NERDS AROUND TOWN

Disney, movie festivals and Selena

Born with a comic book in one hand and a remote control in the other, Cory DLG is the talent of Conroe's very own Nerd Thug Radio, Sports and Wrestling. Check out the podcast replay of the FM radio show at www.nerdthugradio.com!

Hey Nerds!

Thursday guys, it's thursday. If you're cheering for the weekend, you're almost there and if you're really not feeling it, call it a week and start your weekend here tonight.

GOOD DEED OF THE DAY

So for some people a walk in the park is a pleasant experience, for others not so much (like me) but when a walk is for a good cause, then we all win. The Epilepsy Foundation is hosting a Walk to End Epilepsy with the Houston Zoo. It's Saturday April 13th at 7am with registration at the front gate of the Houston Zoo. They're promising 95% of proceeds will be donated and this whole event will be held at zero cost to the community, that's awesome. So come on and hang out with the animals and other walkers and celebrate all of you coming together for a great cause this weekend.

THATS A LOT OF MOVIES

So it technically started yesterday but it goes for 10 days so it's cool, right now it's the 52nd Annual Worldfest-Houston at the Memorial City Cinemark. People from all over the world are here for ten days to screen independent films and attend galas and just have a good time taking a stab at the craft that is Hollywood. When I say a lot of movies, I do mean a lot of movies there will be over 200 screenings during this 10 day period, and I don't think Hellboy is going to be a single one of them. Anyway if you want to try something different, I recommend going out there and giving it a try, you never know what you might discover.

SPEAKING OF

This weekend will see the debut of Hellboy. If you're a fan of the first two films, I have some bad and confusing news, this one is a reboot. Guillermo del Toro isn't directing, and Ron Perlman isn't starring in this third Hellboy movie. Taking a stance closer to the horror themes of the Mike Mignola source material and featuring finally rising star David Harbour of Stranger Things this is a new take on the existing concept. While Del Toro had always said he had a planned trilogy in mind and had a definitive story he wanted to tell, the timing and funds never quite lined out the way it was supposed to go, with at one point there was finally studio support for the third Hellboy movie but it was contingent on Pacific Rim reaching certain box office numbers and that didn't happen. The movie as its own project looks interesting, I'm not sure if this is going to be the movie everyone wants to see this weekend with all the other things scheduled around it but we'll know the answer to that come Monday.

ANYTHING FOR SELENAS

I hope you've been practicing your Washing Machine and you held on to your brassiere because tonight at Barbarella Houston it's Selena night. The music will be featuring her hits and there will be a costume contest, so you know, this is pretty flipping cool. Selena is one of those Houston Icons that we hold onto near and dear because the consensus was she was talented and it was honestly just a matter of time before she broke out into mainstream music. Its easy now looking back at the pop music of the past few eras to see where she would have fit in perfectly abd the interesting things is her career launched two stars, hers and Jennifer Lopez in the biopic. Before that there hadn't been a ton of heat on Jennifer Lopez but that movie proved she could sing and act and suddenly the world loved J.Lo. RIP Selena.

I DO LOVE WHEN A PLAN COMES TOGETHER

​So Disney has been busy making announcements these past few weeks and plans for the back half of 2019 are starting to clear up. One of the biggest pieces of news has been the various announcements for shows on the Disney+ streaming service. Recently they've announced a Marvel themed show that will focus on people having an impact in their community, and another series of documentaries focusing on the iconic history of Marvel comics and those are neat but not anywhere near as neat as these other announcements, A Falcon/Winter Soldier crossover series, a Loki Series, a Scarlet Witch series and a Hawkeye based series centered around Clint Barton training his young protege Kate Bishop. This is a big deal because there had been some casting in Avengers that was making a lot of people think we might see a young female hero debut in Avengers End Game, either daughter of Scott Lang, Stature or protege of Hawkeye, Kate Bishop. While this doesn't guarantee either, it makes Kate Bishop the likely candidate if either is even correct.

NOT THAT ANYONE ASKED

So one thing that is a little worrisome about Disney acquiring Star Wars and Marvel and now 20th Century Fox is now Disney owns roughly 27% of the movie industry with this move. This is potentially a problem because Disney themselves have had struggles over the years for direction and have had some odd starts and stops, including once exploring the idea of a "Dark Disney" like adult themed movies and things that had no appeal to the younger demographics but they did eventually get away from that idea. When someone has most of the cards, sure that usually marks them as quite successful but it doesn't always make that for the best. This isn't me wishing for them to fail, this just means they become gatekeepers in a sense. Recently a stand up comic chose to do his stand up special with comedy central instead of Netflix because Netflix would only offer him a 30 minute special with a clause requiring a second special because that's how Netflix thinks comedians should progress, however Comedy Central offered him an hour special and better money for just a one special deal, and while he will likely get fewer viewers he is able to make his next move much sooner this way. The reason this story is relevant to my point is this: The fewer options the creatives have to create, the fewer chances we have to see something new and special. This might be great, but it might be trouble.


I'm going to jump out and wish you guys a great Thursday and remind everyone to be kind to each other and try a little harder to have a great day! I'm coming back Friday and we'll be bringing more good times your way. Feel free to check out my digital short story The Wilson House, or buy a shirt from Side Hustle Ts where every shirt is now under $20 or listen to Nerd Thug Radio or support our Patreon Page. Thoughts, complaints, events and comments can be sent to corydlg@gmail.com.

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Mattress Mack and the Astros host Pearland Little League at Wednesday night's game. Photo by LittleLeague.org

Sure, it’s impressive that the Astros have made four World Series appearances in recent years, but they’re not alone. There’s another baseball team around here that’s also headed to its fourth World Series since 2010.

Pearland defeated Oklahoma, 9-4, on Tuesday to win the Southwest Regional and qualify for the Little League World Series starting Aug. 17 in South Williamsport, PA.

Most fans and media say the Little League World Series is held in Williamsport, but it’s South Williamsport, just a 5-minute stroll across a bridge over the Susquehanna River in north central Pennsylvania.

Pearland is on a torrid 13-game winning streak that swept through district, sectional, state and regional tournaments to earn the Little League World Series bid.

Here’s how difficult the road to the Little League World Series is. There are 15 teams in MLB’s American League. If the Astros finish with one of the two best records, they’ll have to win two playoff series to play in the World Series.

Little League is a little bigger than MLB. Little League is the largest youth sports organization in the world, with 2.5 million kids playing for 180,000 teams in more than 100 countries on six continents.

Pearland, representing East Texas, had to defeat All-Star teams from West Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Louisiana, New Mexico, Arkansas and Colorado to win the Southwest Regional. The Little League World Series will host 20 teams - 10 from the U.S. and 10 from international regions.

If you have children that play Little League, or you’re just a fan, attending the Little League World Series should be high on your baseball bucket list.

I covered the Little League World Series in 2010 when Pearland made its first appearance and made it all the way to the U.S. championship game. It may have been my most fun assignment ever.

The Little League World Series is played by 11 and 12-year-olds in Little League’s major division. When ESPN and ABC air these games, they’ll present the players as innocent little kids, like Beaver and Wally or Tom and Huck. They’ll show the kids playing Simon Says with the Little League mascot called Dugout. They’ll ask the kids who’s their favorite big leaguer.

I was a Little League coach. I followed Little League All-Stars across Texas all the way to South Williamsport. These kids are absolute baseball maniacs with $400 gloves, $500 bats and Oakley sunglasses. I thought the Astros might call and ask where they got their super neat equipment.

Especially in Texas, these kids are built tough with long ball power and play year-round travel baseball with high-priced private coaches. This isn’t a choose-up game in the park where kids play in their school clothes, one kid brings a baseball and the players share bats. I looked at some of the Little Leaguers and wondered if they drove to the stadium.

I half-expected, when ABC asked who their baseball idol was, they’d answer “me!”

Here’s how seriously good these kids can play the game. Justin Verlander throws a 97-mph fastball. That’s pretty fast. It’s not rare anymore for a Little League pitcher to reach 70-mph on a fastball. The Little League mound is 46 feet from home plate. A 70-mph pitch in Little League gets to home plate in the same time as a 91-mph pitch from 60 feet 6 inches in MLB.

In 2015, a pitcher named Alex Edmonson fired an 83-mph heater at the Little League World Series. The reaction time a Little League batter had against Alex’s pitch was equal to a Major Leaguer trying to hit a 108-mph fastball. Good luck with that. Alex pitched a no-hitter and struck out 15 batters in six innings at the Little League World Series. Now 20, Alex is a relief pitcher for Clemson.

The Little League World Series is a trip. The easiest way to get there is to fly into Philadelphia and drive to South Williamsport. I sat next to CC Sebathia’s mother on the plane.

Admission to all Little League World Series games is free and snack bar prices are reasonable. A hot dog is $3. Alcohol and smoking are prohibited.

The first Little League World Series was held in 1947. Only 58 players have played in the Little League World Series and later played in MLB. The most famous are Cody Bellinger and Jason Varitek. Only two players from the Houston area made the leap: Brady Rodgers and Randal Grichuk both played on the 2003 team from Richmond, about 30 miles from Houston in Fort Bend County.

While you’re in South Williamsport, you should visit the Little League museum and Hall of Excellence. Among the inductees: Presidents Joe Biden and George W. Bush, Astros manager Dusty Baker, Kevin Costner, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Dick Vitale, Rob Manfred and someone who’d later play stadiums in a different way, Bruce Springsteen.

Speaking of Springsteen, I shattered a record at the 2010 Little League World Series. The record was Springsteen’s Born in the U.S.A. I was talking to a Little League executive while teams were warming up on the field. Born in the U.S.A. came over the stadium loudspeakers.

I told the executive, I’m a big fan but maybe this isn’t the best song you should be playing. The executive asked why not? Well, you might want to listen to the words. Born in the U.S.A. is a depressing song about a U.S. soldier who is sent to Vietnam and can’t find a job when he gets back home. It’s not exactly Yankee Doodle Dandy. You have teams from Asia here (Japan won the tournament that year). The executive said, please tell me you’re kidding. Here’s one verse:

Got in a little hometown jam

So they put a rifle in my hand

Sent me off to a foreign land

To go and kill the (what is considered a slur for Asians).

Later I got an email from the president of Little League International.

“Quite honestly, I've never listened closely to the words of Born in the USA. I see clearly how it is offensive to our Little League friends from Asian nations. I have directed our folks who coordinate the stadium music to discontinue playing it in the future.”

Play Centerfield by John Fogerty instead. The message of that song is, “put me in coach.” Little League couldn’t say it any better.

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