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Monthly Archives: September 2012
“I’m not gay. I’m not anything yet.” Bart Simpson’s nerdly friend Martin said those words in a Season 16 episode and reminded us that the children of Springfield have had a surprisingly robust romantic life for a pack of eight-to-ten year olds. Very few cartoon characters age, and for most animated shows, that’s not much of a problem. But when the audience has been watching a show’s adventures for more than two decades and yet the characters technically haven’t aged a day, a certain disconnect develops.
That’s why it’s a little strange that the premise of The Simpsons Season 24 premiere, “Moonshine River,” is a wistful look back at Bart’s halcyon, prepubescent loves. We’ve seen the characters on The Simpsons have a sizable number of adventures and go through a healthy dose of character development in the 500+ episodes the show has aired so far. Yet the status quo is supposed to be roughly the same as when the series started.
Granted, the blink and you miss it cameos from Sarah Michelle Gellar (Gina from “The Wandering Juvie”), Natalie Portman (Darcy from “Little Big Girl”), Anne Hathaway (Jenny from “The Good, the Sad, and the Drugly”), and Sarah Silverman (Nikki from “Stealing First Base”) portend that this episode was not meant to be a particularly deep look back at Bart’s nascent yet prolific love life. But it’s still a bit odd to watch Bart reminisce about his collection of old flames as a wee fourth-grader.
If there’s one point I’ve harped on time and time again with the Dallas Cowboys, it’s penalties. Too often, these discipline-related mistakes have stalled comebacks, extended opponents’ drives, and had a big impact on the Cowboys’ chances for success.
Yet, despite this past Sunday’s miserable showing against the Seahawks, getting flagged was not a big issue for Dallas. Yes, Seattle’s vaunted 12th man caused a false start here or there, and an unfortunate facemask call took away a much needed sack, but by-and-large penalties did not change this game. That is, except for one.
In the fourth quarter, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson scrambled down the left sideline to move the team out of Seattle territory, with Sean Lee in hot pursuit. As Wilson was being chased down, an unseen Golden Tate came out of nowhere to deliver a crushing block to Lee, sending him hard to the turf. Meanwhile, fellow Dallas inside linebacker Bruce Carter pushed Wilson out of bounds to end the play. There was an audible gasp in the stadium at the punishing blow from Tate, who preened and gesticulated after the play. Lee, meanwhile, required medical attention on the field from the Cowboys’ training staff.
You can see the play here: