Phillipe and Jorge’s Cool, Cool World: Jock Talk, Budget Balancing and Advancing in the Arts

Jockular

Spoiler alert: Although this item addresses sports, we promise it does not include one word about the S*per B*wl, which by now you are all gagging on because of the overstuffed, nacho-flavored, melted-Velveeta-drenched media non-news monster it has become for media folks who need to fill print space and air time until kickoff. You’re welcome.

Basketball’s Rodney Dangerfield:

It is really a sad story, and indicative of The Biggest Little’s provincial and Providence-oriented worldview, that after all the hubbub and headlines about the URI basketball team’s entry into the top 25 of the weekly national polls, that they still have no legitimate TV contract that guarantees local Rams fans they can see them play, especially on the road. That, in itself, is shameful.

URI’s brass-balled coach Danny Hurley has turned his team into a monster, one that qualified for the NCAA tournament last year, and appears to be on the road to March Madness again. The problem is they play in the Atlantic 10 conference, which gets no respect on the national stage unless you put a finger up people’s noses, which Hurley and URI are doing.

This is not to denigrate Providence College, which has an equally compelling story of little guys squaring up against any all comers, and also made the NCAAs last year. And admittedly, La Prov native son PC coach Ed Cooley’s resurrection story is on par with Hurley’s. But with the éclat of the Big East conference sitting on their shoulder, they have everything but their practices on national TV.

It is too late to do anything about it this year, but may P&J suggest the omniscient Cox network do the right thing and lock in URI’s entire schedule for next year right now, and show them they are recognized and appreciated as a legit player on the national stage? Thank you.

Number Four: 

Rhode Island is a hockey state, always was, always will be. Apropos of that, local old boy Vin Cimini recently announced the founding of the Rhode Island Hockey Hall of Fame, long overdue. (A blown kiss here from P&J to Chuck “Heckle” Scherza.)

Here’s one of the things that spurred Cimini to take action.

Cimini gave a gift of a Boston Bruins Bobby Orr replica jersey to one of his hockey-playing nephews. Cimini takes it from there: “He opened it up in the locker room with all of his teammates and he looked at the back of it and said to his father, ‘Who’s Orr?’ That amazed me.”

A shout out here to Robert Mitchum in the iconic scene at the Boston Garden during a Bruins game in the movie The Friends of Eddie Coyle, shuffling shitfaced back to his seat with a couple of beers in his hands, yelling, “Numbah foah, Bobby Oah!”

Oops:

Okay, despite our promise at the top of this article, here’s a Super Bowl reference. (Yeah, we lied, so sue us. (please don’t – ed.)) Although it impossibly dates him, Phillipe’s two favorite teams are in Super Bowl LII, the Eagles being the childhood heroes of the little nipper back when he lived just outside Philly during part of his Wonder Years. This was reinforced by two major things: 1) P’s father employed future Iggles and NFL legend Chuck Bednarik in the summer while he was in college at Penn; and, 2) the second NFL game P ever attended was the 1960 NFL Championship game at Franklin Field when Philadelphia beat the Green Bay Packers, 17-13, when Bednarik tackled the Packers’ fullback, Jim Taylor, at the Iggles’ 15-yard line as time ran out, lying on top of him and famously saying to Taylor face-mask-to-face-mask, “You’re not getting up until this fucking game is over!” Cue the final whistle.  Older and wiser, P now says, “Go Pats!”

The High Road at Halitosis Hall

Perhaps after a year of President Pussy-grabber in office, our brains have been numbed to stupidity and incompetence, not to mention flagrant insults to our intelligence.

That is the only factor Phillipe and Jorge can think of when we look at Governor Gigi’s proud declaration that we will soon be balancing the state budget on the backs of legalized sports betting and marijuana revenues. Wow! Bow-wow! Where is the outrage?

This, we believe, does not really qualify as fiscal legitimacy or responsibility. But it may if someone would please just buy us 10 more rounds of Pernod and grapefruit cocktails and have our chauffeur, James, drive us back to Casa Diablo before we throw up in the back seat. And if it weren’t for those pesky and repressive sex slave trafficking laws that we doubt will soon be rescinded, Little Rhody might have had another future avenue to financial success.

As P and J’s sainted mothers might have said, “Are you shitting me?”  We’ll leave it at that. Way to take the high road, Gigi.

Kudos and Congrats (to some local arts heroes)

Your superior correspondents were greatly pleased to see the great actor (who spent so many years at Trinity Rep), Richard Jenkins, nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for his work in The Shape of Water, one of the most acclaimed films of 2017. Dick’s been there before, having been nominated in the Best Actor category for The Visitor (2007). Another interesting tidbit for longtime Vo Dilunduhs about The Shape of Water is that former URI sociology professor, Richard Gelles’ daughter-in-law, Vanessa Taylor, co-wrote the script. (Jorge took a class with Professor Gelles many years ago and, despite having been a lousy student, remains friends with him.)
In another burst of thespian brilliance, Trinity Rep stalwart and recent Scrooge Joe Wilson will be taking a season off to grace Broadway with his performance as Joe Mott in The Iceman Cometh, performing opposite some guy named Denzel Washington.
We also would like to mention the passing of the beloved Pawtucket dance instructor Theresa Landry, at age 96. She taught up until she turned 93 and was a true Vo Dilun treasure. Jorge was friendly with her and will miss her (as will so many others).

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