Showdown In West Lafayette

Tomorrow afternoon two teams will play a game that will go a long way toward deciding who will be the regular season Big Ten basketball champion.  Ohio State travels to West Lafayette to take on the Purdue Boilermakers.

A lot is on the line.  The Buckeyes are 12-1 in the conference and have a two-game lead over second-place Purdue.  In their last outing, the Boilermakers won a huge home game against Wisconsin to take sole possession of second place.  They now look to topple the Buckeyes and pull within one game of the Big Ten lead.  They also will be looking for some revenge against Ohio State, which crushed Purdue 87-64 when the teams matched up earlier this season at Value City Arena.

The last game between these two teams is meaningless.  It was one of those magical games where everything went right for Ohio State and everything went wrong for Purdue.  (I have the game DVR’d and will probably not erase it for months; it is too much fun to watch.)  The rematch undoubtedly will be different.  Mackey Arena is one of the toughest venues in the Big Ten, and this year Purdue is undefeated at home against Big Ten opponents.  In the first game between these teams, JaJuan Johnson played well and scored 22 points, but he was almost a one-man team.  The Buckeyes managed to marginalize Purdue’s excellent shooting guard E’Twaun Moore and neutralize the Boilermakers’ waterbug-quick point guard, Lewis Jackson.  Aaron Craft had a breakout game for the Buckeyes, playing hard-as-nails defense and blowing past the Boilermakers’ defense for some embarrassingly easy layups.

Craft and the Buckeyes won’t surprise Purdue this time.  Matt Painter is one of the best coaches in the Big Ten and he will have the Boilermakers ready for this game.  Moore and Jackson, in particular, will be pumped for a chance to redeem themselves against the Buckeyes.  I expect another very difficult road test against a well-coached opponent that will be playing with a lot of talent and a lot of pride.

BIG GREEN SPLAT

One of my favorite websites for movie reviews is http://www.rottentomatoes.com. The website not only gives you reviews from the movie critics, but from the movie audience as well. A good movie comment is represented by a ripe red tomato and a bad movie comment is represented by a BIG GREEN SPLAT.

Last Sunday my sister Cathy, my niece Brittany and I went to see Sanctum. I typically try to find at least one redeeming quality, something positive to say about most everything I see and do, but I have to admit I can’t think of one good thing to say about this movie.

The acting was bad, there was no plot, no development of characters and I dozed off a couple of times during the movie (hey maybe if you are sleep deprived this movie will help you sleep). Even the 3D wasn’t all that great as there was always a rock in the bottom left or right of the screen to give the 3D effect, but after awhile it began to irritate me.

I wonder if when a person like James Cameron lends his name as executive producer to a movie he watches the movie and says we are definitely giving the customer their money’s worth because I paid $8 for this movie and it should have been free ! Don’t waste your hard earned dollars on this one.

Welcoming The Green Space Of Columbus Commons

A view of Columbus Commons from one of the Rich Street entrances

Yesterday it was a beautiful, spring-like day in Columbus, and after lunch I took a walk down to Columbus Commons — the latest green space in downtown Columbus.  The area has just been sodded and is close to being completed for its grand opening in May.

At one of the Third Street entrances

Columbus Commons is the park that has replaced the late, lamented Columbus City Center mall.  After the City Center became a derelict place abandoned by all retailers and shoppers, there was a vigorous debate about what to do.  The decision was to tear the structure down and replace it with a park.  The result is Columbus Commons — 9 acres of green space with benches, tables and chairs, and a carousel.

My first impression of Columbus Commons was that it is big.  It has enormous central lawns that apparently will be used for kickball leagues.  (Let’s hope the park also has a good underground sprinkling system so those broad and inviting green lawns don’t turn brown and brittle in August.)  There are newly planted trees along some of the wide gravel pathways, large flower beds bordered by short iron fencing, old-fashioned black metal lighting, and plenty of benches.  Some of the entrances are brickwork, with pillars and large circular planters.

The view from the corner of High and Rich Streets

Downtown Columbus needs green space, so Columbus Commons is very welcome.  The park looks to be well-designed, and if it is kept properly planted and tended it should be an attractive place for an outdoor lunch on a warm summer day.  The park also allows for some unexpected and attractive vistas of downtown buildings.

The big question many downtowners have about Columbus Commons is:  who will use it, and how?  Will it become a haven for drug deals and aggressive panhandlers, or will it be a place where the burgeoning Columbus food cart scene sets up shop and caters to office workers happy to get a green space break from their cubicle-oriented lives?