Saturday, February 18, 2017

Northwood/Brunswick Link: Sat at 1p

Ready to go at the Hartong Rink
Courtesy of WGCH, Brunswick, and the Greenwich Sentinel, check out this link to the AUDIO ONLY of today's Northwood School/Brunswick hockey broadcast. Face off is 1pm. Here's the link!
Click here to go to the game broadcast.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Love Songs

Welp, here we are. Valentine's Day, Presented by Hallmark. It can be so easy to detest this day in the way one might dislike another overrated "holiday."

I had other examples, but I get myself in trouble too much, and today is about love. So I'm behaving.


The short answer is, when one is in love and is OK with the world, St. Valentine's Day (an effort to be proper) is fine. If not, then maybe not so much.

Your mileage may vary. That's it.

But let's talk music. Yes, we can all agree that there are some amazing love songs out there. "Unchained Melody", "Can't Help Falling in Love", "Love Me Tender", "When a Man Loves a Woman", "I Will Always Love You", and so on.

I remember, in the halcyon days at Majic 105, the request list on Saturday night would be long to play "(Everything I Do) I Do It For You" by Bryan Adams. I would give the time that I'd be playing it. Get those requests in now!

But they don't always have to be slow jams, right?

You know, for instance, there happens to be this little dity...

I mean, that says a lot, right?
It don't take money. Don't take fame. Don't take no credit card to ride this train.
Granted, I have a bias. But the boys from the north of San Francisco did a few perfectly fine love songs ("Stuck With You", "Hope You Love Me Like You Say You Do", etc).

Of course, we have Frank Sinatra, who just about perfected the art of the love song. I mean, "Fly Me to the Moon" and "Just The Way You Look Tonight" can produce some of the best feels.

"Come Rain or Come Shine." The utter masculine confidence of the opening line is a killer.
"I'm gonna love you, like no one has loved you. Come rain or come shine."
Ring a ding ding.

Then again, for me, utter perfection, in the form of one of the greatest songs ever written, was a song about a deep, complicated love.

Run for cover! Run and hide!

With Count Basie, well, we've flown to the moon.

Incidentally, and we could do a whole thing on Sinatra and love songs, but "One For My Baby" is just incredible. We've all been there.
"We're drinking, my friend, to the end of a brief episode. Make it one for my baby, and one more from the road."
That song is from Sinatra's album, Frank Sinatra Sings for Only the Loney. I advise you to not be depressed when listening.

Ah but love songs can come from anywhere, and that's what we're driving at. Look at Led Zeppelin, for instance. There are people who have gotten married to "Thank You."

Then we come around to the Beach Boys. As we discussed perfection with Sinatra, well, come on...

I mean, that just about gets it right.
"If you should ever leave me, though life would still go on, believe me. The world could show nothing to me, so what good would livin' do me?"
Again. We've all been there.

Love songs can also be complicated, and we have plenty of examples of that ("Layla"). One, for instance, comes from the Lads (written, magically, by George Harrison).

Even Sinatra (who hated rock and roll) called "Something" among the greatest love songs of the past 50 years. He also credited it to Lennon and McCartney. Oh well.

Take this lyric: "You're asking me will my love grow? I don't know. I don't know." I mean, that doesn't exactly engender confidence.

Finally, we'll finish with Sir James Paul McCartney.

Yes, I know, this is the man who wrote "Silly Love Songs." But I ask you: what's wrong with that?


Macca also wrote "Here, There, and Everywhere", "Yesterday" (another complicated love song), "My Love", and perhaps my favorite: "Maybe I'm Amazed." Tastes change, of course, but as I sit here today, this is where my head (and I guess my heart) is.

Music needs to resonate. Whether it is in the melody or the words, it has to strike the listener. "Maybe I'm Amazed" isn't just a McCartney song, and as such it is great.

Remember, Paul committed the crime known as "Ebony and Ivory." Or whatever that thing was with Kanye West.

"Maybe I'm Amazed" is a Paul McCartney song, no doubt about it, and could never be a Beatles song. It screams of him, and of his Linda (he also openly sings of her in "The Lovely Linda").

This isn't a slow dance song. It's a mid-tempo rocker. But again, if one has truly felt anything, then they've been amazed. Amazed by everything.

McCartney isn't known for being modest, but read this and tell me if even Paul McCartney isn't vulnerable.
Maybe I'm a man and maybe I'm a lonely man
Who's in the middle of something
That he doesn't really understand
Maybe I'm a man and maybe you're the only woman
Who could ever help me
Baby won't you help me understand?
Um. Wow. Yeah. I've been there, and if there's a t-shirt, I'll take one.

Incidentally, while I love "Got to Get You Into My Life," well, that's not a love song.

It's about pot. Yup.

I know we've only scraped the top of the love song genre. We never got to "Your Song", "Crazy Little Thing Called Love", "Best of My Love" (The Eagles song), "Endless Love", and on and on and on...

We all have our love songs. Some we'd like to forget. Some are great, and we'd still prefer to forget them (not naming names or songs). Some we used as our own wedding song and...

Well you get the idea.

So Happy Valentine's Day, you crazy kids, and just remember, "Every Breath You Take" is not a love song!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Bears and Bruins! Oh my! Berkshire/Brunswick Hockey Today at 3:30

Senior Day at Brunswick
Courtesy of WGCH, Bleachers, Brunswick, and the Greenwich Sentinel, check out this link to the AUDIO ONLY of today's Berkshire/Brunswick hockey broadcast. Game time is scheduled for 3:30 pm. Here's the link!

Click here to go to the game broadcast.

Make sure to WATCH the game on (you'll get the call there also).

Friday, February 10, 2017

Gunnery/Brunswick Hockey

Brunswick and Gunery warm up.
Courtesy of WGCH, Bleachers, Brunswick, and the Greenwich Sentinel, check out this link to the AUDIO ONLY of today's Gunnery/Brunswick hockey broadcast. Originally scheduled for 4:00, the game is more likely to get going around 6:00. Here's the link!

Click here to go to the game broadcast.

Make sure to WATCH the game on (you'll get the call there also).

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Lawrenceville/Brunswick Hockey

If it walks like a puck and quacks like a puck...
I'm trying something new here on the blog. Courtesy of WGCH, Bleachers, Brunswick, and the Greenwich Sentinel, check out this link to the AUDIO ONLY of today's Lawrenceville/Brunswick hockey broadcast. Originally scheduled for 4:00, the game is more likely to get going around 4:30. Here's the link!

Click here to go to the game broadcast.

Make sure to WATCH the game on (you'll get the call there also).

Monday, February 06, 2017

The True GOAT: The Babe at 122

With all this talk about Tom Brady as the GOAT (Greatest Of All Time), today, February 6th, is a reminder that, despite the need for "instant classics," the GOAT issue has long been resolved.

Today is the 122nd birthday of George Herman Ruth, and he laughs at all of this.

George - you know, Jidge, The Sultan of Swat, The Colossus of Clout, The Great Bambino, or as most of us call him, The Babe, sort of once dominated baseball.

And sports.

The Babe -- he who out-homered entire teams -- was in an era with Jack Dempsey, Red Grange, Bill Tilden, Helen Wills, Gertrude Ederle, and Bobby Jones. All GOAT contenders in their own right.

I simply don't have the energy for the debate about Babe not playing against the best competition, etc. While it would be intriguing to see, I would imagine Satchel Paige (for instance) would still have been great, and Ruth would have stayed just as great.

GOAT's win out at the end of the day.

I mean, I'm not going to get into the details of how amazing he was on the field. But I'd suggest just going with 1920, 1921, and 1927 for a start. Or -- save for his horrible 1925 campaign -- how he never dipped below 29 homers and 96 runs batted in between 1919 and 1933.

Oh, and his batting average low in that spell (against, except for '25, when he had "The Bellyache Heard 'Round The World") was .301. In 1933. When he was 38.

While I'm at it -- despite saying I wouldn't do this -- he led the league in OPS (that matters to some) every year from 1918 to 1931, except for 1925, of course.

And he was the best left-handed pitcher in baseball from 1915-1918.

What if he had hit just a little bit more in those years? Think we'd be talking about Aaron or Bonds as the greatest home run hitter? No. Shot.

For you Curt Schilling-types who want to talk about the post-season, well this guy Ruth posted a .326 batting average with 15 home runs 1.214 OPS. Keep in mind he was pitcher in the 1915, 1916, and 1918 Fall Classics.

Oh, and for you Tom Brady "bruhs," Ruth won seven championships.  Seven.


He wasn't perfect. God, no. He wasn't the finesse and brute force of Gehrig, for instance. He stupidly tried to steal second and base and was thrown out to end the 1926 World Series. He got suspended for defying Judge Landis over a barnstorming tour in 1922. He fought with his manager, Miller Huggins (though the two seemed to love each other, and Ruth was devastated by Huggins' passing in 1929). Huggins suspended him at one point, with owner Jacob Ruppert's support.

His 1925 season was largely marred by his own arrogance and excess, including eating too much. Yes, he womanized and drank until he settled down with his second wife, Claire, in 1929. However, his first wife, Helen, who he separated from in 1925, died mysteriously in early '29.

Yes, there were plenty of flaws. Michael Jordan had flaws, and he's the GOAT of basketball, in my opinion.

Anyway, there's so much to Babe Ruth.

So as we're quick to try to anoint Tom Brady as Mr. Everything today, let this serve as a reminder that there are a lot of athletes that stand ahead of the Pats' QB.

And Babe Ruth is the best of them all.

Happy birthday, big fella.

Sunday, February 05, 2017

Post Game

I'm wiped out.

If you had an interest in the Super Bowl, you probably are also.

I mean, what is there to say?

I didn't feel too bad for the Cleveland Indians in the World Series. I'm convinced they're in a good spot to get close to a World Series title. Might be tough, but they'll be OK. I felt like they got steamrolled by a machine, driven by the Chicago Cubs.

But tonight, I'm sick for the Atlanta Falcons.

The biggest comeback in Super Bowl history was ten points. Ten.

Tonight, it went from 28-3, to 28-28. Then we all knew what would happen in overtime. The Falcons never touched the ball.

Yes, Tom Brady was magnificent down the stretch. But oh my, the Falcons made some big mistakes. Let's make it clear: the Patriots earned it.

The New England Patriots are champions for the fifth time.

I can't process it.

I will tomorrow at 3pm.

I need baseball. Stat.

My 40th Super Bowl

Butch Johnson makes the circus catch in Super Bowl XII.
The first time I remember seeing the Super Bowl was in January, 1978. Super Bowl XII. I was nine.

My brother had it on in his bedroom (we shared a room until fall, 1977...poor bastard), and I either stumbled in or was invited in. I might be wrong, but I feel like it was on a black and white TV.

His missive was clear: he wanted the Denver Broncos to win that night. He wasn't a particularly big Broncos fan (he, like my dad, was a Jets fan, having watched them train at Depew Park in Peekskill in the '60s).

One thing was clear: he hated the Dallas Cowboys. That was good enough for me. A year later, in a story I've often told, thanks to my classmate and friend, Patrick Urell (a Cowboys fan), I took a twenty-five cent bet on Super Bowl XIII. I didn't know who they were playing as we spoke that day in Mr. Salvestrini's fourth grade classroom at Austen Road Elementary School

All I knew was that I was not to root for the Cowboys.

"Who are they playing?"

"The Steelers."

That was enough. There they were, in black and gold, with the quarterback driving them down the field on the opening drive. Touchdown Pittsburgh.

"I like this guy Bradshaw," I said.
Terry Bradshaw at the helm, Super Bowl XIII.
That was it. In some ways, a life was changed. I found my football team and football hero. I found my passion for football, having been at best a moderate Dolphins fan before that (we used to go Florida every year when I was a kid). It didn't hurt that this Bradshaw guy went into broadcasting, by the way.

So here I sit, wearing a Terry Bradshaw jersey, and will soon turn on the TV to watch Mr. Bradshaw on the Fox TV pregame, rooting for the hated New England Patriots (oh, I still dislike the Cowboys plenty) to lose to the Atlanta Falcons today.

Have I mentioned the Steelers have won six Lombardi Trophies?

I've seen enough bad Super Bowl games to last a lifetime. We've also been blessed with some dynamite games. We watched the halftime show go from forgettable (Up With People! Gloria Estefan!) to whatever it is now.

The whole thing has become less and less about the football fan. That train left the station, I'd say, 20 years ago or so.

Heck, even the commercials are often released before the game now, so that's changed also.

It's evolved so much. I wish we could go back to Up With People and the crowded locker room trophy presentation.

I watch for the game itself, and I've seen a lot.

Super Bowl XIII in 1979 was brilliant, and that should be a game to make anyone love football. Pittsburgh 35, Dallas 31 (Note: Patrick never paid me the quarter). After that, we went into a lull of bad games in the 80's. Even the Niners/Benagls game of 1989 was middling until the final drive.

Niners/Broncos was the worst. Only Seahawks/Broncos approaches it in my estimation.

Giants/Bills was a terrific game in 1991. Especially the fourth quarter.

The Steelers made their way back a few times as well. I don't discuss Supes XXX and XLV. Larry Brown. Rashard Mendenhall. Nope. However, I can still hear the Seahawks fans whining about XL (Get. Over. It.). XLIII was blistering, and among the most emotional nights I've known as a sports fan for a variety of reasons.

Yes we've just about seen it all. We haven't seen an overtime game yet, but we've seen a power outage. A nipple. And the most overrated halftime show ever (I mean, Prince was not...that...good).

We also saw the Black Eyed Peas and Madonna and The Who and Coldplay. Yikes.

Anyway, away we go in a few hours. May the best team (please're our only hope) win.

We'll all likely talk about things other than the game tomorrow. Commercials...Lady Gaga...National Anthem...blah blah blah.

I'd like to talk about the game. We'll do that all at 3pm tomorrow afternoon on WGCH (and

Enjoy the

Pitchers and catchers report in a few days.