Okay, enough political news for the week. What about those Oscar nominations yesterday? Nine movies were nominated for best picture, the most since the Academy raised the number of possible best-picture nominees to 10 from five in 2009.
Yet I wish there was a 10th. That would be Fruitvale Station, the film that captures the last day in the life of the late Oscar Grant in Oakland on New Year's Eve on 2008. And personally I'd delete Her from the mix. I can't tell you how delighted I was to hear from someone who said she didn't think it was all it was cracked up to be either.
American Hustle, 12 Years a Slave and Gravity dominated in terms of the number of awards. I must say I'm astounded a bit by the number of people I know who haven't seen 12 Years. I guess folks like their slavery done more fantasy like, à la Django Unchained? That Tarantino joint made over $146 million at the box office, whereas 12 Years has brought in a grand total of just $39 million so far. Something to ponder.
And this Sunday is pretty much the last day of football for the next nine months. I'm not forgetting the Super Bowl — it's just its own unique entity.
The matchups are to savor: New England at Denver followed by San Francisco at Seattle. Although I'm rooting for a Broncos-49ers final, I hate to say I see it going the other way, with Tom Brady and company again getting the better of Peyton Manning in 40 degree-plus weather in the Mile High City (how many fans will be legally stoned at the game?)
In raucous Seattle, the 49ers have been humiliated the last two Sunday nights they've visited in Century Link Stadium (I dig that south end zone!). It will be closer, and I'll be rooting intensely for them, but I think this is Seattle's year. I hope I'm wrong.
The craft beer scene has exploded in the Tampa Bay area in the past couple of years, and with that there has been corresponding tension between the Big Beer establishment and the indie brewers, a story we look at in our feature in this week's paper .
The reality on the ground in Pinellas County today is far different than what is depicted on Washington D.C. insider blogs, which is why it really shouldn't be a surprise that David Jolly has a slight lead over Alex Sink in the first poll taken of the general election campaign in Congressional District 13 race. Nothing for Sink to fret over, but she will have to work to earn this seat.
Shortly after the tragic incident at Orlando's SeaWorld nearly four years ago, CL reported on whether or not such theme parks were appropriate for such wild mammals. Then a documentary, Blackfish, was aired on CNN last fall, and lots of people got consciousness and called on various musical artists to boycott the theme park. Now that boycott is affecting other SeaWorld properties, including Tampa's Busch Gardens.