Monday, January 7, 2008

No Month for Running Fans

I wish college cross country had a longer season. Three months is but a cruel joke. I could get through December without it, the month passing amid a warm glow from NCAAs still lingering in fans’ hearts, as the smell from Terre Haute still lingers in the competitors’ skin, hair and clothes. But now, like every year, I’m into the most boring-slash-frustrating time of year for the fan of running: there is absolutely nothing going on in January. It’s as depressing as a group of 23-year-olds hanging out at an Applebee’s in the mall on a Saturday night.

Sure, an indoor-nationals-qualifying performance will pop up here and there. But really, who cares about Indoors anyway? Living a short jog from one of the best indoor facilities would, you’d think, make me look forward to winters, with at least a couple solid performances occurring up at the Armory each week, for my viewing pleasure, should I so desire. In reality, the opposite true. Until you get down to the annual Collegiate Invitational, (which dilutes its best events over two days and charges ridiculously high ticket prices), the meets are impossible to differentiate between, so there’s never a kick in the ass for you to pick one and hop on the train. [More after the jump]

So January is a long and lonely month. For running. Thank GOD for Oscar season. If not for a spate of “smaller” awards shows filling the run-up to the Academy Awards, and Top 10 Lists and Critics’ Superlatives aplenty to peruse, I think I would quit life each January. Nevermind my birthday. It’s one freaking day and they don’t even give you very good gifts after you hit like, fifteen. Thus, to alleviate my running-related boredom this month, I’m endeavoring to comprehensively take in the remaining best movies of 2007 over the next 2 weeks with a new movie every night, and will document the journey here to help you identify what you should be going out to see, and to help you handicap your Oscars-picks Pool at work. Self-indulgent? Yeah, and more than a little. But if the sport of running is going to be selfish and postpone the circus for an entire month, then I'm going to be a little selfish herein. Screw you, sport of running. Screw you.

To kick things off, what ground’s already been covered this year: Zodiac. The Wind That Shakes the Barley. Assassination of Jesse James by the Really Prolix Screenwriter. Knocked Up. Hairspray. Superbad. The Great Debaters. Darjeeling Limited. 3:10 to Yuma. Once. No Country For Old Men. Norbit. I’ll get to these soon. Tonight we’re going to see Eastern Promises, by David Cronenberg, starring Viggo Mortenson and Naomi Watts. Stay tuned.

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