(1/1/11) This is not a “Best of” or “Worst of” list, just a review of entertainment I consumed in 2010 and my feelings surrounding them. Part I includes sporting events, movies, TV and online entertainment, and follows below. Part 2, when completed, will list many, many concerts and also some other random stuff. Thank you for reading. I hope you enjoy and feel free to post comments/questions. So here we go:
Sporting events: I have stubs from four White Sox games, though I feel like I went to at least one more. Overall it was an off year for me going to White Sox games, which I usually attend 10-15 in an average season. Also in an average season, I tend to see at least half of those games in April and May, but in 2010, the Sox got off to an awful start, and I never got into the groove of regularly attending games.
I attended one Cubs game in May for my friend’s bachelor party. This was the first time I had been to Wrigley since the game when Jeff Gordon bungled “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” and got booed by the upset Cubs crowd (I was booing him as a NASCAR fan).
I attended both NASCAR Sprint Cup Races at Michigan International Speedway. The August race was the best stock car race I had ever seen at MIS since I started seeing NASCAR races there in 2005. As a Dale Earnhardt Sr. fan, I am always happy to see Kevin Harvick win in the Intimidator’s old car.
I skipped the Cup race at Chicagoland Speedway this year, but saw all the rest of the races. The NASCAR Nationwide Series race in July was the best overall stock car race at Chicagoland I have seen there. Kyle Busch, one of my favorite drivers, took the lead on the last lap on the front stretch just as several cars just behind him all started crashing. My seat was in the 8th row, so I got a great view of the pass and crash.
The August NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race was another Kyle Busch show, which was fine by me. It was also thrilling to see Tony Jackson Jr., who I saw race dirt Modifieds and Late Models at Lebanon (MO) I-44 Speedway when I lived in the Ozarks, race in NASCAR’s Minor League. The ARCA race was boring, sorry. I don’t even remember who won.
The IndyCar Series raced for perhaps the last time at Chicagoland Speedway for reasons I need not rehash here and are readily accessible with a Google search. The race was poorly promoted, so that on top of the already present public disinterest in the IRL lead to a sparsely attended race, with not even 20K fans filling 80,000 available seats. The 2010 Chicagoland Indy 300 had plenty of thrilling moments, though was not quite as thrilling as 2008’s race which featured countless edge-of-your-seat moments up to and including Helio Castroneves, Ryan Briscoe and Dan Wheldon racing 3-wide for the lead for three straight laps. I am sad that International Speedway Corp. and the Indy Racing League could not reach an agreement for 2011 for Chicagoland and other ISC Speedways, but there is always hope for the future.
In addition to these major series auto races, I also attended a few races at area short tracks, including the 3rd Annual World of Outlaws Late Models Illini 100 at the Farmer City. I also saw racing at the Kankakee (IL) County Speedway and the Plymouth (IN) Speedway.
I also attended a few misc sporting events, including a Windy City Rollers roller derby at a packed UIC Pavillion last January and a Windy City Professional Wrestling match that totally sucked and made me realize once and for all the watching any sort of pro wrestling is a stupid waste of time.
Movies: The only movie I saw at the cinema in 2010 that wasn’t a sequel was Clint Eastwood’s misunderstood and overlooked Hereafter. It was also the best new movie I saw last year. I also enjoyed Iron Man 2, Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader and Tron Legacy a lot more than many people did, and liked Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 more than I expected. Predators was a missed opportunity and an utter disappointment. I still want to see 127 Hours, True Grit, and The King’s Speech.
TV: I watched the final season of Lost and was disappointed by the resolutions offered in the finale, though I did enjoy the lead up to it. I also enjoyed smatterings of new episodes of South Park, which is the best show on TV, and also the Simpsons and Family Guy. I don’t really watch any other new shows.
Online Entertainment: www.redlettermedia.com has provided me endless hours of entertainment since I found out about Mr. Plinkett’s reviews at the end of 2009 with his 70-minute review of The Phantom Menace and his 90-minute thrashing of Attack of the Clones, which was uploaded early in 2010. The nearly 2 hour review of Revenge of the Sith was uploaded yesterday I believe, and completed an epic series of YouTube nerd-rage movie reviews that, unlike Star Wars prequels themselves, are endlessly entertaining.