On Anchorman, Sequels and Championship Rings

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On Anchorman, Sequels and Championship Rings

Wednesday night on Conan, the great Ron Burgundy tore up the stage on his jazz flute, and then shocked the audience with an urgent and horrifying news story

CANNNONNNNBAAAAALLL!

Nah, he announced that the long-awaited sequel to Anchorman is finally in the works. And in case you thought Burgundy was joking, later that night writerdirector Adam McKay hopped on Twitter to confirm:

A few people questioning if Anchorman 2 is 100 for sure happening. Let me assure and assuage: it is. We're writing now and we shoot in Feb Adam McKay (@GhostPanther) March 29, 2012
Now this is obviously great news. Anchorman was one of the best comedies of the past decade. It catapulted the comedy careers of Paul Rudd and Steve Carrell, spawned an army of dogs named Baxter and changed the way we think about scotch, milk, lamps, tridents, wheels of cheese and the scent of Big Foot's genitals.

And now it, or more specifically he, Ron Burgundy, and his Action 4 news team are back.

This is exciting stuff.

But, as with any sequel especially for a movie as legendary as Anchorman through all the excitement there exists one sad reality:

There's no way it will be as good as the original.

It's impossible. Even if they bring back all the characters. Even if they find the perfect story, write a hilarious script and execute the whole thing as precisely as possible. There's no way Anchorman 2 will have the same impact as the first one. There's no way it can capture that same glass case of emotion or recreate how it felt to meet and experience those characters for the first time. We're spoiled now. We're expecting too much. As a result, as good as it may eventually be, Anchorman 2 is almost guaranteed to be a letdown.

And that kind of sucks. Almost enough to make you wonder: Hey, would it be so bad if they just left Ron Burgundy alone?

Why risk ruining that legacy?

In other words: If you can't beat it, why even try?

Now let me finally bring this back to sports.

Over the last 12 years, the city of Boston's obviously been fortunate to experience an absurd amount of sporting success. We've won seven titles, and made it to an additional seven league and conference championships. We've seen MVPs, Rookies of the Year, a long roster of All Stars and double digit Hall of Famers. But regardless of any and all achievement, even if Boston wins three or four more titles over the next five years, we all know the reality:

It's never better than your first time.

February 3, 2002: Patriots 20, Rams 17
October 27, 2004: Red Sox 3, Cardinals 0
June 17, 2008: Celtics 131, Lakers 92
June 15, 2011: Bruins 4, Canucks 0

For a new generation of Bostonians those who weren't alive andor cognisant when the Celtics won in 1986 these four dates will forever be the apex of our lives as sports fans. (For the Sox, you might even go back to October 20, 2004: Game 7 of the ALCS). The way we felt on those four days will never be matched. They can bring back all the same characters, they can have a great story and execute to perfection, but they can never recreate the magic, experience or emotion of that first title. We're spoiled now. We expect too much.

Of course that hasn't stopped them from trying, and in the process, finding all sorts of success. The 2007 Red Sox. The back-to-back champion Pats. Three amazing, memorable and absolutely historic teams. But all three paled in comparison to their originals; all three were victims of their own ridiculous and unfair self-imposed precedents.

It's like, imagine if the Bruins somehow win again this year. It will be amazing. But it won't be the same. The Rolling Rally won't be as big. The after party won't go quite as long. In a sad and messed up way, it just won't be as good. How could it be?

And, bringing it back home, I'm sure that Anchorman 2 will suffer the same fate.

I'm sure we'll all walk out of theater saying stuff like: "Yeah, it was pretty awesome, but it doesn't hold a candle to the first one."

And that sucks. but honestly who cares? At the end of the day, does not being as good as the original actually hurt the original? Does the fact that Hangover 2 wasn't that great make the first one any less awesome? Did the slightly decreased sensation of the last two Super Bowls and the 2007 World Series taken anything away from the life changing experiences of 2002 and 2004? No. Of course not. And even if they did, those are problems that anyone would be lucky to have. Problems that we'll hopefully have to deal with around here through the Anchorman sequel and beyond.

In the meantime, you stay classy Boston.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Patriots-Steelers injury report: Seven Pats listed as questionable

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Patriots-Steelers injury report: Seven Pats listed as questionable

FOXBORO -- The Patriots will head into Sunday's AFC title game with seven players listed as questionable, including three receivers. 

Danny Amendola, Malcolm Mitchell and Chris Hogan have all been limited in practices this week due to their injuries. Amendola has been dealing with an ankle issue since a Week 13 win over the Rams, while Mitchell has not played since injuring his knee in Week 16 against the Jets. Hogan suffered a thigh injury against the Texans and left the game in the third quarter.

Both Hogan and Mitchell indicated this week that they were moving in the right direction in terms of their recoveries. One would think that the Patriots would need at least one, if not both, to help stress the back end of the Steelers secondary this weekend.

Hogan has been the team's most consistent down-the-field threat this season, averaging a whopping 17.9 yards per catch during the regular season. Against the Texans, before his injury, he reeled in four passes for 95 yards. 

Mitchell, meanwhile, had a very productive second half of his rookie season before he was hurt. He compiled 25 catches for 306 yards between Weeks 11 and 16, establishing himself as one of Tom Brady's go-to targets. 

The overall health of the Patriots receiving corps -- which will also include Julian Edelman and Michael Floyd -- will bear watching when the Patriots and Steelers kick off in two days.

The injury report for Sunday's Patriots-Steelers game:

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

QUESTIONABLE
WR Danny Amendola (ankle)
TE Martellus Bennett (knee)
RB Brandon Bolden (knee)
LB Dont'a Hightower (shoulder)
WR Chris Hogan (thigh)
WR Malcolm Mitchell (knee)
DL Jabaal Sheard (knee)

PITTSBURGH STEELERS

QUESTIONABLE
TE Ladarius Green (concussion/illness)
LB James Harrison (shoulder/triceps)
RB Fitzgerald Toussaint (concussion)

NOT LISTED
RB Le'Veon Bell (not injury related)
K Chris Boswell (illness)
LB Anthony Chickillo (ankle)
S Sean Davis (shoulder)
C B.J. Finney (illness)
WR Darrius Heyward-Bay (illness)
DE Ricardo Mathews (ankle)
QB Zach Mettenberger (illness)
S Michael Mitchell (not injury related)
QB Ben Roethlisberger (not injury related)
LB Vince Williams (shoulder)