Miami Hurricanes: The Millennium’s First Football Dynasty

Miami came into the 2000s on a mission, having recovered from the sanctions that plagued them in the second half of the 1990s, they were ready to rumble. In 2000 they would go 11-1, with their only loss a 34-29 crusher in a blisteringly loud Husky Stadium. They came back the next year on a mission and put together one of the most dominant seasons in the history of college football, averaging over 40 points score and under 10 allowed, doing this with five top-15 teams on their schedule. The national championship winning team would eventually have a silly 38 players drafted in the NFL, including 17 first-rounders. Ed Reed, Andre Johnson, Clinton Portis, Jonathan Vilma and Jeremy Shockey led the way, with underclassmen Frank Gore, Sean Taylor, Antrel Rolle and Kellen Winslow Jr. seeing plenty of PT as well. The Hurricanes almost repeated the next year if it hadn’t been for a questionable pass interference call favoring Ohio State. Fox Sports puts together a fitting tribute the century’s first dynasty.

Miami Hurricanes’ pursuit of perfection in 2001: an oral history

FoxSports.com, 9.17.14

 

 

The Wild Rejected Plotlines for “Star Trek: The Motion Picture” (1979)

The original Star Trek was cancelled in 1969, but the cultural phenomenon continued to grow with wildly successful reruns and a burgeoning convention scene. Paramount knew it had a successful property on their hands and tried multiple ways to capitalize, including a short-lived animated series. They then decided on a movie and cast their net wide for potential screenplays. Series creator Gene Roddenberry pitched an ambitious good-versus-evil story that featured Kirk fighting a shape-shifting Jesus character on the Enterprise‘s bridge. Another had the gang stopping the Kennedy association. Still another had Scotty transported back to 1937. The final product was considerably more tame, but The Hollywood Reporter does their typically fantastic job of telling the story of how that film came to be.

‘Star Trek’ Oral History: When Captain Kirk Fought Jesus

TheHollywoodReporter.com, 6.27.16

 

Ms. Magazine Changes American Media Forever

In 1971 American media was still dominated by white males, even properties marketed to women. Female journalists were pigeonholed into writing about food, fashion, and marriage. That changed when Gloria Steinhem and a collection of New York feminist journalists founded Ms. magazine. They were concerned whether there was a market for a glossy monthly magazine–the first issue sold out in eight days. Proposed articles showed that they were finally writing the stories they wanted to write: “A Secretary is an Office Wife,” “Someone Should Have Liberated Pat Nixon,” and “The Politics of Sex.” The magazine would help launch an entire media market, but its own fortunes waned as the century drew to a close, worn down by infighting, cultural change, and competition. Today, it is still published as a quarterly, and has a solid online presence. Its articles can be found in women’s studies syllabi across the country. New York Magazine, which helped with the initial launch of Ms. takes a multi-faceted look back at an American cultural institution.

How Do You Spell Ms.

NYMag.com, 10.30.11

“Badlands”: Terrence Malick’s Debut Masterpiece

Terrence Malick has a well-deserved reputation as the J.D. Salinger of film, a genius recluse who produces art on his timetable alone. His first picture, Badlands (1973), had a notoriously awful production that included most of the crew quitting and the special effects guy getting badly burned. Malick shot enough film for five movies. But the actors, including stars Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek, swear that the quiet, meditative director is the best they ever worked under. Their faith was rewarded as Badlands debuted to rave reviews as the opening film of the New York Film Festival. Described as a timeless, European-style film that showed the humanity and raw ambition of its murderous lovers, the movie established Malick as an original voice in American cinema.

Badlands: An Oral History

GQ.com, 5.26.11

Columbia House: The CD Distribution Titan

For us 90’s kids, Columbia House (and their rival, BMG) were ubiquitous and important purveyors of CDs. Their infamous “8 CDs for a Penny” promotion was touted everywhere and many (including me) were hooked. It had a very tangible effect on the music business: some estimates say 15% of CDs sold in the 1990s were from mail order companies. How did this business model work? When you signed up, you turned on the firehouse–they would keep sending you full-price items on a monthly basis until you cancelled. This actually worked. The A.V. Club talked about working at Columbia House with four now-famous individuals who worked there as 20-somethings in the 90s, including journalist Sasha Frere-Jones and online content god Piotr Orlov.

Four Columbia House insiders explain the shady math behind “8 CDs for a penny”

AVClub.com, 6.10.15