Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Mohan Chronicles

Once upon a time, in a galaxy far away, well, not too far away, Poughkeepsie, NY.  I was a student at Marist College.  I was friends with a group of guys that lived in a townhouse on campus.  I didn't live there technically, but was around and slept there enough, that I did.  We had all known each other from the year before or even longer in some cases.  We all thought we were hilarious, as well as each other.  The main group of guys lived up stairs in the three bedrooms there and were like a fraternity, without all the pomp and circumstance.  We had the same or similar interests and did most things together.  There were two rooms downstairs and the guys down there pretty much kept to themselves.  In one room, were a couple of guys on the football team.  I was friendly with them and got a couple of free haircuts that semester.  Always good to know someone that cuts hair.  I didn't know the guys in the second room, they were like ghosts, except when they came home drunk.  Normally, this would be the end of the bedrooms, but this townhouse was handicap accessible, so there was a bedroom on the main floor.

Jim was the guy in that bedroom.  He had MS and got the disease early in his life, as he was already in an automated wheelchair at 19.  We quickly became good friends, due to our mutual loves of music, sports and girls.  We just got each other, almost instantly.  I'd stand on the back of his chair and we'd cruise around campus.  He also loved coming to my radio show.  I'd put him on air and we'd make fun of each others favorite bands/musicians.  So when we all heard there would be a new roommate moving into Jim's room, we got a little curious.  We had heard the new guy coming into the house was being kicked out of current house due to the fact that he harassed girls.  Whoa, wait a second!  You want to throw a guy into a house with a bunch of guys that aren't exactly skilled with the ladies.  Except at the time for Eli, I'll give you your props if you read this.  So on top of the obvious, you want to make it harder for all of us to ever have girls come over.  What did we ever do to you?

Enter...Mohan.  He kinda looked like this guy, minus the porn-stache, but just as smarmy looking and an equally sharp dresser.

You could mix in a little classic Erik Estrada as well.  He sounded like he learned to speak English by watching game shows in the mid-70's.  Which could be the truth, I never had the heart to ask him.  So, we were initially nice to him.  We tried to give him the benefit of just bad info.  Then the first strike against him happened. 

Jim had lost the key to his room early in first semester.  Since, he was the only one in his room at the time, it was no big deal, he left his door unlocked all the time.  Nobody would ever mess with his stuff anyways.  Mohan moves in and Jim tells him about the lost key.  Jim explains, that all the guys are cool and nobody ever goes into the bedroom unless he's home.  Mohan agrees to leave it unlocked.  One day, I'm hanging out at the house and Jim comes bombing in.  He needs to pick a book up before his next class in 20 minutes, no time to talk, we'll hangout later.  Jim goes to open his door and it's, locked.  Jim starts freaking out.  Vigo, one of the housemates and I, go to work.  He grabs a butter knife and pops the bolts on the hinges, as I hold the door.  The door comes right off and Jim can enter his room.  Jim thanks us and books out, to get to his class.  About, a half hour later, Mohan comes home.  He asks why the door is off the hinges.  We explain the story and the fact that we were too lazy to put it back on.  We oblige him and repair the door, but also remind him not to lock it.  He agrees. 

Needless to say, Mohan would "forget" to leave the door unlocked, often.  It got to the point where we figured he was messing with Jim.  You don't mess with a handicapped kid in wheelchair that can't fight back.  It's just not cool, in my eyes.  Besides, we're the only ones that were allowed to mess with him.  By this time, you could just pop the door off by hand.  We had done it so many times before, that all you had to do was look at it and it would come off on it's own.  The thing that made us laugh, was every time we'd do it, Mohan would freak out about it.  So, we turned it into a game called, Hide the Door on Mohan.  Since he already sounded like he was from a game show, he could host.  We'd put the door on the porch, upstairs (where he wasn't allowed), downstairs (where the football players would kill him) or other special places, like across campus.  It was his job to find it.  The game would always start like this.  Mohan (and the studio audience): "Where's my door?"  Us: "You know, I don't know.  I think it left."  Narrator: "You know what that means!!!"  Audience: "Time to Find the Door!!!" (Crazed clapping and cheering) 

He brought it upon himself.  All we were doing was looking out for a friend.  This is just the tip of the iceberg with Mr. Mohan.  As he got worse, we got worse.  There are more stories to come.  Hope you enjoyed.

Editor's note:  I'll use nicknames whenever I can, just in case someone does something crazy, like try to run for office.  Although, they have much larger things to worry about than my little stories from college.

The Terry Fox Story

I'd say most people in the United States don't know who Terry Fox is.  That's fine.  I probably wouldn't know either, but I saw a made for HBO movie back in the early 80's about him and never forgot.  He was a young cancer survivor, although, an amputee, that was going to run across Canada for Cancer research.  Basically, what started as a personal mission, with the help of his brother, Darrell and best friend, Doug, would by the end of it, turn the nation on it's head.

His real life struggle is even greater than what is portrayed in the movie.  He tried to run 5,000 miles, but was able to "ONLY" run 3,339 miles in 143 days.  He did this all on one leg don't forget and he didn't have the technology for artificial limbs we have now.  I watched the premiere of the 30 for 30 documentary Into the Wind.  I learned first hand from the people involved about what really happened and Fox has every right to be a National Hero in Canada.  It's that amazing.

So, what am I asking of you?  I'm not asking for donations, that's on you.  So, nothing, watch the documentary.  DVR it, watch it with your kids and/or loved ones.  Tell your kids that sometimes there are real heroes in sports and they won't disappoint you.  It's incredibly rare, but it does happen.  Terry Fox ran a marathon of hope and all he wanted to do was make a difference.  I'd say he succeeded.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Big Bob's Fill In Experiment

Back in the Pro Wrestling days

Hello, people out there in readerland.  Is that a new country?  Never wrestled there...anyways...on with the introductions.  I'm Big Bob!  I'll be filling in for Derek today as he's under the weather.  I finally get to return the favors that he did for me back in college.  He used to fill-in for me on my radio show, from time to time.  Ok, every time, I did like to go out and party a little too much.  Just glad I can help out and repay him.

I figure we'll keep this opening visit short and sweet.  Plus, I'm not the greatest wordsmith.  Me no talk pretty, unless there's a microphone in my face and I get cut a promo on my opponent, but I was told that I'm not allowed to talk about mangling or bodyslamming anyone.  Maybe, we'll talk about the art of the eye gouge?  Can't talk about that either, how about the history of my intro music?  Check...tonight, I'm gonna rock ya tonight!!

"Sugar, Sugar"

This was my theme music back when I was a youngster in the wrestling world.  Simply known as "Sweet Baby Bob," my main fan base were housewives and grandmothers.  They liked to pinch my cheeks and bake me cookies.  The good old days, but my opponents often laughed at me.  So we needed to make a change.

 "On The Loose"

When some mentioned this song, I was excited to use it, but had yet to hear it.  I immediately put the paper work in with the federation to use this song.  I figured, I'd act all crazy like an escaped know, I'm On The Loose and stuff.  Made my debut without hearing it, wanted it to be a surprise.  It's pretty hard to be tough and scary with the keyboard solo.  I also "mistakenly" (I might've been drunk) checked the box that said "Indefinite Use" of the song.  So, I was stuck with it.


When someone finally explained to me what "Indefinite" meant, I got rid of the previous song.  I just wish I met that 8th grader 4 years sooner.  With this one, I finally found the perfect song.  The song is called "Stranglehold" and my finishing move was, you guessed it, The Chair to the Face, but I often used the stranglehold to set it up.  I didn't win many matches in my career...something about disqualifications, whatever that is...I still have yet to read the rule book.

Hope, you enjoyed our time here...if YOU didn't, I can find you and CONVINCE you that you did.  Ok, then...we're on the same page...a great time had by all.  I'll be back when Derek isn't feeling well again, which I could arrange for tomorrow.  He could have an accident or something....oh, hey Derek.  Just finishing up here, you should go back to bed, you don't look so good.  See you later folks...Big Bob is OUT, well technically, I'm still in, but it's my cool sign off.  

Friday, September 24, 2010

Nine By Design 2

Welcome back for the weekly list portion of my little ole blog.  Today's list will be sports based, but not in the traditional sense.  Some may call it extreme, but others like myself, would call it a mode of transportation.  That is when I wasn't falling down.  I don't think you'll be seeing a trick called ollie-to curb-to faceplant.  I however, was a master of that particular move.  It's a sport I can watch for hours.  The creativity, progression and innovation, make it a beautiful sport in my eyes.

Favorite Skateboarders

Rodney Mullen:  He's the best place to start for this list.  Inventor of the flatland ollie, but more importantly, he invented the kickflip.  A trick that is key to most of the street tricks you'll see in the videos.  I will not list all of the tricks he's responsible for, as we'd be here for quite sometime.  I'd say it's about a hundred, give or take ten...probably give.  Is a co-owner of the skateboard company, Almost.  Rodney is widely considered one of, if not the most, influential skateboarder in history...the other contender would be...

Tony Hawk:  What Rodney Mullen did for freestyle and street skateboarding, Tony Hawk did for vertical or ramp skating.  He invented a bunch of tricks, but he also helped bring back the popularity of skateboarding, by ruling the X Games for 7 years.  The X Games vert skating was initially set up as a duel between Hawk and another member of our list, who will come a little later.  The success of the X Games and his domination allowed for him to start a video game series and gave him a stage to attempt a trick he'd been working on for 10 years, the 900.

Christian Hosoi:  He is the other skater that was supposed to be involved in the duel with Tony Hawk at the X Games.  In his prime, he was the complete opposite of Hawk.  He chose style, flash and powerful big airs over Hawk's technical riding and trick innovation.  He had the tricks, but was obsessed with going higher than anyone had ever gone on a board and looking good while doing it.  The X Games wanted to bring back the rivalry of Hawk/Hosoi from the 80's, but Christian never showed up.  He had gotten into drugs in a major way, which would later lead to a conviction and federal prison time.  The story could end there, but Mr. Hosoi served his time, learned from his mistakes and is back in the skateboarding scene.

Natas Kaupas:  Yes, his name is Satan spelled backwards, he's not evil, just Lithuanian.  When vert skating had a decline in popularity, mainly due to the fact that building a ramp was expensive, street skating took over.  Street is exactly how it sounds, skating on the streets, sidewalks and every other thing you see.  Natas was at the forefront of this movement.  After some injuries, mainly a broken ankle, he got into art and would become Quicksilver's graphic director.

Danny Way:  You may have heard of him, he jumped over the Great Wall of China in 2005...with a messed up ankle.  Injury, could be his middle name, but I suppose that is the price you pay for progression.  Whether it's dropping in from a helicopter (no one had tried this, let alone landed it before) or from the guitar at the Hard Rock in Vegas (82 feet, folks), he thinks outside the box.  He is one of the main proponents of Big Air Skating, winning the event at the 2004 X Games, but also having other memories of the event.  He's not indestructible, but he doesn't let anything stop him.

Richie Jackson:  Is a Kiwi, meaning he's from New Zealand, for those that don't know.  A fairly new discovery for me.  Watching a Transworld Skate video one night, I saw his footage and it blew me away.  Reminded me me immediately of Natas Kaupas and Rodney Mullen, he does his version of the "Natas Spin" in the video as an homage.  Richie is still only 24 yrs old and we should be seeing a lot more from him in the coming years.  I hope, at least, he's very creative with his tricks.

Daewon Song:  Is Rodney Mullen's partner in crime at Almost.  Daewon's style is special because, he mixes traditional old school tricks with new variations.  Daewon is still actively skating and pushing the envelope of street tricks.  He was named Skater of the Year by Thrasher magazine in 2006, one the sports oldest running magazines. 

Bob Burnquist:  The only other skater I know that is about the progression of skateboarding, as much as, Danny Way.  Burnquist can and will skate anything, anytime, anywhere and with any stance, which means he can skate regular or goofy foot, equally as well.  This Brazilian transplant has a ramp in his backyard, like most pros, but it's just slightly different from the others you see. 

Jason Lee:  Yes...that Jason Lee, I am completely serious, this Jason Lee.  He was a professional skateboarder before he got into acting.  The first time I became aware of Lee was in the Sonic Youth video for the song 100%.  The more video I watch of him, it becomes obvious, to me at least, what a natural actor he is.  Jason has not left his skating roots behind, as he is co-owner of Stereo Skateboards with Chris Pastras.

This wraps up our Nine By Design list for the week.  Hopefully, you enjoy reading as much as I did putting it together.  A different type of sports list, opening minds to sports outside the perceived "norm."  If your son or daughter doesn't want to play organized sports, buy them a skateboard.  It's a sport you can do, as you've seen, anywhere.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Listening To You 2

I've been thinking about "you," the audience, and how I can get more of "you."  Then it hit me...I'll write about RUSH!  Granted, this will probably have the reverse effect and alienate the 7 readers I currently have.  They are out there..."Hugs and hand pounds" for my silent supporters.  Sorry, I went Stuart Scott on you, I'll never do it again.

RUSH is quite possibly the "most popular cult band in the world."  Does that make sense?  They don't have hit singles.  In fact, I remember listening to RUSH on Rockline when I was in high school about 20 years ago.  I know I'm old and unhip, why do you think I'm talking about RUSH?  The host asked Neil Peart about a possible greatest hits album and Neil's response was, "Why?  It would be Tom Sawyer side 1 and on side 2, Tom Sawyer."  Of course, for fans of the band...that is very far from the truth.  They have a very large and loyal following.  RUSH does everything for their fans.  In fact this current tour, they are playing one of their most popular albums in it's entirety.  Moving Pictures is that good kids, one those albums you must hear before you die.

I think a lot of the attention that has been almost mystically thrown their way recently, is a push to get them nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  Music television channels Palladia and VH1 Classic both have played the documentary Beyond The Lighted Stage quite a bit.  VH1 Classic also had two days of "RUSH-ashanah," playing the aforementioned documentary, classic albums series and the RUSH in RIO concert.  I'm all for it.  They might not be for everyone, but why would you listen to a band that everyone listens to?  I've never understood that.  Don't you want something that you and a close group of friends can have for yourselves?  I give you Alex Lifeson, Geddy Lee and Neil Peart...RUSH.

There you have 4 songs representing 4 decades of music from RUSH.  No band is together this long without being exceptional. 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Odds and Sods 3

Three is a magic number...

Can someone explain to me why every time I turn on VH1 Classic I see a Bon Jovi/Motley Crue/Poison or Def Leppard video?  They are on every show that has videos, sometimes more than once; Totally 80's, Rock Fest and Metal Mania.  Just watch one of those shows the whole way through and you'll see at least two, but probably all of the bands.  The easy answer is they fit into all three categories, but are those bands really metal?  I don't think so...hard rock, sure...metal...nope.

When did driving become a game to figure out where the person in front of you is going?  I like directionals, they are good and important in my mind.  Maybe it's just me, but I don't know where you the person in front of know, the one talking on the phone, doing your hair, reading a book and/or doing your going.  For the simple price they come with your can tell me by turning on one of those handy dandy blinking arrow thingys.  An exception to this rule would be the 75+ crowd that likes to keep their directionals on 24/7.  You're on a two lane highway, in the left can't go anymore left...please turn it's been on for 15 miles.  By the way you're driving 54 mph on a 65 mph highway...that's why people are passing you on the right.  No, they aren't waving at you...they are pissed and those hand signals...well....this is a family blog.  Let's say it's not to remind you of how popular you were in 1962, when everyone knew you.

I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, who said, "...I drank what?"

Fantasy Sports Corner:

UFC picks: I went 3-2 in my last pick'em.  I'm not dedicating a blog to it anymore...I'll just update it in Odds/Sods.  I have to remember not everyone is into the UFC like I am.  Anyways, fight picks for UFC 119 on 9/25/10.

Frank Mir v. Mirko Cro Cop (tough one, Cro Cop, TKO)
Antonio Rogerio Noguiera v. Ryan Bader (Bader, Decision)
Matt Serra v. Chris Lytle (Serra, Decision)

Just three fights today...That's enough.

The Hong Kong Cavaliers (fantasy baseball) lost in the semifinal series and is now playing the 3rd place series.
The Flying Burrito Brothers (fantasy football) are 1-1. 

Hall Passes:

I just finished reading I am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to be your Class President.  It was written by Josh Lieb, who is an executive producer/writer for The Daily Show.  I normally don't read fiction, but the description of the book sold me on it and it was $6.40 on Amazon.  It's also written for Young Adults, I know, well beyond my reading level, but I'm trying to expand my horizons.  The book is completely brilliant, but loses it in the last 20 or so, pages.  Still recommended...

Today is the 23rd anniversary of Jaco Pastorius' death.  I just wanted to pay a little homage to this great jazz bassist.  This video is from the great work he did with Joni Mitchell.  Pat Methany is the guitarist, another legend in own right.


People that refer to their favorite sports team  in conversation as "We played" or "Our team."  You're on the team?  Really?  When?  Does the manager or coach know this?  What position do you play?  They can be your favorite team, but you have nothing to do with their success or failure.  When you get a paycheck from the team then you can say these things.


Justin Bieber, I know not original, but honestly, who is this kid?  I'll be the first to admit that I don't listen to the radio much and when I do it's mainly Classic Rock or Oldies.  It just really struck me, because he's going to be guest starring on the season premiere of CSI.  The original one in Vegas, not Portugal or Presque Isle, ME.  That would be a dull show...CSI: Presque Isle, ME.  Look it'll understand it then.  Anyways, sorry for the distraction.  I know this Bieber kid gets made fun of a lot, but he's playing arenas at 16 yrs old.  He's laughing at you, folks.  Your daughter is obsessed with him and is purchasing everything and anything with his name or face on it.  Ground your kids if they even mention his name.  Parenting 101.  Yes, you'll have the last laugh when he's hanging out with Leif Garrett and Danny Bonaduce in a few years, but that's still a little ways off.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Nine By Design

Alright folks, I've been working on a couple different projects, but haven't finished anything.  Maybe, if I could learn to work on one thing at a time, something would get finished, but it doesn't work like that here.  So, I've decided to do a weekly list to make sure something gets published on a steady basis. 

Favorite Movie Characters
(Videos May Contain Spoilers and Adult Language, Please Take No Offense, Definitely For Adults Only)

Chris Knight from Real Genius: This was only Val Kilmer's second movie role and he hits it out of the park.  I just wish someone would put him in something good.  The last good thing he was in was, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang...highly recommended if you haven't seen it.

Luke from Cool Hand Luke: I've been trying to remember all morning if this was the first movie I saw of Paul Newman's?  It was either this or the Hustler, so we'll just go with this.  Just an amazing performance, that was nominated for Best Actor in 1968.  

Nigel Tufnel from Spinal Tap: Where to start with this great character created by the mind of Christopher Guest?  Supposedly based on Jeff Beck, who is a perfectionist virtuoso guitarist that has a tendency to be a little "out there."  One of the funniest movies I've ever seen.  It's almost entirely improvised, as just outlines of scenes were written, no dialogue.

Penny Lane from Almost Famous: Who wouldn't fall in love with Kate Hudson in this movie?  A gorgeous girl, that is into rock n roll, that you can talk to and she doesn't laugh or make fun of you.  I'm sold, at least my 16 yr old self would've been.  I definitely would've fallen hard for her.

Aaron Stampler from Primal Fear: Now this is the way to announce your presence in Hollywood.  Still my favorite performance by Edward Norton and that is saying a ton, considering all the memorable characters he's played.  For my money, he's currently the best American actor of our time.  Only my opinion, but look at his body of work.

Sheriff Bart from Blazing Saddles: Richard Pryor co-wrote the screenplay and was supposed to play this role, but his reputation as a racy comedian got the movie execs scared.  So we got the super talented Cleavon Little instead, which is fine by me.  Little, was a Julliard graduate and Tony award needless to say, he had the chops.  We'd have to wait a couple of years for the first Pryor/Wilder team up.

Beatrix Kiddo/The Bride from Kill Bill Vol.1&2: Not a woman you want to have mad at you.  Uma Thurman hasn't done anything interesting since this movie.  I guess she doesn't want to be an action star, but she's 6 feet tall...she's perfect for it.  Quentin Tarantino has announced Kill Bill Vol. 3 is in the works.  So, let's cross our fingers that it's as good.  We'll get to see Uma as a bad ass again, at least.

Martin Blank from Grosse Pointe Blank: One of the best comedies ever.  Great performances by Dan Aykroyd, Minnie Driver, Jeremy Piven, Alan Arkin and one of the most underrated actors of all-time, John Cusack.  He continues to make excellent movies into his 40's.  I know that doesn't sound like a longtime, but he's been in the business for about 25 years.  Love how he appears in big studio movies, so he can get smaller movies made.  He's a consistently good actor, I understand he may never win an Oscar, but he's always good in everything.

Leonard Shelby from Memento: The first time I saw Guy Pearce was in LA Confidential, another great movie that you should check out if you haven't seen it.  He was a star in Australia before coming to the States, similar to Russell Crowe and Mel Gibson.  Yet, another actor that could be used better, in my opinion.  Needs better projects.

Our first list is done and there will be another next week.  None of this is meant to go into deep analysis on the subjects picked, just a beginning, a jumping off point, so to speak.  Hopefully, you'll take these as recommendations and go out on your own to check them out.  If you ask me the same question tomorrow, you'd get 9 different answers.

Friday, September 10, 2010

September 11th, 1951

Kevin, Dad and Myself

I know 9/11 is the greatest American tragedy of my lifetime and my heart goes out to everyone touched by it.  It is however also, my Dad's birthday and that's how I like to think about it.  He would have been 59 yrs old on Saturday, but passed away in 1997 of cancer.  September 10th, the day I'm writing this, is Stand Up to Cancer Day or something that celebrities want to feel good about doing.  I'm all for our most famous and recognizable celebs putting in face time to try to eradicate this or any horrible disease.  Cancer sucks...that's the simplest and most basic way I can put it.  There is nothing good about it and it effects everyone involved. 

I'm not trying to stand here on a soapbox and preach about stuff you already know.  The trigger for this whole thing actually wasn't my Dad's birthday, but was Robert Schimmel dying in car accident just a few days ago.  In case you are unaware of who that is, he was a comedian and a pretty good one, but more importantly, he was a cancer survivor.  It just really hit me, he survived cancer, but died in a car accident.  If that's not telling you life is fleeting, then I don't what is? 

I was 23 when my Dad died and one of my few regrets was that I didn't have enough time with him.  I thought I was the "bees knees" and didn't need anything from him.  Looking back, I'd love to go back in time and kick my own ass about that.  So, treasure all of your time with friends, family and loved ones, because if it takes a crisis to get you into that mindset, you're wasting time.  Yes, I miss my Dad...everyday, but I don't talk about it, because I know I'm not the only one missing someone for whatever reason that may's all different for everyone.  So for those out there struggling...some days are better than others, talk about it when you're ready and stay as strong as you can.  And no, crying doesn't mean your means you care.

To everyone out there...hopefully 9/11/10 will be good to you.

Happy Birthday Dad...wherever you are.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Deus Ex Machina


The National Football League is often called the NO FUN LEAGUE.  This is mainly due to them levying fines on players, teams and various other people involved with the league due to anything from conduct (no problem here) to dress code (you mean I can't wear a bandana, under my helmet?).  They are the most strict governing body in major American sports, IMO.  The expert talking heads that "analyze" and tell you what the teams are thinking, take themselves way too seriously.  I remember a couple of years ago when Tom Jackson from ESPN made the statement, "The Patriots hate their coach."  Aren't these guys on a national show supposed to be...I don't know...Objective.  Not have a dog in the fight?  Remove your personal feelings from your analysis?  So, if they can't do it, who can?  I know....THIS GUY...thumbs pointing at himself, or for you the reader, at your screen.

I have a crack staff of dedicated researchers that have spent minutes and when pushed and promised sugary treats, hours...on the analysis of the league of national football, I'm about to present to you.  We here at, For Lack of a Better Title, do not promote betting and honestly, if you use any of this info for that need some serious help, but if you do and happen to win a sum of "fictional" money...we want a cut.  I'd say at least 75%, since we did all the work for you.  We can discuss it later...I'm very reasonable.  We'll go region by region and if you don't believe any of my excellent info, I can prove it on an Etch-A-Sketch.  I believe it was Nietzsche who said, "Let's get this party started."

NFC East

Dallas Cowboys:  Wade Phillips will be able to keep his job provided he keeps washing Jerry's car every week and they win some football games.  Wade is one of those coaches that has a good team, but could lose his job, because Jerry Jones wakes up with a stiff neck.  Notable game:  Will be their home game against the Saints, which they will win.  Mark it down.  Overall Predicted Record: 11-5 (Playoff spot)

New York Giants:  They are the team that New York forgot, as everyone is focusing on the J-E-T-S.  They have the third best Manning to ever play in the NFL.  Yes, Eli has a Super Bowl ring, but Archie was a better QB...I think we all know that.  I can't name five guys on the team, but they some how get it done.  Notable game:  Will be the 2nd game of the season against the Colts.  They will lose the game, but Eli will prevent Peyton from giving him a wedgie, only to fall victim to a wet willie.  OPR: 11-5 (Playoff Spot)

Washington Redskins:  Yes, they have Donovan McNabb and Mike Shanahan, but McNabb was traded within the division.  So, that means the Eagles, who traded him, aren't worried about him.  Tough call here really, he'll improve the Redskins from 5-11, but they'll just miss the playoffs.  Notable game:  Will be when they play the Eagles, both times.  McNabb will play defense for a couple of series, so he can pull out all the old school wrestling moves he knows.  Dropping elbows, knees and the deadly, but effective "Worm" on Kevin Kolb.  OPR: 10-6 (Just miss)

Philadelphia Eagles:  Oh man, where do I start?  Kevin Kolb could be like Aaron Rodgers of Green Bay, "the star in waiting," but I wouldn't hold my breath.  I think they are in for a long season, with Kolb running around a lot screaming, "Mommy!"  Notable game:  Will be one of their few wins, an upset at home over the GiantsOPR: 3-13 (Are you kidding?)

AFC East

New York Jets:  You heard it here first, the Jets will go 0-84.  They will not only lose all of their league games, but will lose to the Miami Sharks, Boston University Terriers and the high school team, Ampipe.  The "Sanchize" will throw a late interception to Stefen Djordjevic of Ampipe.  Rex Ryan thought just playing the regular schedule would be too easy, so he scheduled every team he could think of real or otherwise.  Notable game:  Will be the home game against the Patriots, when Rex gets to try out his sniper towers to eliminate any "looky-loos" on the Pats sideline.  OPR: 12-4 (Playoff spot)

New England Patriots:   Bill Belichick is like Chuck Norris and The Most Interesting Man in the World combined.  He's never wrong.  He's just letting Rex Ryan think he's got the best team.  He has hidden jewels all over his team, but they are so hidden, they can't be recognized yet.  The long run of the Patriots is just about over.  Moss is complaining, Welker is coming off the knee injury and Brady doesn't have a new contract yet (as of this writing).  Belichick is running out of smoke and mirrors, but will have just enough this year.  Notable game:  Will be against the Steelers, when a distracted Brady has a horrible game, because Ben Roethlisberger was seen talking to Giselle, Brady's sisters and his mom, before the game.  OPR: 10-6 (playoff spot)

Miami Dophins:  The other team in Miami, other than the Heat.  They will show improvement over last season, but that isn't that hard.  Other than that, nobody really cares...They don't have a coach with the big personality of Ryan nor the evil genius that is, Bellichick.  They also aren't the yearly mess that is Buffalo, but we'll get to them in a minute.  They are just there...scraping and scratching in the AFC East.  Notable game:  They will upset both the Pats and Jets at home, early in the season, that will be their season.  OPR: 8-8 (Thanks for playing)

Buffalo Bills:  This is the team my old boss would root for every year.  He was more successful than this franchise has been the past 10 yrs.  They try to build a team, but it never seems to work out for them.  They drafted CJ Spiller, who I think is going to be a really good running back, but I think he'd be more interesting if his name was OJ Spiller.  That's about all I think about the BillsNotable game:  Will be the one against the Bears in Canada.  Who wins here?  Not the Canadians...the Bills and Bears, thanks.  So, nobody will win this game, they will tie.  OPR:  4-11-1 (Ummm...Nope)

NFC North 

 Minnesota Vikings:  I don't know if you've heard out there in readerland and I don't know if I'm breaking any rules in media world, but I think Brett Favre is coming back.  Holy Crap, this better be his last season.  Another summer focused on that guy.  Who does he think he is, Darrelle Revis?  They have a good team, but they already have injury questions.  I guess we'll see, just like everything.  Notable game:  After a pretty good start, they run into the Jets on the road.  This should tell the Vikes where they stand.  OPR: 12-4 (Playoff spot)

Green Bay Packers:  A lot of people are picking them for the Super Bowl, along with this year being Aaron Rodgers year to solidify his so-called greatness.  He could be everyone's top QB in fantasy world, but without a championship, it's all he is.  It's put up or shut up's football, not rocket surgery.  Alright, enough with the cliches.  Notable game:  A win on the road in New England to show the league they have arrived to stay.   OPR: 12-4 (Playoff spot)

Detroit Lions:  The Lions are no longer the kid that gets stuffed in the locker.  They might get a swirlie every once in a while, but there's an understanding now.  They aren't the worst anymore...they still aren't good, hell they aren't even mediocre.  They are the team you don't want to lose to.  Notable game:  Will be an upset win over Washington at home to dash their playoff hopes.  OPR:  5-11 (If the record was reversed)

Chicago Bears:  A team that would be best served if they could just skip the season.  No harm, no foul...just pack it in.  I bet Jay Cutler wishes he was still in DenverNotable game:  After a win against Detroit in the first game of the season, it'll all be down hill.  OPR:  4-11-1 (Same team that tied the Bills)

AFC North

Baltimore Ravens:  They are still the team to beat in the North.  I know the Bengals have improved, by bringing in T.O., but to quote Omar Little, "You come at the king, you best not miss."  The Ravens still have that swagger, just a notch above everyone else.  Notable game:  They smack around Miami when the fish come for a visit.  OPR: 10-6 (Playoff spot)

Cincinnati Bengals:  Well this should be entertaining.  They have two players that could literally have a fist fight on the field over who has the biggest ego.  It's not about how many points the Bengals will score in the season, but how much money will OchoCinco and T.O. be fined collectively for teaming up on TD celebrations.  You know it's going to happen, because neither one of them can be out of the spotlight for 10 seconds.  Notable game:  The first game of the season, a loss against the Patriots will end up taking them out of the playoff picture.  OPR: 10-6 (It's not my fault, it's his)

Pittsburgh Steelers:  Where to begin?  Their only legitimate quarterback is suspended for the first quarter of the season for being naughty.  Count your blessings he's not in jail Steeler fans.  Then the backup gets hurt, so now they're dealing with the third stringer, Willie Beamon.  So, Jamie Foxx will run all over the field for the first four games and then they'll put, Dennis Quaid in...I mean Big Ben, to save the season...Survey Says...XXX  I just want to see someone take Troy Polynomial down by his hair, just once.  That would be awesome.  Notable game:  A win in Baltimore still won't get them in, too little too late.  OPR: 9-7 (It's Ben's fault...Easy)

Cleveland Browns:  I've found it very difficult to do the teams that are usually bad.  It's like having a friend that just got dumped and you see his ex-girlfriend already out with someone else and that someone else is your friend's brother, but your friend doesn't know yet and thinks there's still a chance they'll get back together.  Now you have to tell him.  That's the Browns to me...make sense?  Didn't think so...Notable game:  On a happier note, Cleveland will be 1-1 after two games, with a victory over KCOPR: 2-14 (Suicide watch)

NFC South

New Orleans Saints:  The defending champions aren't getting much respect.  I don't understand why, they play in an easy division.  They should be able walk through the season, barring injuries of course.  Great quarterback, good coach and a ton of talent.  The only annoying thing about them is that "Who Dat?" chant.  I find Drew Brees a hard person to dislike.  Reggie Bush is a different story.  Notable game:  One blip on the screen for the Saints will be a loss in DallasOPR:  14-2 (Out of control, yes...Playoff spot)

Atlanta Falcons:  Matt Ryan tries to get back to where he was, after last year's tumble.  They will improve, but it just won't be enough.  Which I'm actually fine with, because we don't need the "Dirty Bird" back in the league anytime soon.  Sorry Falcons fans...maybe next year.  Although, my fantasy team hopes Michael Turner runs for 3,000 yds.  Notable game:  Big win of the season will be against the up and coming 49ersOPR: 10-6 (Whoops)

Carolina Panthers:  It's a changing of the guard in the Carolinas.  Jake Delhomme is no longer home...I know it was horrible, what do you want from me?  Do you see how many words I'm writing here?  I just don't think they have what it takes to be a good team.  They will lose the close ones and the not so close ones.  Notable game:  None really, they will sweep Tampa about that?  OPR:  5-11 (If we change the rules they'll get in)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers:  Tampa, Tampa, Tampa...what are we going to do with you?  Coach Raheem Morris almost got fired last year, but he made it through to the end and got to come back.  He's going to start the season 2-1 going into the Bye at week 4.  The Bucs will sign him to a contract extension and then the ship will fall apart.  He seems like a good I wanted him to get paid, because he'll be fired before the end of the season.  Sorry, dude...I hope I'm wrong...let's face it...I probably am.  Notable game:  Week 3 victory over Pittsburgh.  OPR: 3-13 (Our house is burning down)

AFC South

Indianapolis Colts:  I'm not sure how Peyton Manning became, Mr. Commercial.  He's everywhere or has been for the past couple of years.  Most spots have been pretty funny.  The competition between Manning and Brady is always going on, even when the TV is off.  Both have been on Saturday Night Live and both were very funny, but Peyton's sketch/fake commercial for the Big Brother program is the best.  So, Brady has more rings, Giselle and is better looking, but Manning is funnier, in more commercials and...forget can't beat Giselle...sorry Peyton.  Notable game:  Houston catches them by surprise on the road opening weekend.  OPR:  13-3 (Playoff spot)

Tennessee  Titans:  Vince Young has pulled his head out of his rear end and played well last year.  I think he's proven that he was the better player over Matt Leinart.  The Titans will be a sleeper pick.  I think they will play spoiler for a few teams and will sneak into the playoffs.  Notable game:  Taking out Miami on the road.  OPR: 10-6 (Playoff spot)

 Houston Texans:  They are the "almost" team.  They will almost make an improvement this season.  Matt Schaub is almost a star.  They will almost make the playoffs, well, not really.  Since they've come into the league in the 2002 season, I've hoped they'd do well.  It just never really happens.  All because, I like their logo.  They are getting better.  Matt Schaub is way better than David they are going in the right direction, but just aren't there.  Notable game:  A late season win on the road in Denver, just won't be enough to get them into the playoffs.  OPR:  9-7 (So close)

Jacksonville Jaguars:  I'd personally rather play in Cleveland than Jacksonville, FL.  At least the fans in Ohio are passionate.  No offense Disney corporation, I love the mouse.  Other than Maurice Jones-Drew and sometimes David Garrard, do they really have any players?  Drew needs to get himself out of town and on a good team before he gets too old or hurt.  Notable game:  They beat the Eagles, but so does everyone.  OPR:  4-12 (Ugh..)

NFC West

San Francisco 49ers:  Is this the season that Alex Smith grows up?  Mike Singletary sure hopes so.  Vernon Davis, Frank Gore and Patrick Willis are all very good young players.  If they can all manage to stay healthy, this team could be very scary.  It would be nice if the Niners came back into prominence.  At least, they aren't the guys from across the Bay.  Notable game:  Will start a nice winning streak in Philly, that will end in Green BayOPR:  11-5 (Playoff spot)

Arizona Cardinals:  They have switched places with the Niners.  Who is the QB?  I know his last name is Anderson and he played for a time in Cleveland.  He got out of Cleveland at least, he's got that going for him.  No more "Super" Kurt Warner and Anquan Boldin.  Their RB is up in the air, so it's going on the shoulders of Larry Fitzgerald.  As good as he is, he can't throw the ball to himself.  The team is going backwards, never a good thing.  Notable game:  Opening weekend loss to St. LouisOPR:  8-8 (Mediocre)

St. Louis Rams:   They are going the path of Peyton Manning and Troy Aikman, by letting the rookie start.  It took some time, but it worked for both the Colts and Cowboys.  Sam Bradford will do some bad things, some good things and possibly, some great things this season.  As long as the fan base knows it will be bumpy, it shouldn't be so bad.  The team is paying him the money, let him earn it.  Notable game:  Late season upset of San Francisco at home.  OPR:  7-9 (Try next year)

Seattle Seahawks:  You guys have Pete Carroll as your coach, but it's not college.  He left the USC  program in shambles, how much worse could he do here?  He got rid of TJ Who'sYoMomma (Housmanzdadeh) and he traded for his guy LenDale White, only to cut him later, but White got he was a prophet.  There are way too many question marks up in the Great Wet North.  Notable game:  Ending the season on an up-note, with an upset of St. LouisOPR:  3-13 (Gaak!!)

AFC West

San Diego Chargers:  Another team that has always seemed like it has a lot of talent, but never really goes anywhere.  Phil Rivers, can I call you Phil?  Thanks...Phil Rivers sounds like a local morning show host in Dubuque, IA.  Anyways, Rivers is a second tier quarterback, he's good, just not great...yet.  He's shown flashes of greatness, but Eli Manning he's not...kidding.  I still like when they bring back the powder blue uniforms for a game or two each year.  Go Lance Alworth!  Notable game:  Losses to New England and Indy, still prove the Chargers are a step behind.  OPR:  10-6 (Playoff spot)

Denver Broncos:  The only quarterback you heard about as much as Farva, (I know that's not how you spell his name, but if you get the reference, you'll get one platinum star) was Tim Tebow.  I know Josh McDaniels is hoping to catch lightning in a bottle, but you don't pick experiments in the first round.  Notable game:  Big win late in the season in ArizonaOPR:  8-8 (Not quite)

Oakland Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs:  I will combine them, because if you've been kind enough to read this entire don't need to get depressed and I'm really tired.  Both teams aren't good...the Raiders are hoping to finish with a good enough record to not give the Patriots another high pick, since they own their first round pick.  The Chefs...would be great if they worked in a restaurant.  No Notable games and both OPR's:  3-13 (Give me a break) 

Super Bowl Prediction:  New Orleans over Baltimore 

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Hall of Mediocrity

Mediocre means neither good nor bad.  Just kinda, there.  You're alright, not the worst, but certainly not the best.  There are a variety of Hall of Fames and Hall of Shames, but no Halls of Mediocrity...that I'm aware of, at least.  So, why not have one?  We will eventually cover a variety of subjects, but today I'm focusing on music.  Specifically, Rock music...since the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is what gave me the idea.  My arguments with their induction methods will be another blog for another time.

I will be using the Rock Hall Induction Rules, as well as a couple of my own, which are as follows:

1.  There are no novelty, one hit wonder bands, such as Jimi Hendrix and The Grateful Dead...just seeing if we're paying attention.  Although, technically...they are one hit wonders.

2.  No band/performer will be inducted into the Hall of Mediocrity that are already in the "real" Hall of Fame.  I'm not taking anyone out that is already in, regardless of how I really feel about the band or performer.  You got lucky Aerosmith...very lucky.

3.  All bands being inducted are currently eligible for the Rock Hall and should they ever be inducted into the "real" Rock Hall, will be asked to leave immediately.  Those Hall of Fame bands get real egotistical, very quickly.  Plus, let's face it...they graduated to the big leagues...I'd never hold them back from going.

On with our show....

Our first inductee into mediocrity is....

They have sold an estimated 75 million albums, many Top 40 singles and sold out tours all over the world, but what are they best known for?  The Power Ballad.  That and their overall happiness with being an Arena Rock staple.  When you have a guitar prodigy in the band (Neal Schon, started playing at 5, joined Santana about a decade later), I expect more.  Besides Mr. Schon, you have had talent the likes of drummer Steve Smith, Gregg Rolie/Jonathan Cain on keyboards and the pipes of, Steve Perry.  I guess they were destined for mediocrity once the dude from American Idol, Randy Jackson, joined on bass, near the end of Perry's initial run with the band.  They just have no influence on rock music.  The next time you hear someone say Journey is an influence for them, will be the first time.

We'll combine the next two performers.

Pat Benatar
Cyndi Lauper
I think there needs to be more women in the Rock Hall.  Pat Benatar and Cyndi Lauper certainly don't lack record sales or hit singles.  The problem they have is living up to the women that were inducted before them.  Madonna, Aretha Franklin, Joni Mitchell, Janis Joplin, Chrissie Hynde and Deborah Harry, amongst many others, of course.  Cyndi and Pat fail the eyeball test.  They may have more hits than say Patti Smith, but lack her influence.  They can't live up to Diana Ross or Tina Turner, who went from a group setting to successful solo careers.  To tell you the truth, I'm not sure who the next woman that will be inducted into the Rock Hall will be.  It's a tougher road than the men have, you have to be beyond exceptional.

Steve Miller Band
If the Steve Miller Band was a new band coming up these days, they would've been dropped by their record label.  Thankfully, Steve started in the late 60's.  He's a great guitarist, his band was always really tight and he has had some monster albums, but he's been active for the better part of 40 yrs and his main success encompasses less than a 10 yr period.  When he was on, there were none better, but there are a lot of misses in his catalog.  Steve Miller is the one person on this list I could see getting into the Rock Hall, but it would really have to be a down year.

Last but, certainly not least...

Motley Crue
All flash and no substance is perhaps too harsh for Motley Crue, IMO.  Although, they didn't do themselves any favors until later in their career, when they decided to show they really could play a little.  It resulted in their best selling and my favorite album by them, Dr. Feelgood.  Drug use, divorces, run-ins with the police, in fighting and near death (in the case of Nikki Sixx, real death) experiences, can really derail your career.  They have reformed the classic lineup, squashed any bad feelings toward one another and have continued to forge ahead.  After everything they've been through alone and together, they are definitely survivors in my book.  Maybe that's enough for them, because they aren't significant enough to get into the Rock Hall.

This is the first class heading into the Hall of Mediocrity.  So congratulate them, but not too much...they could have been so much more.  The next class will be inducted in December and the subject will be determined at a later date.  Probably, around Thanksgiving

Editor's Note: This is not a dig at any of their careers, because any band would kill for the success that any of these people have had.  I also like all of these performers, just to a varying degree.  Also, if there is any subject that you would like me to tackle for the Hall of Mediocrity, let me know.  Remember, it could be for anything...TV shows, Movies, Actors/Actresses...etc.  The topic will be voted on, but I will name the inductees...something has to be a secret....right?