STUDIO: Warner Home Video & Shout! Factory
– Cardinals: $17.99,
– Follies
: $7.99,
Phillies: $17.99,
White Sox: $17.95,
RATED: Not rated (All)

– Cardinals: 100 minutes
– Follies
: 80
Phillies: 142 minutes
White Sox: 110 minutes
– Cardinals:
   – Literary Talents of Receiver Steve Breaston
   – College Quarterbacking Days of Head Coach Ken Whisenhunt
   – Cardinals Championship Legacy
   – Game of the Week: Cardinals vs. Cowboys
   – Game Day Access: Week 3
   – Game Day Access: Week 4
– Follies:
   – Kickers Tackling
   – The Green Dot
   – Semantics
   – Coaches Wired 2008
   – Players Wired 2008
   – The Obstacle Course
   – Quarterback Ratings
   – It Is What It is
   – Legendary Last Outs
   – Take Me Out to the Ballgame w/ Jimmy Rollins & Ryan Howard – Raw
   – Last Out of No-Hitters: Burning, Wise, Mulholland, Greene, Millwood
   – Larry Anderson Sprays on Fake Hair

White Sox:
   – Postseason Clinchers
   – 9th Inning of No-Hitters
   – Jim Thome Milestone
   – Frank Thomas: Homerun Hero
   – Tom Paciorek: Official MLB Handbook
   – Nancy Faust on TWIB
   – 2009 Sox Spring training Wireless

The Pitch

Champions, goofs and Fantasy Baseball fodder.

Warner’s conversion to Satanism and subsequent “Thank you, Beelzebub!” exclamation didn’t go over quite as well as the previous one did.

The Humans

The Arizona Cardinals, the NFL, the Philadelphia Phillies (past and present), and the Chicago White Sox (past and present).

The Nutshell

These are some of the latest releases by Warner Home Video and Shout! Factory, showcasing the Arizona Cardinals’ 2008 run to the Super Bowl, NFL bloopers and the greatest moments from the Chicago White Sox and Philadelphia Phillies.

“Alright guys, lets do this one for all the great Arizona Cardinals teams that came before us.”
[blank stares and silence]

The Lowdown

Arizona Cardinals: 2008 NFC Champions

This just missed being in my NFL Blowout review a while back, but what you get here is fairly standard in terms of NFL Films’ excellent coverage of a ball club and the year they had.  In this case, it’s the frequently hapless Arizona Cardinals, who finally got the monkey off their back and got to the Super Bowl.  This was due to a surprising run in the playoffs that included wins over Atlanta and Carolina on the road and a victory at home against the equally surprising Eagles, who knocked off the defending champion Giants and Minnesota Vikings on the road to get to the NFC title game.  Sorry to see Philly not make it to the dance for the fourth time in Donovan McNabb’s career, because I’ve liked him and the Eagles for years.  But where McNabb and the crew fell short, another favorite QB of mine, Kurt Warner, got another chance to thank Jesus for winning the Lombardi trophy.  But thanks to an incredible touchdown hookup by Ben Roethlisberger and Santonio Holmes in the waning seconds of the game, it wasn’t meant to be. 

Yeah, the Lions are getting pretty desperate.

The Cards have generally been forgettable for the last 30 years.  I used to follow them back when Neil Lomax was in the pocket, but when his career was cut short by injury, I moved on.  The only time since then they’ve been worth checking out before this past year was their 1998 Jake Plummer-led season where they won a playoff game before falling to my man Randall Cunningham and a Vikings team that should have gone to the Super Bowl that year.  I was generally rooting for Warner and the birds to do it, but that was an incredible game and win by the Steelers nonetheless.  Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald were torching guys for most of the playoffs and they didn’t disappoint in the playoffs either.

The real reason Favre left the Pack now stands revealed…

This set chronicles the season nicely as always and gives a detailed breakdown of the players and their history and how they deifed expectations to get as far as they did.  The footage is excellent as usual and the breakdown is the top notch stuff that NFL Films always delivers.  In terms of special features, there are featurettes on Literary Talents of Receiver Steve Breaston, College Quarterbacking Days of Head Coach Ken Whisenhunt, Cardinals Championship Legacy, Game of the Week: Cardinals vs. Cowboys, and Behind The Scenes: 2008 East Coast Trip

NFL’s Greatest Follies, Vol. 4

NFL Films bread and butter has been capturing football goofs, blown plays and hijinks and making it fun to watch for decades.  But this latest offering of Follies is only from the last few years and thus the pool from which to grab material is thin at best.  This series is essentially the America’s Funniest Home Videos of the NFL, including lame music and zany (i.e. shitty) sound effects.  When you get 22 musclebound alpha males looking to do each other bodily harm while chasing around a ball the size of a canned ham that any one of them could finish off in three or four bites, you’re occasionally going to get some astounding and funny footage.  And then occasionally not.  This is a dip in quality from what you’re used to seeing with NFL Films. 

“…and in closing, God, please burn these uniforms in a tragic Act of You thing…”

The featurettes are probably better than the main presentation itself.  These include Kickers Tackling; The Green Dot (to signify QB’s helmut with the speakers in it), Semantics (a curious piece on language and football terms),; Coaches Wired 2008; Players Wired 2008; The Obstacle Course (about the clutter around a football field, including the refs); Quarterback Ratings, and It Is What It is, a piece on coaches’ cop out phrase.  This wouldn’t even be worth a rent, really.  You’d do better to DVR one or two episodes of the stuff NFL Films puts on ESPN Classic or something.

Subsequently, he was fined for trying to uncork his bat…

Phillies Memories and White Sox Memories

The last two offerings are essentially the same product only involving different teams: White Sox Memories and Phillies Memories.  What these are are essentially the greatest moments in both franchises, culminating with World Series victories for both, Chicago in 2005, and Philly just last year.  If you’re a knowledgeable fan of either ball club, you pretty much know what to expect when viewing the greatest moments of either team.  All of the names you’d expect are here: Mike Schmidt, Garry Maddox, Frank Thomas, Jim Thome, Darren “Dutch” Daulton, Cecil Fielder, Chase Utley, Jim Bunning, Rick Wise, Terry Mulholland, John Kruk, Mitch Williams, Lenny Dykstra, Harry Kalas, Harry Carey et al.  While I’m not a follower of the Phillies, I’m sure that fans of the team, while devastated by the loss of Harry Kalas, can take some solace in knowing that he was around long enough to see the club win it all again.  They’ll also be happy to know that he narrates this presentation.

Doubtless, after Schmidt got to Home Base, he found a couple of female fans and got to Home Base several more times…

The Phillies disc has plenty of material, including the Phantastic Forty, highlighting the forty greatest players by field position, and clocks in at 2 hours, 20 minutes plus.  Likewise, the Sox disc runs over two hours and change and also has a similar feature dubbed the All Time Team.  Other subjects touched upon feature chapters for the 1906 and 1917 world champions, the Black Sox and Bo Jackson returning to baseball after his hip surgery.  The Phillies also have chapters for the various stages of their development through the decades.

In terms of special features, both discs have several that highlight notable players and moments of both franchises.  The White Sox disc features, Post Season Clinchers, 9th Inning of No-Hitters, Jim Thome’s Home Run Milestone, Frank Thomas: Hometown Hero, Tom Paciorek Official MLB Handbook, Nancy Faust on TWIB and 2009 Sox Spring Training Wireless.  Likewise, the Phillies disc has Take Me Out To The Ballgame With Jimmy Rollins And Ryan Howard; Rollins And Howard House Tour; Last Out Of No-Hitters: Bunning, Wise, Mulholland, Greene, Millwood; Extended Player Interviews and Larry Anderson Sprays On Fake Hair.

“So Kruk, why do they call him ‘Wild Thing’ anyway?”
“Let’s just say you don’t want to be in the urinal next to him…”

If you’re a fan of the NFL Cards or the Sox or Phils, these would be worth having.  If you’re a fan of NFL bloopers, well, there’s always the Raiders….

Cardinals:  7.2 out of 10
:  4.5 out of 10
: 7.8 out of 10
White Sox
: 7.5 out of 10