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The Crew Wars is about to add its next episode on the pitch…

Columbus Crew SC will battle Supporters’ Shield winner and MLS heavyweight Toronto FC tomorrow night in Canada in the second leg of the 2017 MLS Eastern Conference Final at 7:30 p.m. ET on FS1. And the stakes for this match aren’t just for a spot in MLS Cup but the opportunity to host MLS Cup. This massive game awaits the Crew and its vocal #SaveTheCrew movement (The Resistance) in the stands and here in Columbus whereby a victory could be the best-televised PR moment for Columbus this season, as well as simultaneously being the worst televised PR moment for the Empire (snakes Crew SC owner Anthony Precourt, Crew SC President of Business Operations Andy Loughnane, Precourt Sports Ventures President Dave Greeley and MLS Commissioner Don Garber).

More #SaveTheCrew analysis will come this week as details confirming that Empire representatives Mr. Precourt and Mr. Garber told Resistance forces Columbus Mayor Ginther and Columbus Partnership President & CEO Alex Fischer that they could pay the $5 million fee to apply for an expansion team in the future (FOR THE TEAM THAT’S ALREADY HERE!) during their closed-door New York meeting. Plus, there have been back-and-forth reports involving land being offered for a proposed Crew stadium in downtown Columbus in recent days.

For today, however, before this soccer storm returns to our television screens via the pivotal second leg of the Eastern Conference Final, this blog post is being written with my nieces and nephews in mind.

Paddington, the live-action film with a CGI bear that was a box office hit with rave reviews from 2014 has received the sequel treatment. Accordingly, this fun, heartwarming story that’s been beautifully produced for the silver screen released its first full U.S. trailer via Warner Bros. Pictures earlier today.

If you can’t bear to wait, no worries, as you can enjoy the rambunctious Paddington 2 starting January 12, 2018.

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Tomorrow’s Forecast Up North: Gold Pants Weather

THE Ohio State Buckeyes and the Michigan Wolverines will collide for the 114th time on the gridiron in “The Big House” in Ann Arbor tomorrow at noon on FOX for another installment of the greatest rivalry in sports.

The intensity is real, the history is storied and the legendary rivalry between two bordering Midwestern states continues with a lot at stake for both programs and states. Eternal pride and a pair of small gold pants are always on the line. And this year, there’s potentially a little something extra down the road for Ohio State if the men in scarlet & gray drive away victorious with the aforementioned gold pants for the sixth consecutive season. The Buckeyes are still (metaphorically) looking for a Hail Mary to sneak into the College Football Playoff.

More on this in a future blog post.

As usual, the rankings don’t matter in this rivalry. The #9 Buckeyes and the unranked Wolverines will compete like it’s the national championship and tomorrow’s game should add an amazing new chapter to an already amazing and evolving story. And winning those cherished gold pants against ‘That Team Up North’ defines legacies, like with quarterback J.T. Barrett seeking his school-record 4th pair as Ohio State’s starting quarterback in this rivalry.

(Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett in April 2017 receiving his gold pants for the win against ‘That Team Up North’ last season, courtesy of Eleven Warriors)

Losing this game can equally break legacies. You don’t have to remind John Cooper of that reality…

Analysis of the game will follow later. For now, here’s a subtle reminder of the greatest rivalry in sports.

OH-IO. 

Go Bucks!

It’s Time for Wesley Sneijder to Widen His (Soccer) World

Two people walk down the same street together and see something happen. Incredibly, it’s entirely possible that these two people will have vastly different reactions and, therefore, reach two vastly different conclusions to said event.

Ready, set, go.

“Galatasaray have terminated the contract of Netherlands midfielder Wesley Sneijder.”
–Goal.com

What does the statement above mean?

The initial response indicates bad news for Dutch superstar Wesley Sneijder. Has to, right? When contracts are terminated, regardless of profession, that isn’t good news. However, having followed Mr. Sneijder’s comments recently, the opposite is actually true in his case. As a matter of fact, the “termination” was a mutal decision made between Mr. Sneijder and his now former Turkish club Galatasaray.

After making his 131st cap for the Netherlands national team (a record) during a revitilizing (and desperately necessary) 5-nil win against World Cup qualifying foe Luxembourg last month, signs emphatically point towards the 33-year-old #10 preparing for a third consecutive World Cup run next summer in Russia.

What does this projection mean?

Galatasaray is a good club, but not the one that will best condition the undervalued world-class veteran for what could possibly be the last best chance for his home country to try to win its first World Cup for a generation. Along with Arjen Robben and Robin van Persie (also 33 years-old), this explosively dynamic golden trio still have what it takes to hoist the greatest trophy in soccer. But the youngsters/next generation of the Oranje have to dramatically step up their game just to qualify for next summer’s competition.

It’s still an “if” at this point in qualifying, but possible.

Wherever Wesley Sneijder takes his talent to next, that club will have one of the most creative and dangerous #10 playmakers in the world. He can pass with precision and vision and score at seemingly any moment.

Here are a few examples of the now free agent finding the back of the net throughout his career for both club and country.

And Wesley Sneijder has Turkish club Galatasaray to thank for permitting him to build on his career once more at a critical juncture. Plus, Wesley Sneijder should get to fly on Turkish Airlines at least one more time…

Any chance to listen to Morgan Freeman’s voice, I’ll take it.

2049 Will Be Here Before You Know It

Science fiction was redefined with Ridley Scott’s 1982 cinematic benchmark Blade Runner.

Later this year, in October of 2017 (or 2049 in movie years), the highly-anticipated sequel will arrive in movie theaters. Blade Runner 2049s trailers have revealed that Harrison Ford will return to be a prominent player in the new story. Mr. Ford’s portrayal as Rick Deckard is iconic. In the overarching movie universe, Rick Deckard doesn’t receive equal fandom to Han Solo or Indiana Jones. To be fair, Han Solo and Indiana Jones are simply on a higher level. That’s a fact. However, in science fiction circles, Rick Deckard is not only a household name, but a beloved character among fans.

That’s also a fact. With past generations and new generations expected to buy tickets to the sequel this October, Rick Deckard’s cultural influence will only grow with Blade Runner 2049.

The original Blade Runner is a strange, entertainingly wild and curious journey into a world that has inspired science fiction films throughout the past few decades. And yet its stunning visuals and dark city setting in a dystopian future remains distinctly original. Thankfully, the practical effects (when possible) appear to be the storytelling preference for director Denis Villeneuve and his team. Interestingly, Warner Bros. Pictures decided that, in an effort to promote Blade Runner 2049, they would create a nearly 4-minute video that takes fans inside the making of this film.

A recent “making of” video with cast and production team interviews, plus bonus footage, released months before the theatrical release?

What?

The old rules for marketing films has, for sometime now (as explored many times on Jimmy’s Daily Planet), been increasingly dissolved in favor of teasing disclosures and a long, long train of intrigue. Thus far, this extended promotional strategy appears to have worked for recent blockbusters (Interstellar, Jurassic World, Star Wars, etc.). This “Time to Live” featurette for Blade Runner 2049 is, even in the “nothing is private anymore” era, pushing the envelope for cinematic marketing.

Judge for yourself.

Maybe it’s just me, but I feel very strongly about the following:

I want that Frank Sinatra singing hologram machine!

Oh, and Blade Runner 2049 (yes, I’ll say it alongside cast member Dave Bautista) looks better than the original.

Only the future will tell in 2049 on October 6, 2017.