DAILY DIRT: Charles Dennis Buchinsky was one of a kind

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Charles Bronson

Daily Dirt for Sunday, Dec. 18, 2022

Charles Bronson and the NFL, a match made in viewing heaven … Welcome to today’s three thoughts that make up Vol. 480 of The Daily Dirt.

1. What might be the only positive byproduct of recovering from a bout with the flu has been the opportunity to catch up with some old movie watching.

In this case, it was a mini-Charles Bronson film festival within the confines of the germ-filled mancave.

I had forgotten how entertaining some of his older films had been. Predictable? Of course. But Bronson, who was born Charles Dennis Buchinsky, excelled both in starring and subordinate roles for almost 50 years preceding his death in 2003 at age 81.

Bronson was always at his best in those “machismo” roles, accented by varying degrees of violence. We always knew Bronson’s character would come out on top (at least when he was a “good guy), and we knew there would usually be a well-deserved punch (or two, or three …) delivered in the process.

Here’s five of my all-time Bronson favorites:

  • “Death Wish” (1974):The role of Paul Kersey, an architect who takes the law into his own hands when his wife and daughter are attacked by a street gang, reinvented Bronson’s on-screen persona as a hard-as-nails vigilante.
  • “The Magnificent Seven” (1960): Bronson was part of a star-studded ensemble that included Steve McQueen, Yul Brynner and Eli Wallach. Plenty of action.
  • “War Drum” (1954): This was one of his roles as a “bad guy,” portraying “Capt. Jack,” a Modoc Indian renegade. It was obvious seeing Bronson in this role, his first as a star, he had a bright future.
  • “The Dirty Dozen” (1967): Another key role in an iconic film helped propel Bronson to greater heights and acceptance.
  • “The Mechanic” (1972): Bronson is a professional hitman seeking to retire.

2. Here are three reasons why pro football is so intertwined in our daily existence:  

Gold medal: “Nobody in football should be called a genius. A genius is a guy like Norman Einstein.” — Joe Theismann. Theismann’s famous 1992 quote helped us appreciate the unintended humor that often accompanies the NFL and some of its biggest stars.

Silver medal: “The fewer rules a coach has, the fewer rules there are for players to break.” — John Madden. Madden said this while coach of the Oakland Raiders. No wonder he went on to become an award-winning analyst.

Bronze medal: “Make sure when anyone tackles you, he remembers how much it hurts.” — Jim Brown. That statement, even more than any on-field accomplishment, is why Jim Brown became a legend.

3. Today’s World Cup finale aside, I doubt if there will be any weekend sports event that rivals Saturday’s Minnesota-Indianapolis NFL football game.

And did someone mention the name of quarterback Matt Ryan?

“Matt Ryan has won an NFL MVP award, been named Offensive Rookie of the Year and risen to seventh in the league in all-time passing yards over a standout 15-season career,” wrote Brian Hall for The Associated Press.

Ryan, however, will always have two asterisks accompanying all of his accomplishments.

Ryan also came out on the wrong side of history for a second time in Indianapolis’ 39-36 loss at Minnesota. The 37-year-old quarterback couldn’t help the Colts stop the Vikings in what became the biggest comeback in NFL history — rallying from a 33-point halftime deficit.

Ryan was also on the losing side of the biggest blown lead in Super Bowl history, a 28-3 advantage for his Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl 51 that ended in a 34-28 loss to the New England Patriots.

“Tough one to swallow,” Ryan said after Saturday’s loss.

But look at the bright side, Matt. You will (likely) always be the answer to one of the best trivia questions ever.  

Steve Thought O’ They Day — As much as I enjoy Charles Bronson films, my all-time movie favorite remains Errol Flynn.

Steve Eighinger writes daily for Muddy River News. ‘Tis the season to pass around germs, fa la la la la…

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