Tuesday, January 30, 2007

No, I Haven't Disappeared

OK, so I haven't exactly kept up on posting. As usual, I took some grief for it (most of it self-inflicted). Lots of shite going on in the life right now. Job adjustment (don't ask), attitude adjustment, minimal time, and so on. I suppose I could have come in and posted during the tons and tons of sleepless hours that I've had over the past few weeks, but I didn't. For those who have stayed patient and faithful, I thank you. I'd like to tell you that I'll update more often, but we all know that we shouldn't make promises.

Musically, I'm enhancing my life again. I have added five CD's in the past two days to the library, with two more on the way. The new additions are The Shins "Oh Inverted World" (two tracks of which were used on the movie soundtrack for "Garden State"), "Whatever and Ever Amen" and "The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner" from Ben Folds Five (which was actually just three, but once you learn about Ben Folds, it makes sense), "Definitely Maybe" from Oasis (the supposed BEST ALBUM EVER in England), and "Pretenders" from, yup, The Pretenders. Can anyone say Grrr? Chrissie Hynde can, and that's all that matters. As brilliant and downright sexy as "Brass in Pocket" is, I'll take both "Mystery Achievement" and "Stop Your Sobbing" first. Bloody brilliant, as the Brits would say.

This once again proves that variety is indeed the spice of life. It also proves that a 20GB iPod is not close to being enough for me. I had to remove a lot of songs. Right now, a lot of Jazz is paying the price, unfortunately. Or really a lot of “Easy Listening.” Still I always chafe at categorizing great vocalists like Ella Fitzgerald and Tony Bennett, but some of their music was among the cuts. They can always come back – that’s the beauty of the iPod.

The last two CD's will be from Montgomery Delaney. I hope to have them soon.

I have to admit that Ben Folds has really become a favorite recently. His music is basic in a lot of ways, but it’s the sarcasm of the words, combined with good melodies that make it so listenable. His song “Rocking the Suburbs” has almost become my mantra. On my MySpace page, I use this line as my quote: “Let me tell y’all what it’s like, to be male, middle class, and white.” Oh, it’s not for listening to when the kids are around. In fact, Ben Folds was asked to contribute the song to the soundtrack for “Over The Hedge.” Let’s just say he had to re-record it, with a whole new vocal.

“Rocking the Suburbs” (from the album of the same name) sits at number one on my “Crank it Up” playlist on iTunes. That means we turn the volume up to 11.

It’s probably going to take me until kickoff to care about the Super Bowl. I won’t be sad if the Bears win, but sure, I’d like to see Peyton Manning get his ring. I’d also like to see Tony Dungy get his ring as well. Although, just as a reminder, Coach Dungy got a ring or two as a member of a certain steel town team in the late 70’s. So it’s not as if his ring finger is empty. Still after the death of his son just over a year ago, you can’t help but view Dungy as a sentimental favorite. Whatever – may the best team win. Keep it close and let’s see a great game. And great commercials.

The NFL Network is getting towards the end of their series called, “America’s Game”, in which the supposed 20 greatest Super Bowl Champions were named. I’ve heard what the top four teams are (but not their order) and as usual, the “experts” who voted have demonstrated their usual lack of clue. The remaining four are the ’85 Bears, ’72 Dolphins, ’78 Steelers, and the ’89 49ers. While I will root for the ’78 Steelers to win (they’ve won almost all of the “greatest team” things in the past), I think there’s a fascination with either the ’72 Dolphins (they did go undefeated, after all) or the ’85 Bears. I’m telling you now, I love the ’78 Steelers, but the ’74, ’74, or even the non-champion ’76 Steelers would have done just fine. The ’75 Steelers would have likely beaten each of these teams based on their defense and power running offense alone. The funny thing is that Terry Bradshaw hadn’t even peaked yet (that would happen in ’78).

Whatever – more water-cooler babble, I suppose. Besides, how does this conversation continue without the ’66 Packers? Find your history books, people!

A very good thing happened in Texas Monday, with the official opening of the Center for the Intrepid at the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio. My radio god Don Imus was there to host his show, having spearheaded the financial attack to help raise the funds needed to build the center. The center is a 65,000 square foot, state-of-the-art physical rehabilitation center for those wounded in the current battles around the world. Also on-site are two houses for the families of those injured.

How much did out government pony up for this? Zip. Zilch. Nada. The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund raised more than $90 million to build this center. Say what you want about war, but it’s a current fact, and those injured in battle deserve the best care possible. And I have to zip it, at least momentarily, because among those putting up big bucks was Rosie O’Donnell. I’m a mega-critic of her, but she threw in $300,000, along with Cher (another target of mine). While I’m eating my humble pie, let me also say that John Mellencamp performed and seemed to do a fine job as a guest of the I-man’s show (I tried to listen but couldn’t). The country duo Big and Rich also performed. Senators John McCain and Hillary Clinton were the speakers (hmmm…we might want to get used to saying those names together as we heard towards 2008).

The shameful part was the lack of media coverage, other than Imus. If there isn’t a car chase or death, there isn’t much to look at, right? That can only be the logic of those running Fox, MSNBC, CNN, and so on. If it was in my local newspaper, I didn’t see it. And did Imus have a field day with all of that!

Well done by the NHL! A stroke of genius to put the All Star Game on a nothing network (Versus), resulting in a total of 474,000 households watching. The game was last played in 2004, and was on ABC. The Versus numbers represent a 76% drop from the ABC audience. More incredibly is the fact that the 2007 number is down 82% from 2000, when the game was also on ABC. Ouch. A great sport and a great league are largely invisible. Foster Hewitt (the godfather of hockey announcers) spins in his grave.

Speaking of Hewitt, someone recently asked who would be on sports broadcasting’s Mount Rushmore, if one existed. Using the notion that only four can be chosen, I would say my four are Vin Scully (shocking), Mel Allen, Red Barber, and it’s a tough choice for the fourth. Hewitt would be fine, but so would Bill Stern, Graham MacNamee (how he’s not a Baseball Hall of Fame Ford Frick Award winner by now is beyond me), Ted Husing, Dan Kelly, Marv Albert, Marty Glickman, Ernie Hawell, Jack Buck, Curt Gowdy, and on and on, until I reached my probable selection: Dick Enberg. Scully, Allen, Barber, and Enberg are each so well-rounded that they’ve all done virtually everything at one time or another, with one probable exception – yep, hockey. See? It’s a tough choice.

I did not consider myself, though I thought long and hard about Mark Rosen’s credentials. Ian Handwerger was disqualified for the “Dyer Duffy” story, but that’s for another time.

Those of you who know what I’m talking about probably enjoyed that laugh.

Well I’m happy that I got some stuff back on the blog. I was only going to post a paragraph but wound up doing more. For all of us here at Channel Four News, I’m Ron Burgundy. You stay classy, Planet Earth.


Ricky said...

How can you leave the "F'in Legend" off of Rushmore?

Sean G. Kilkelly said...

The all points bulletin has been called off as to your whereabouts!

I'd like to check out some of those new CDs you are getting.

I heard part of Imus' rant and I'm sure it was just an oversight on his part, but Bill O'Reilly had a whole segment about the troops and the two senators being in attendance. Same can be said for Hannity & Colmes.

But the general them of his rant I got, which is that too often we forget about those who sacrifice so much i.e. the troops, the cops, and firemen who are at the core of our society. There is so much garbage in our media regarding American Idol and Britney Spears that we forget the important things.

This is something I am very passionate about. How many people in our country know what's going on in Darfur? Or the plight of our troops when they come home? Not enough as far as I see it.

I'm glad to see that there are some folks who bring attention to these issues such as Imus, whom you mentioned, and a favorite of mine, Denis Leary.

I'm glad you brought up the fact that those who have defended our country are largely being neglected. Enough attention can never be brought to these serious issues!

Keep it up!


Sean G. Kilkelly said...

Oh yeah, by the way "I take it like a champ!"