Daily Dirt: Give me a Denzel Washington movie, a bag of chips and a Classic Coke and I’d be good for the evening

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Daily Dirt for Monday, March 21, 2022

Growing up, I had visions of being the next Paul Newman. I had to eventually settle for being the second Bluto Blutarsky … Welcome to today’s three thoughts and Vol. 239 of The Daily Dirt.

1. I’ve always been a movie fan, from the days when my parents used to let me stay up late on the weekends because there was a James Cagney mobster movie or a John Wayne western that would be on the late show.

Over the past 60 or so years I’ve developed a list of favorites when it comes to movie stars. Today I’d like to share my top 10 all-time favorites when it comes to actors. On Tuesday, it will be my top 10 actresses. Let the rankings begin:

  • 1. Denzel Washington: I can’t think of a bad movie Denzel has made. What I appreciate most about his talent is the willingness to tackle any subject. Favorite movie: For me, “Remember the Titans” (2000) is the best of many, many efforts from this special talent.
  • 2. Paul Newman: So smooth. So cool. So talented. There was not a role Newman could not play. Favorite movie: “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” (1969). 
  • 3. Tom Hanks: Here’s a guy who excels in any role. Hanks has earned legend status, if for no other reason than his ability to be equally poignant and hilarious. Favorite movie: “Forrest Gump” (1994). 
  • 4. James Cagney: He was best in those 1930s gangster movies, and I will always give him credit to attracting me to the joy of feature-length films. Favorite movie: “Angels With Dirty Faces” (1938).
  • 5. Al Pacino: If ever there was an actor born to play a mobster it’s Pacino. And he excelled at it, time and time again. Favorite movie: “Scarface” (1983).
  • 6. Harrison Ford: There’s a reason Ford has been cast in so many blockbuster movies. He’s THAT good — and liked by all age groups. In addition, his ability to deliver comic lines at the most opportune times has gone underappreciated for decades. Favorite movie: “Raiders of the Lost Ark” (1981).
  • 7. Clint Eastwood: Go ahead, make his day. He’s made ours time and time again. Favorite Movie: “Bridges of Madison County” (1995).
  • 8. Jack Nicholson: These days, about all Jack is known for is sitting courtside at the Lakers games, and hopefully booing Lebron. Favorite movie: “Easy Rider” (1969).
  • 9. Robert DeNiro: One of my all-time favorite bad guys. I think he’s at his strongest when he is a thug. Favorite movie: “The Deer Hunter” (1978).
  • 10. Humphrey Bogart: Like Cagney, I’m afraid Bogey is probably not appreciated by today’s audiences. The man was a rare talent. Favorite movie: “Angels With Dirty Faces” (1938). Look up the cast of this movie some time. It is incredible.

2. I was one of the thousands who attended the Adams County Speedway car show over the weekend at the Quincy Town Center, and I came away with a few opinions:

  • 1. The track is in great hands with its new operator, Jimmy Liuerance and a talented staff that includes many members of his family, including wife Tammy.
  • 2. Unless I miss my guess, come next fall I’ll be writing a season-ending story that will be accenting how Adams County Speedway became the comeback story of 2022. Most had written off the site in R.I.P. fashion because it had been closed since the end of the 2019 season. The track, however, is quite alive, thank you.
  • 3. Lieurance said former track owner Bob Scott has been supplying invaluable information and assistance in helping bring the .29-mile dirt track back to life. There are others around town, too, who are assisting in this project, and Lieurance is more than grateful for their help.
  • 4. Every single racer and fan I talked to at the Town Center was elated that the Broadway Bullring was back in business. Some of those conversations were borderline emotional. “You don’t know what you got got til it’s gone,” was the overriding theme.
  • 5. At some point this summer, we will see a capacity crowd at 8000 Broadway.
  • 6. Opening night is April 10. I can’t wait.

3. The analysts I enjoyed the most during the opening weekend of the NCAA men’s tournament:

  • Gold medal: Kenny “The Jet” Smith has evolved over the years into a top-flight analyst, and is particularly informative when it comes insight involving coaches’ thinking and overall impact of certain tournament developments.
  • Silver medal: Frank Martin, who as a rookie analyst, was surprisingly on point — and entertaining.
  • Bronze medal: Seth Davis, a sports writer by trade, might be the most underrated analyst of them all. Davis also makes the most of his professional contacts and provides key updates and projections.

Steve Thought O’ The Day — The first NCAA Tournament Steve followed as a wee lad was in 1961 when there were 24 teams in the entire tournament. For the record, Cincinnati defeated Ohio State 70-65 in overtime in the championship game. What few remember, however, was the third-place game that saw St. Joseph’s defeat Utah 127-120 in four overtimes (By the way, 1981 was the last year for those third-place games).

Steve Eighinger writes daily for Muddy River News. “Bridges of Madison County” over “Dirty Harry”?

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