Scrooge and Pierre Olaf as Bob Cratchit.
This 90 minute version of the Carol is one of the tiny handful that Continue reading
* NAIA SEMIFINALS *
EVERYBODY MUST GET STONEHOUSE – The top-seeded UNIVERSITY OF THE CUMBERLANDS PATRIOTS proved exceptionally skilled at getting to Dakota Stonehouse, the Quarterback for the visiting CARROLL COLLEGE FIGHTING SAINTS. These two teams kept each other scoreless in the 1st Quarter but the Patriots were leading 13-3 as Halftime approached when the Fighting Saints made it 13-10 instead. CC – winners of 6 of the last 11 National Championships – racked up a 24-20 lead as the 3rd Quarter ended. A Touchdown by UC followed by a Field Goal by CC left the score knotted at 27-27. A crucial sack of Stonehouse when the Fighting Saints were moving into Field Goal range sent the game into Overtime. After the Patriots managed 7 points in the extra session it was Carroll College’s turn. Soon ANOTHER sack of Stonehouse ended CC’s hopes on 4th and goal! UC wins 34-27 and moves on to the title game on December 21st!
IN A BLOWOUT NO ONE CAN HEAR YOU YAWN – The GRAND VIEW UNIVERSITY VIKINGS played host to the MORNINGSIDE COLLEGE MUSTANGS in this much-anticipated game that turned into a laugher by Halftime. The Vikings led last year’s runners-up in NAIA football 7-0 after one Quarter of play but had parlayed that into a 28-0 lead by the break. The Mustangs never even sniffed the scoreboard throughout the 2nd Half but Grand View mustered another Touchdown to win a trip to Rome, GA for the Championship Game. The final score was 35-0, setting up a battle of unbeatens between the Patriots and the Vikings.
* NCAA DIVISION 2 QUARTERFINALS *
LIONS AND CLOSE GAMES AND BEARS – OH MY! – The LENOIR-RHYNE UNIVERSITY BEARS welcomed the UNIVERSITY OF NORTH ALABAMA LIONS for what turned out to be D2’s closest game of the day. The Lions carried with them decades of postseason tradition as well as 2013’s last hope for the Gulf South Conference to retain the Championship. The Bears were unintimidated, however and went blow for blow with the team from Florence, emerging with a Continue reading
Fezziwig’s Christmas Party
Welcome to Balladeer’s Blog’s Fourth Annual Christmas Carol-A-Thon! It’s the time of year when I examine countless adaptations of the Dickens classic from television, movies, radio and elsewhere! As always new versions will be sprinkled in with the old standards.
Starting us off for 2013 is the 1995 home video Read-Along Christmas Carol. This version is just 50 minutes long and is ideal for youngsters learning how to read or for the hearing-impaired to watch. The video features a series of still drawings AND limited animation from the Dickens classic accompanied by word-balloons of dialogue (like in comic books or comic strips) appearing over the characters’ heads.
This version provides an Continue reading
NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) – 1. MORNINGSIDE COLLEGE MUSTANGS (2012 runners-up) ### 2. CARROLL COLLEGE FIGHTING SAINTS ### 3. UNIVERSITY OF THE CUMBERLANDS PATRIOTS ### 4. SAINT XAVIER UNIVERSITY COUGARS ### 5. GEORGETOWN COLLEGE (KY) TIGERS ### 6. SAINT AMBROSE UNIVERSITY FIGHTING BEES (love that name) ###
NCCAA (National Christian College Athletic Association) – 1. NORTH GREENVILLE UNIVERSITY CRUSADERS ### 2. POINT UNIVERSITY SKYHAWKS ### 3. GREENVILLE COLLEGE PANTHERS (defending champions) ### 4. GENEVA UNIVERSITY GOLDEN TORNADOES ### 5. Continue reading