Saturday, April 7, 2012

Awesome Old Song of the Week: "Justified and Ancient" by The KLF

When this song came out in 1991, my gut instinct was not to like it because it featured country singer Tammy Wynette.  I'm still not a fan of country music, but when I was fourteen it was near the top of a short list of most terrible things in the universe.  After continuous airplay on pop radio, Justified and Ancient grew on me though.  I didn't really pay much attention to the lyrics, other than the fact that they kept singing about some strange place called "Moo Moo Land."  And I have to say I'm pretty glad I didn't, because right now when I Wikipediaed (if that's not a word it should be) "The KLF" it made me more confused than ever.  I'm not even going to attempt to summarize or explain any of it, I'll just say that they were some weird dudes.


Friday, April 6, 2012

How many people do you think went to this hockey game in Florida? (Not BC vs Minnesota, the other one)

ESPN Boston has a story today about BC beating Minnesota in the NCAA Hockey Semifinals last night, which is the reason I stumbled across this bit of information:  In the first Frozen Four Semifinal yesterday, Ferris State beat Union College, in Tampa, Florida.  On the list of sentences I never expected to type, that has to be number one of all time.  This brings three very pressing questions to mind: One, why would they ever hold the Frozen Four of college hockey (which is basically only played in New England, states that border Great Lakes, and the Dakotas) in Tampa, Florida?  Two, how did tiny little Union College in Schenectady, NY, with 2,200 undergrads and zero athletic scholarships, ever make it to the Division 1 Hockey National Semifinals?  And three, there is a school called Ferris State?  Apparently they're named the Bulldogs, from Big Rapids, Michigan, and tomorrow night at 7 pm EST they'll play Boston College for the National Title.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

My prediction for the 2012 Red Sox

It's Opening Day, and I'm going to keep this short and sweet.  But I want to have something on record to look back at in October and see how smart I was.  With the new Wild Card system in place, three teams from one division can now make the playoffs; and that's exactly what I think is going to happen.  My guess is that Boston, New York, and Tampa will each finish with roughly 90-93 wins, and all of them will make the postseason.  The Sox play 12 of their final 21 games against the Yankees and Rays (including the final series in New York), so it definitely seems likely that everything will come down to the final days of the season.

Beyond that, I don't even want to pick who wins the A.L. East, and which two get the Wild Cards.  A fluky play here or there in the last few games may be all that makes the difference, and trying to predict that just seems silly.  And once the postseason starts, I have no idea what the Red Sox fate will be, it's completely random.  Don't believe me?  The Cardinals have won the World Series twice in the past 5 years, despite being the worst team in the playoffs both times.


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Do you know who this is?

His name is Mark Melancon, and he's the guy who's probably going to be closing games for the Red Sox, now that Andrew Bailey is having thumb surgery and going to miss half the season.  When Boston traded for him last December, I was less than enthused.  But, since this is the reality we are dealing with now, I'll try to look at the bright side.  I guess the fact that he saved 20 games last year (for a team that only won 56), while posting a 2.78 ERA and a .234 batting average against, is mildly encouraging.

You can read my full article "It's Mark Melancon Time" at

UPDATE 1:24 PM: Just a few minutes after I got this written and posted everywhere, Bobby Valentine announced that he's going with Alfredo Aceves as the Opening Day closer.  Thanks Bobby.  He did also say Melancon will be the second in line.  We'll see how long this lasts.


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

It should cost $1 every time you honk your car horn

The other day I was walking through downtown Boston, and a large group of people in an organized protest passed by.  They had police escorts alongside them, so it was clearly authorized by somebody.  For one turn of a light, traffic was blocked in all directions as they marched through the intersection.  People in cars all over the place were honking their horns like crazy.  I just don't get it.  What does that accomplish, other than to irritate the hell out of everyone else around them?  In cities where there are tons of pedestrians on the street, it's an incredibly selfish and inconsiderate thing to do (just like using umbrellas).

Cars have horns for safety reasons.  Like if you're on the highway and somebody cuts into your lane without looking, then you honk so they don't hit you.  They're not designed as a tool to express your anger and frustration.  Which is why it should cost $1 every time you honk your horn.  If you did it to avoid an accident you wouldn't even care about the buck, but if you were just being a jerk, you probably would lay off.  I haven't really thought through the implementation of this yet, but I imagine it would be something like when Sly Stallone gets fined for swearing in Demolition Man.


Monday, April 2, 2012

Well that was surprising...

I'm still in a minor state of shock from what I witnessed at the Garden on Sunday afternoon.  Saturday I wrote that the Celtics had reached their high water mark of the season.  But now they have taken it to a whole new level.  Going into the game I was feeling cautiously optimistic Boston had a chance against Miami, but never in my wildest dreams did I imagine they were capable of handing the Heat a beating reminiscent of Game 6 of the 2008 Finals vs the Lakers.  The Celts put it away in the 3rd quarter by outscoring Miami 31-12 (strangely enough the OKC Thunder, who look like the best team in the NBA right now, put up an identical 3rd quarter score on Sunday while blowing out the East's other top team, the Chicago Bulls), and held the Heat to just 28 total points in the second half.

The 19 point margin was the worst defeat of the year for the Miami, and their 72 points scored and 34.8 FG% were also Heat season lows.  Avery Bradley basically played Dwayne Wade to a draw, while also providing us with one of the best highlights of the year so far.  Paul Pierce matched Lebron James basket for basket, although in the category of +/- Pierce was a very impressive +28, while Lebron was an embarrassingly bad -30.  You read that right.  Minus thirty.  Not to mention the fact that for only the second time in his career, Lebron had zero assists.  Kevin Garnett also locked down Chris Bosh, holding him to just four points on 2-11 shooting.

And then there was Rajon Rondo, who absolutely toyed with the Heat point guards while posting his 5th triple double of the season.  Lebron doesn't have one yet this year.  Neither does Wade.  In fact nobody else in the NBA even has two, and the entire rest of the league put together has just nine.  Think about this: Rondo has five triple doubles in 42 games played, that's one every 8.4 games, or 11.9% of the time.  All the other starters in the league combined have 9 in roughly 7,800 games played, which is one every 867 games, or 0.115% of the time.  Ridiculous.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Awesome Old Song of the Week: "Damn, I Wish I Was Your Lover" by Sophie B. Hawkins

This song was a top 5 Billboard single in 1992.  It was a huge deal back then for two reasons: One, it had the word "damn" in the title, and 20 years ago that was pretty controversial for a hit being played all over pop radio.  And two, one of the lyrics is "making love to her with visions clear..."  Singing about being a lesbian was also dramatically pushing the envelope for mainstream music at the time.

Honestly though, I just liked it for the base in the background, and the cool sound of the train tracks at the very beginning.


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