Friday, September 21, 2007

The 90s Are Back... I Wish

There was an awesome quote stated on Monday Night Football where one of the announcers said something to the extent of "The San Francisco 49ers are 2-0, the Dallas Cowboys are 2-0, and O.J. Simpson is in Jail, it must be 1994 all over again."

Since there is nothing interesting to blog about this week in the sports world, I'd figure I'd blog about something else: Music.

Now, I'm a product of the 90's. It's 2007, but I have no idea about style or fashion, or even music or anything going on in pop culture. I haven't been to a high school in 10 years, and I've even been out of college for four years now, so I have no idea what the kids are wearing, what's the cool hairstyle, and JUST YESTERDAY, I realized how gross it really is for men to wear short shorts (like my sports idol John Stockton).

I was sitting in the bank drive-thru, and I saw a dude in his late 30's wearing short shorts. Even though he had defined calf muscles and strong quads, I realized that nobody wants to see a man's thighs. So as of right now, I don't own a single pair of shorts anymore.

So, what's going on with music? I have no idea what has happened since 1998 (when I left the country for a two-year mission in Brazil). All I know is that when I graduated high school in 1997, music had just gone through one of the greatest revolutions since the 1960's, when music was cool with Jimi Hendrix and Woodstock.

The 1970's were all about drugs and the only rock worth mentioning was Led Zeppelin. The 1980's were lame as far as rock is concerned. The only thing good to happen in rock was early Metallica (Master of Puppets, Ride the Lightning, etc.).

But then in 1991, everything changed with Kurdt Cobain and Nirvana's smash single "Smells Like Teen Spirit" knocking Michael Jackson and Michael Bolton off the Top 10 charts.

So many good things happened after with this explosion. Pearl Jam's Ten was one of the greatest albums ever, PERIOD. Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, Stone Temple Pilots and the the whole Seattle grunge explosion changed everything. Incredible distortion, non-commercialized, soulful rock was ba-ack.

It's funny 'cause a few years ago, I watched a special on VH1 "grunge" with the whole Nirvana explosion from 1991-1994, and the "pop culture experts" that VH1 gets to comment on these shows acte like they were embarrased for liking grunge... But I respond to them, "What, like it wasn't cool to like rock, but now it's cool to like screamo and N' Sync?" What's your logic for embarrassment?

Anyway, when I left the states in 1998, Smashing Pumpkins and Rage Against the Machine had just come off ruling the entire Universe, and the short-lived ska craze was dying out.

Jump forward two years, and I step off the plane in 2000, and start watching MTV again, and it's all Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys, N' Sync, Limp Bizkit, and Blink 182. What the hell just happened?

And from 2000-2007, we have suffered through Creed, Nickelback, Fall Out Turd, Hoobastank, Dashboard Confessional, James Blunt and the list just keeps getting worse and worse.

One simple note, geniuses Kurdt Cobain, James Hetfield, Eddie Vedder, Chris Cornell, Lane Staley, Billy Corgan and co. weren't singing about chicks like "artists" did in the 80s and the 00s (2000-2009) we'll call them the Otts... I think people really took for granted the amount of star power that existed in a five year period (1991-96).

My favorite bands have had a few comeback splashes here and there, for example Weezer, Pearl Jam, hybrids AudioSlave and Velvet Revolver, RAGE and Smashing Pumpkins' latest attempts to be important again... Luckily, Green Day's American Idiot was incredible. So good in fact that its radio overplay nearly takes away from the fact that it's one of the few good albums in the last 10 years.

It's crazy because in the last 10 years, I have only liked two NEW bands. One of them is Incubus, but they're dying a slow death which is sad because they had the right formula (good-looking lead singer with shirt off, black guy doing his vinyl record-scratching thing, groovy jams, etc.)

I hear that White Stripes and the Cold War Kids are supposed to save this mess, but I dunno. When Jack White's ill sister cancels an entire tour, it's pretty pathetic. My 4-year old nephew could cover up for her "advanced" drumming skills.

I saw Cold War Kids last night on Jay Leno, and they seemed alright, but a little too faddish and hyped. There was so much going on onstage, I couldn't tell if I was watching some new form of Mighty Mighty Bosstones or the band Arrested Development's extended family perform on stage. They had a dude performing on the "white board," so that takes away from the music just a wee bit.

It's crazy to think that 1991 was 16 years ago....

Anyway, Avenged Sevenfold has some awesome tunes, but they are a little too metal for the radio, so the future of good music lies in the hands on one band. Unfortunately they are from Britland. It's sad to think that all the HUGE, impact bands, which are of course the Beatles and U2 (yes, I know they are from Ireland, but it's pretty much the same place) - and definitely NOT the 80s flops Flock of Seagulls and 90s uber-flop Oasis - have to come from that BBC-luvin' country of Great Britain.

Yes, that's right. We need MUSE to save the music industry. I just saw them in concert last week for the second time, and they have the potential to be the next huge band on the planet, and I mean a U2 and Beatles revolution. It's crazy to think that their onstage performance is produced by only three people. Most big bands have four members, but heck, Nirvana started the last revolution with only three members. Jack White can't do with with two (especially his lame sister), Cold War Kids can't to it with ten-plus (sorry white board player guy), so it's up to Muse.

If you haven't jumped on the bandwagon yet, download Starlight, Hysteria, Stockholm Syndrome, Bliss, or the new best Queen impersonation Knights of Cydonia (sorry Mika, you're a poser). Muse has to save the planet from the last ten years of this rock music infestation of poorly produced over-hyped under-talented trash.

If you happen to watch the VMA's the only genre of music this decade with any so
ul is Rap, stemming from geniuses like Eminem, 50 cent, Kanye, Jay-Z, Timbaland, and J.T.

Rock needs to be saved and needs to be saved NOW. "Help us Muse, you're are only hope." Let us help you influence a new generation of good music because in a matter of four years, it'll be 2011. Hopefully (crossing my fingers), the good music cycle is set to repeat itself where new Nirvanas, Pearl Jams, and Metallicas are set for a fresh, new rock revolution.

Ok, maybe I should stick to sports...

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Football: It's Just a Game

K. Time for the weekly thoughts. You know, it's been an amazing week since real NFL football is back in the picture...

The funny thing is, I don't feel like writing about the NFL this week. I was ticked off that NBC didn't show one highlight during its halftime. Guess what?!?!?! Nobody was watching your pre-game because the Chargers vs. Bears game wasn't over yet, so show us some highlights at halftime, instead of the boring Keith Olberman talking about Jets fans. I hate NBC. They haven't done a single good thing since Seinfeld went off the air with a crappy last episode and Green Day playing its goodbye song.

Anyway, there is nothing I feel like writing about in the NFL this week. Sports Guy is sticking to his crappy instincts and his NFL picks, and he is going totally bandwagon on his sleeper after one week, I don't care that Bellichick was videotaping Mangini and Jets assistants, and the penalty was TOO harsh. They should have just fined Billicheck, and suspended him for Sunday's national broadcast, and made him wear a t-shirt in the Jets vs. Patriots rematch that says "I learned everything from Eric."

The real story of the NFL is the Bills TE Kevin Everett getting paralyzed, but now it seems like he will recover. Football is a deadly sport, and the risk these players put it is worth the reward of the paychecks they get. So before you complain about an NFL player making millions of dollars, remember the average career of an NFL player is only three years, and they put their bodies at risk every Sunday. Until you are willing to step on that field with 250-300 pound hitting machines coming at you, then keep your safe cubicle job like I do. I learned that respect from being on the sidelines of an NFL team for a year.

Anyway, the real story this week is in college football. After two weeks, there are no real mid-major schools that will break into the BCS this year. The only real players were BYU, TCU and Boise State, but they all lost by week two. Hawaii doesn't count cause they suck and nobody wants to see them in a BCS bowl 'cause unlike Utah and Boise State, they will lose badly, and there is still a great chance that they will lose before the year's up.

So expect the BCS bowls to all feature 1-2 loss major conference teams battling each other, and maybe, one undefeated team in the title game (USC is the best bet). The pretenders (Georgia, Auburn, Michigan, Notre Dame) are all out.

The one bright side of everything, Michigan could be 0-3 at home before by game 3. Just awesome! I've never liked Michigan, and I hope coach Carr gets fired before the season is over.

One other note, if Notre Dame loses, they are officially racists if Charlie Weis keeps his job after this season, because Ty Willingham got fired after one bad year. Now he's building a nice little team at the University of Washington. Not to mention MTV is racist because Kanye is now officially a legal idiot :)

But now that I have no BCS sleeper, and my Ravens could suck (and I mean 7-9 suck and miss the playoffs) this year, I need to find something to do over the next four months... I guess I could look for a real job... or just call Vegas and pick the exact opposite of the Sports Guy. His NFL picks are almost as sure as everything that comes out of Sean Salisbury's mouth (inside joke).

Friday, September 7, 2007

Average Joe's 2007 NFL Preview

I can't believe it! I've been waiting for this moment for the entire summer! Football is back! And I am not talking college football, but real professional football! The lifeblood of American sports. Baseball is supposed to be the national pastime - at least they got the "past" part right - then the NFL must be the nation's "Primetime."

I can't begin to tell you how long this summer has seemed without anything to read about on I actually got busted at work earlier this year for being on the Internet too much, and they took my ESPN rights away from me, but it really wasn't that big of a deal since there has been nothing interesting since the Jazz made a fake run in the NBA playoffs and the pretty eventful NBA draft.

But now, after much waiting, it's time for real football again. Don't get me wrong, I like college football, but I get sick of hearing about Notre Dame, USC, Michigan, and the SEC. There are only about 12 teams that really matter, but I would much rather root for the Boise States and BYUs of the nation anyway. I hate how much favoritism the bigger schools always receive. But anyway, back to real football.

One thing that drives me crazy about the "experts" pick every season is that basically, all they do is pick up a copy of last year's standings and then make the exact same picks all across the board - AFC East: Patriots, AFC South: Ravens, AFC West: Chargers, NFC North: Bears, NFC South: Saints. Anyway, you get my point.

This works fine for MLB and the NBA, but it doesn't work in football. Last year alone, two teams that everybody picked would suck made the playoffs. The New York Jets of the AFC, and the New Orleans Saints of the NFC. Nobody had them higher than five wins, yet they each won ten games and won their divisions. The defending Superbowl champs the Pittsburgh Steelers didn't even make the playoffs!

So this year, they are doing it all over again. It's like picking up a March Madness bracket and picking all four number one seeds to make the Final Four. We all know this NEVER happens, and it NEVER happens in the NFL from year to year.

Well, anyway, I am already rambling on before I can even breakdown all 32 teams, plus I am not an "expert" anyway. I at least have the guts to make some non-Chargers, Patriots, Chicago, and Saints picks to go all the way to their respective title games.


There are a few teams to watch out for that people have already written off. I think the Titans will do ok, even though some teams have them as last in the AFC South. Jaguars can win their division, but will probably settle for the wild card thanks to the Colts. And the Bills can steal a wild card. I think the Raiders will do just fine, maybe even 8-9 wins because they have an awesome defense and easy schedule, I think the Lions will surprise some people, and I also think that Carolina will win their division, and maybe, just maybe Green Bay will make the playoffs. And who knows, maybe the Atlanta Falcons will use this whole Michael Vick fiasco to rally as a team and surprise a lot of "experts."


The Chargers are way overrated. They had an easy schedule last year, and Norv Turner is definetely not going to make it to the promised land. As Sports Guy once witnessed, he sucks at blackjack. The Colts won't repeat as Superbowl champs, and I hope Peyton Manning never even comes close to sniffing a ring again. As Billy Madison once said "I have a feeling that you and your whole family is going down." Tony Dungy won that ring, not you! I won't be surprised if the Bears miss the playoffs. And sorry folks, as much as I love Mike Nolan, the 49ers won't be winning their division, although I hope they get a wild card just because he deserves it.


As much as I love the Ravens (for obvious reasons) and the Saints, I'll just put it out there. A Ravens and Saints Superbowl would be sweet! The best offense versus the best defense. Defense wins championships (as I bet on the Raiders over the Bucs in 2003, HUGE MISTAKE). Steve McNair gets his ring, then retires. As much as I love the Saints, who are everyone's feel good story with Drew Brees, Hurrican Katrina and co., I'm going with my team. I know the Ravens are boring for everybody, but if Ray Lewis stays healthy, it's O-V-E-R. He is so good that his pass deflections actually lost the game for the last season against the Colts.