Friday, January 26, 2007

Norvell's Leaving Lincoln; Lucky Almost Did

Jay Norvell is leaving Nebraska so he can "call plays" for UCLA. So you're telling me he didn't do that at NU? That Billy C was the crafty fella doing all that trickery? Is that what you're trying to say, that Callahan's a bit, oh, controlling? He holds that thick ass playbook like Linus holds his blanket. I'm surprised he doesn't suck his thumb during a few plays.

Now there's word from Marlon Lucky's high school coach that the (soon to be named) starting I-Back considered transferring after the 2006 season. Evidently after talking with Billy C, Lucky got some "good answers" to some of his questions. That's our man Callahan, the Good Answer Man.

Everything's back to normal. The Police are officially practicing as a band again, and in a story that you simply must read to really enjoy, Eddie Van Halen can't have just one cigarette or even one brand of cigarette (thanks to Todd for the heads up on this must read). CLICK TO READ ENTIRE POST!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Your Bass Player's Name...Wolfgang

This was inevitable for quite some time, probably the minute Roth's radio show went belly up. Hell, probably when Roth started his radio show. The good news is, it looks like David Lee Roth fell into that same pool of acid that Jack Nicholson did to become the Joker in Tim Burton's first Batman. The bad news is I'm sure Eddie's started chain smoking again:

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Lefsetz Just Won't Let Patti Smith Go

Here's his latest, and understand, Bob has been at this now for almost two weeks NON-STOP, but maybe now this will end the whole debate. From the last Lefsetz Letter:

Here is a comment from someone who does not have a dog in this hunt.

"Those insistent on Patti Smith being in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame based primarily on Horses is the equivalent of Don Larsen being in the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame because he threw a perfect game in the 1956 World Series or from the point of social impact Homer Jones being in the Pro Football Hall of Fame because he was the first ever to spike a football on national TV after scoring a touchdown.

Both events groundbreaking, both still hold enormous impact on society and both worthy of an exhibit detailing the event but not the induction of the individual into their respective Hall's of Fame."

Orville L. Hagler
VP Entertainment Programming/Corp. Secretary

Monday, January 22, 2007

12th Annual Oscar Nomination Picks (Mackenzie's To Follow)

Mac and I started doing this literally in 1996, and back then it was a helluva lot more challenging because there weren't 5,983 websites devoted to doing the same thing. The highlight for me was last year, picking all of the winners in our selected categories. Mac's enthusiasm has waned on this project, but it's tradition, and you don't fuck with tradition, and I'm sure he's just pissed off that I bet him $20 a while back that Sacha Baron Cohen would get a nomination, and it looks like a lot of folks agree with me. It was an incredibly shitty year for movies. Martin Scorsese looks like he's finally going to win an Oscar for one of his least stellar flicks. Eddie Murphy's finally going to be honored, but it looks like his old James Brown "Too Hot in the Hot Tub" impersonation to me. So here's what things will look like at 5:33am West Coast Time tomorrow:

The Departed
Little Miss Sunshine
The Queen
(NOTE: Mackenzie was disappointed in The Departed, and there's no way now that I can watch this Little Miss Sunshine thing and think it's funnier than Borat).

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, “Babel”
Martin Scorsese, “The Departed”
Stephen Frears, “The Queen”
Bill Condon, “Dreamgirls”
Robert Altman, "A Prairie Home Companion"
(Don't think Altman's death late last year isn't going to push him into this mix, it's totally going to, plus those Sunshine people can't be up for everything).

Sacha Baron Cohen, “Borat”
Leonardo DiCaprio, “The Departed”
Forest Whitaker, “The Last King of Scotland”
Peter O’ Toole, “Venus”
Ryan Gosling, "Half Nelson"
(Wouldn't it be great if this really happened for Cohen and he actually attended the ceremony in full Borat character? This stuffy thing needs an Andy Kauffman-esque moment. And don't bring that little hot Aussie he's engaged to in real life, bring the girl who played his sister the hooker from the movie).

Kate Winslet, “Little Children”
Judi Dench, “Notes on a Scandal”
Penelope Cruz, “Volver”
Meryl Streep, “The Devil Wears Prada”
Helen Mirren, “The Queen”
(Seriously, everybody has this exact same lineup. Nobody even has a 6th person to come out of left field. Hopefully somebody else can sneak in and cause a ruckus).

Best Supporting Actor:
Jack Nicholson, “The Departed”
Brad Pitt, "Babel"
Alan Arkin, “Little Miss Sunshine”
Eddie Murphy, “Dreamgirls”
Djimon Hounsou, “Blood Diamond”
(Nicholson and Streep can be in any film that gets half-assed raves and still get nominations. Damn I'd like to see Marky Mark get in here though).

Best Supporting Actress:
Cate Blanchett, “Notes on a Scandal”
Adrianna Barrazza, “Babel”
Rinko Kinkuchi, “Babel”
Toni Collette, “Little Miss Sunshine”
Jennifer Hudson, “Dreamgirls”
(I'll take names of two actresses who's names I'll never hear again in a movie I'll never see for $200 please).

Best Original Screenplay:
Little Miss Sunshine
The Queen
Pan’s Labyrinth
(Larry David: "Ehhhh.")

Best Adapted Screenplay:
Thank You For Smoking
The Departed
Little Children
Notes on a Scandal
("Thank You For Smoking" is not a documentary on the Life of Mackenzie. And if he doesn't have his picks in tonite, I get the steak dinner by default.) CLICK TO READ ENTIRE POST!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Concert Behavior

Glad to see Mackenzie came out from his mouse hole to give us some insight into a rock reunion I can't find anyone calling for. But he does bring up a great point about concert behavior, especially when you consider that Billy C and Stevie P went to the Rolling Stones concert at the Qwest Center last February. Together. I'm doubting they high fived one another during "Sympathy for the Devil", but I'll bet the sight of Keith Richards playing guitar with a lit cigarette on the end made Billy nod in approval.

But what do you do? Especially at bigger shows that seat 15,000. You can't really dance. What do you do when the Stones or the Eagles or even U2 announce, "We'd like to play a brand new song for you...."? And you've never heard the fucking thing before, you don't know whether to sit or stand, and more than likely that's when everyone heads to the concession stand for another $7 beer.

The best shows I've ever been to were at the Zoo Bar in Lincoln, especially when the Self Righteous Brothers played there in the late '90's. Small stage, small venue, everybody got smashed and got up and danced and had the time of their lives. If the SRB's had ever gotten so big they could play the Qwest, I can't imagine what Billy C and Stevie P would do in the lower level. Callahan would probably just call for a fake punt.

Eric Clapton, Billy Joel, Bob Seger, Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera , John Mayer and Nickelback are all playing the Qwest in the upcoming months. In the past few years, the "Q" as those who don't read the Omaha World Herald call it, has had record sellout crowds for Paul McCartney, the Stones, U2, the Eagles, Prince and Simon and Garfunkel. Plus Eddie Van Halen played there drunk off his ass back in 2004, but if Valerie Bertanelli left you, half of your tongue was gone, and you had to share a stage with Sammy Hagar in Omaha, you'd get your Goose on too. The Qwest Center aint the Zoo Bar, I can't dance with honeys while doing shots of whiskey with the band, and Eddie never shares anyway.

Having been to a number of these shows (and I'll admit it, I'm probably going to see Seger only because he's better live than in the studio and I'm a sucker for "Ramblin Gamblin Man"), there's a new etiquette to attending concerts:
  1. Bring a woman. It's the perfect date night. Every act has a few ballads that chicks are suckers for (See: Clapton, Eric, "Wonderful Tonight"; Joel, Billy, "She's Got a Way"). I'm sure Callahan and Pederson brought their wives to the Stones. If they didn't, we should all be very afraid.
  2. Go to the show having already crafted the perfect buzz. "Prime" somewhere if you will. Don't go in shitfaced, but certainly don't walk into a place that's more than likely going to run the gamut of 5-65 year olds stone cold sober. Oh, and order a couple of drinks before finding your seat. Some of these shows run 3-hours -- remember the theory regarding the new songs nobody gives a shit about. That's when you go for more.
  3. Cell phones have replaced lighters for the "Free Bird" moment, which means it's probably a good thing everyone from Lynard Skynard is dead. Word is Keith Richards is really pissed off about this because he thinks everyone is just taking his picture. If people really wanted a picture of a dead man, they'd just go to the morgue.
  4. This isn't fucking church or a Husker game. You and everyone else has the right to stand the entire time if you so desire. I don't care if people behind you bitch. Stones and McCartney tickets went for over $300 face value. At that price, I'm going up there to play a drum solo if I want. As Mick Jagger would say, it's only rock and roll. Short of going Altamont and the Hell's Angels, almost any behavior is acceptable. If somebody wants to sit on their ass during "Helter Skelter" and you're blocking their view, that's what Paul Thomas Anderson would call a TP (Their problem), not a YP (your problem).
  5. Speaking of which, the older touring acts seem to bring out the reefer in folks. My favorite story is from an Eagles show at the Bob Devaney Center in Lincoln in January, 1995, when an older couple in the 3rd row behind us literally passed around a joint the entire show. It got to the point that during an instrumental portion of "Boys of Summer", Glenn Frey walked up to Don Henley, and I could read their lips plain as day, and said, "I smell pot." They both looked at each other like they wished they had some too. Like I said, anything goes. But there is the possibility that some "Husker Fan" could rat you out. Hasn't happened at the Qwest Center on my watch yet. And there was no rat that night in Lincoln either.
  6. In some cases (i.e., Billy C & Stevie P at the Stones), the concert rises above event status as a place where people think they just need to be seen. Especially in Omaha, where a lot of folks still aren't used to the fact that one of the Beatles actually came here. Avoid these people like a Michael Bolton concert. They probably couldn't name three songs from the performer. Speaking of which, I can't even name three Michael Bolton songs.
  7. I'm sure the younglings at the Justin and Xtina show are going to dance their asses off. That's because there will be children there wanting to see if they can bring sexy back. Dancing at a show (other than at the Zoo Bar) over the age of 25 is a very subjective thing. Oh, and if you ever go to a show at the Zoo, you have to dance.
  8. Above all, I think John Cusack in High Fidelity shows us all how to do it at any show. In the scene where Jack Black takes the stage to do his rendition of "Let's Get It On", Cusack stands in the crowd, grabs his girl, puts her in front of him, and they just sway back and forth to music enjoying every second of it. The image is here (imdb won't let you use their pictures on blogs for some reason). You can probably pull this off during any song, and provided you have a date. Or you happen to be Bill Callahan and you think a good rub with your boss might make up for shitting the bed last season.

Outlandos d'Eh

OK since this has suddenly turned into a rock and roll blog, I've got a question: Why is it everyone I know and their brother is excited about the idea of a Police Reunion? Sting hasn't built a time machine that will suddenly transport us all to 1984, has he? I mean the guy's been making music better suited for dental office waiting rooms than jammin' out to for the last 15 years. (Who has a dream about blue turtles anyway? Acid heads, that's who.) Don't get me wrong, I thought the Police were cooler than cool in their day, I can recall as a teenager going into the mall record store and asking if they had a copy of Zenyatta Mondatta feeling like a true hepster. But come on, seeing these guys, who I assume still sorta hate each other, come back together for a mega cash grab constitutes the big buzz event for 2007? Really?

Well, if I go to the concert, I'm definitely not buying a t-shirt. That'll show em.

Which brings up another question to anyone over the age of 30 -- which I'd assume one would have to be to have any genuine interest in these old bastards gettin' on a stage and playing a half-hearted version of, "Canary in a Coalmine" -- just how does one comport oneself at a concert these days? Do you just sit there like you're watching a movie? Do you stand with your hands in your pockets, head slightly bobbing? Do you do some stationary dance in your allotted 3x3 foot personal space. The last concert I was dragged to (U2 -- another group I wouldn't mind seein' retire to the old rockers home...seriously, Bono, you're not Mother Theresa, so stop acting like it!) the whole question of how to behave had me so nervous I hit the vodka hard pre-concert and made a drunken ass out of myself beltin' along to "Beautiful Day."

Well, that's all for me folks, I can't believe that douchebag Rex Grossman is going to the Super Bowl, but that's not what this blog is about... CLICK TO READ ENTIRE POST!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Speaking of Warren Zevon

You can go to his official website and fill out a petition to get Warren elected into the R&R Hall of Fame.

This comment from BSmokedTurkey:
  • "I'm not much of a Zevon fan beyond his greatest hits BUT: I remember talking to a Richard Marx fan who went to a concert where Warren Zevon was the opening act. Apparently, he was booed off the stage. That always seemed like an absolute travesty to me."

First of all, I not only don't know any Richard Marx fans, but if I'm ever missing, the last place you should go look for me would be at a Richard Marx show.

Oh, and why in the world was Zevon opening up for Richard Fucking Marx? Great, now there are two things I'm disappointed in about Warren Zevon. The other is that he evidently developed a friendship with "Tuesdays With Morrie" and elephant-eared freak Mitch Albom.

But the great things about Warren certainly outweigh those little travesties. The times he'd fill in for Paul Schaffer on Letterman. The one Letterman show where Warren was the ONLY guest on the show. Putting together that band with Mills/Buck/Berry from REM and did a cover of Prince's "Raspberry Beret." The unforgettable Larry Sanders episode which featured Zevon, John Ritter and Gene Siskel (all who have since gone to their great reward by the way).

Jackson Browne was one of Zevon's biggest champions, and he gave an interview to Rolling Stone following his death. It's a good read, much better than listening to poor, poor, pitiful Richard Marx.


Cleveland, HELLO

Now that we finally got a subject going that actually has gotten more posts than some Husker Football articles ("Brandon Jackson, the 5th round of the NFL Draft is about to begin, don't worry, we'll answer the white courtesy phone when it rings..."), it's necessary to dissect this whole Rock and Roll Hall of Fame process. Plus it's fun to find some of those old youtube clips and visit Van Halen's wikipedia page for the first time.

According to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's Official website, here's exactly what they set out to do, which is really in line with every other Hall of Fame:
  • " recognize the contributions of those who have had a significant impact on the evolution, development and perpetuation of rock and roll by inducting them into the Hall of Fame...Artists become eligible for induction 25 years after the release of their first record. Criteria include the influence and significance of the artist's contributions to the development and perpetuation of rock and roll. "

In baseball, football and basketball's hall, you can't become eligible until five years following your last game. The idea of 25 years after their first hit makes perfect sense, because these fuckers either die or never retire. Sort of like Michael Jordan, which is why he's not in Basketball Hall yet. In baseball, if you die mid career ala Roberto Clemente, you immediately get on the ballot the next election. Which must have been what Kurt Cobain was thinking.

Here's where the whole process needs to take a page from Cooperstown:

  • "The Foundation's nominating committee, composed of rock and roll historians, selects nominees each year in the Performer category. Ballots are then sent to an international voting body of about 1,000 rock experts. Those performers who receive the highest number of votes, and more than 50 percent of the vote, are inducted."

Baseball's Hall famously (or infamously) requires 75 percent to get in. That seems about right here. It should be an exclusive club, but I was looking at my previous post where I offered my opinion on a bunch of acts who are eligible for the R&R Hall but aren't yet in. Looking back I was a bit too biased. I mean, I put Big Star and Todd Rundgren as locks and now I realize hardly anyone's even heard of Big Star and people know Rundgren mainly for "Bang on the Drum All Day." So the question would be for these 1,000 rock experts as to whether or not they can be non-judgmental when it comes to music. Maybe that's why they put the number at 50 percent, who the hell knows.

The R&R Hall has already taken some ideas from baseball, now offering a wing for non-performers (song writers, journalists, disc jockeys et al, which means that David Fricke will start campaigning anyday now) and now a category for backup musicians so that Donald "Duck" Dunn and Matt "Guitar" Murphy can start practicing their speeches.

So getting back to Big Star. Yeah, I was quick tanointnt them into this little Hall of Fame a bit too soon because they're all over my ipod. That and bands like the Replacements and REM list Big Star as influences. I had no idea that lead singer Alex Chilton had moved to New Orleans, was there whehurricanean Katrina hit, and was actually missing for a week following the devastation. Big Star's more a small cult favorite than anything I guess. In fact, there's literally nothing on them at youtube, save for a Replacements performance of their song actually called "Alex Chilton". But I finally found a clip of Chilton singing "September Gurrls" with Big Star, not an older clip but it's still something. Oh but it gets better. That famous 1960's song "The Letter" by the Box Tops? It was actually SUNG by none other than 16 year old Alex Chilton! OK, now I sound like Casey Kasem, but that tune was #1 for four weeks in 1967. The Box Tops of course never had another big hit, and Chilton would go on to form Big Star and inspire Michael Stipe and Paul Westerberg, among others, to follow suit. Big Star may never get into the Hall of Fame, but maybe some sort of veterans committee should seriously start looking at Alex Chilton:

And here's about the only Big Star clip available from youtube:


Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Cooperstown It's Not....Yet

Lots of response about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame post (none of which included Randy Meisner, which we'll get to). First off, there's an underground effort to try to get Tim Buckley in, if only because Jeff Buckley is getting some major pub. Good clip here:

Mackenzie and I have talked about this clip quite a bit. Frankly, the boys in the band ought to thank Letterman when they're inducted, because as you can tell by this, Dave really gave the guys a forum. This clip is infamous for three things:

  1. Dave going on and on and wanting to talk to the band forever until they finally insisted on singing
  2. Michael Stipe literally hiding behind Dave during the interview because he was scared to death to talk
  3. This song was performed before it had a title on "Late Night". These days just don't exist anymore:

This is right out of Spinal Tap. Like Don King, if David Lee Roth didn't exist, we'd have to invent him. The best line is "...I can darn sure park my yacht and walk over." God would one of the networks just go ahead and televise this year's ceremonies for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? It's got to be a helluva lot more exciting than the Grammys!
Finally, maybe this has the makings of a Cooperstown. The Lefsetz Letter where he absolutely dissed Patti Smith has created quite a buzz. One of his readers sent a list of the eligible performers who are not YET enshrined in "Cleveland" but have a reason to be:
Big Star (should go in immediately)
Gram Parsons (thought he was in)
Alice Cooper (same, figured he was in years ago)
Kurtis Blow (is eventually getting there)
Patsy Cline (has to be in if only to hear Willie Nelson sing "Crazy")
Linda Rondstadt (she wasn't all Nelson Riddle)
Jeff Beck (not alone, sorry)
Neil Diamond (which was shocking to me)
The Zombies ("She's Not There" and "Tell Her No", but Wes Anderson would campaign big time if they don't get in within the next five years)
The Stylistics (Prince is somewhere nodding in agreement)
The Chi-Lites (as Tony Soprano says, "the best")
Chic (Niles Rodgers hasn't made a big deal out of this -- yet)
Badfinger (No, sorry)
The Faces (really? They're not in?)
Cat Stevens (how long can they hold this over him???)
Carole King (figured she was in 10 years ago)
Boston (Look, I don't need to hear "More Than a Feeling" ever again, but they should be documented at the very least)
The Cars (what was the old Letterman joke about Ric Ocassek and Paulina Poriskova giving hope to ugly guys everywhere???)
Chicago (as Larry David would say, "Ehhh")
Joe Cocker (Really, he's not in?)
Deep Purple ("Ehhh")
Dire Straits (one video does not a career make, and it's a video that doesn't even hold up)
Donovan (Wow -- yes, get him to Cleveland right now)
Doobie Brothers (probably can't figure out how to allow Michael McDonald in)
Genesis (probably can't figure out how to allow Phil Collins in)
Grand Funk Railroad (1st act to play the Qwest Center Omaha, that's probably going to have to be their biggest honor)
Heart (Cameron Crowe has the induction speech written and ready to go)
The Hollies (I'm sorry, you can't let EVERYONE in)
Jan & Dean (sorry, they weren't the Beach Boys)
Jethro Tull (Bret Saberhagen of Rock, which means they aren't getting in)
Journey (should probably be on the Pete Rose banned for life list)
Kansas (the Jose Canseco of Rock)
Kiss (I guess like Lee Smith in baseball, they eventually have to get their chance)
Steve Miller Band (even if you have a greatest hits album that was played ad naseum by college students from 1988-1991, you don't get a pass here)
The Monkees (thank you Michael Stipe)
Moody Blues ("Nights in White Satin" and....sorry)
Ted Nugent (other than "Cat Scratch Fever", name another Nugent song)
Rush (this isn't the CANADIAN Rock and Roll Hall of Fame)
Steppenwolf (if Dennis Hopper can induct them)
Styx (uhm, please, there's a reason Steve Garvey isn't in the Baseball Hall of Fame)
Three Dog Night (will never get in because all of their hits were written by other famous folks)
Yes (No)
Warren Zevon (is eventually going to get in posthumously, but never actually ruled the world)
B-52's (hmmm...Maybe the Jim Rice of the group)
Devo (just because you wore stupid gear in videos doesn't mean you get to be in the Hall)
Roxy Music (it's the Hall of Fame, not the Hall of Also Rans)
Todd Rundgren (should have been in YEARS ago)

Finally, lots of requests for some Randy Meisner, who not only sang LEAD on this song but also co-wrote it with Henley and Frey. Shortly after this, Randy would throw a beer on Glenn Frey's head (something we've all wanted to do), quit the band and move back to Scottsbluff, Nebraska. But damn this fucker had one great voice back in the day: CLICK TO READ ENTIRE POST!

Monday, January 15, 2007

I Think They All Have To Play

The picture above is from the 1998 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and it's of EVERY single person who was every in the band The Eagles (L-R, Bernie Leadon, Joe Walsh who looks like he's in a suit made of bricks, Don Henley, Timothy B. Schmitt, Don Felder, Glenn Frey, and Randy Meisner, who's from Nebraska). There are stories about how all 7 hate one another. Look at how badly the years have been to poor Randy Meisner! Frankly, I still don't know how they got all 7 of these boys in the same room, let alone the same stage to take turns talking, and then somehow made all of them PERFORM two songs together. Leadon and Meisner were livid about not being part of the whole "Hell Freezes Over" reunion shit, the band wouldn't let Walsh be a part of any reunion until he seriously sobered up, and it's well documented that Felder and Frey literally have come to blows with one another. And legend has it, band manager Irving Azoff wouldn't confirm all 7 would even show up to the thing unless he got confirmation that the Eagles would be inducted and could perform last during the ceremonies (which also featured the induction of Fleetwood Mac). Oh and look at that, Henley's had the same sunglasses since 1974!

So there's already been the whole "awkward" precedent set at this little Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which this year wants to rival the whole Mark McGwire vote for Baseball's Hall in terms of interest. The big nominees for this year's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame are REM, Patti Smith, the Ronettes, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, and oh yeah, Van Halen. But you want awkward? The Eagles getting all 7 members on stage has nothing on what could happen this year:
  • Sammy Hagar doesn't think Van Halen will even bother to perform. And despite the precedent set by The Eagles, Sammy doesn't think Gary Cherone should or will show up. In the Eagles, Schmitt came in at the end of their first incarnation for ONE album, had that one hit song ("I Can't Tell You Why") while Meisner, the band member he replaced, had been an original member and stayed with the Eagles until after the "Hotel California" album. But according to this release, Cherone is not only uninvited, he's not being inducted. I guess Gary Cherone and Van Halen NEVER HAPPENED. Damn, I was hoping for an all-out jam of Extreme's "More Than Words" to try and create some peace.
  • Nevertheless, Sammy still seems quite bitter and seems content to be nothing more now than his generation's Jimmy Buffett. Oh by the way Yankee/Red Sox/Astros fans, look who spent New Year's Eve with Sammy. Is that a Rockett in your pocket, or are you just enjoying the show??? (And no, that's not Andy Pettite on the right, he doesn't go EVERYWHERE with Roger. I'm just glad Clemens found some time to be away from his family since all of his contracts since 2003 clearly state he gets his non-pitching days off to be with them. I'm not sure what the Boss would say about Clemens spending his off-season doing Cuervo Shots with Sammy.)
  • Oh, evidently Eddie Van Halen thinks so much of his kid Wolfgang that he's now the official bass player in the band, replacing long-time member Michael Anthony. Damn, this is going to be fun. Everyone (including one of our posters below) says that David Lee Roth has already signed on for a summer tour with Van Halen, although there's no official confirmation of this. Although you can see from this clip, Roth could really give two shits about who his bass player is:

  • No worries from REM, as I'm sure Bill Berry will come back and play drums with the band in what will more than likely be the highlight of the evening (Berry's been friendly with the band ever since having to leave and played with them as recently as late 2006). However, Michael Stipe has said in many interviews that he wouldn't participate in anything Hall of Fame related until the Monkees were elected. Maybe he'll show up with Davy Jones. But from the looks of this clip, from September, 2006, I'd say Berry will join the rest of the boys and they'll kill:

  • Bob Lefsetz is really pissed off that Patti Smith got elected. Says Lefsetz, who will more than likely attend: "The only people who care are those who lived in Manhattan in the seventies, or maybe commuted from one of the other four boroughs to see a show on the rock hard island, the rest of the world DOESN'T GIVE A SHIT!"
  • Uhm, wouldn't it be fun to see poor Phil Spector, who basically made the Ronettes, show up? "Be My Baby" was all that Spector "Wall of Sound". I'm sure he'll get some sort of mention at least, but his presence alone would create more tension than Sammy & Dave sharing a stage.
  • Meanwhile, with all of these potential fireworks (especially from just the site of having Diamond Dave on the stage), somebody at VH1 forgot to renew the contract to televise the festivities. So who jumps in now? Spike TV? Maybe Youtube should just carry the whole damn thing.

Diamond Dave sharing the mike with tequila loving Sammy. Michael Anthony and his bigass Jack Daniels bass while Eddie jonesing for another pack of smokes. Michael Stipe giving a shout out to Micky Dolenz. Phil Spector's hair. How can this NOT be televised???


And Now Marlon Lucky is Ready To Get His Goose On (if He Were Maurice Clarett, Who He Most Certainly Is Not...)

...Unless he too likes to go to practice after drinking some Grey Goose.

Brandon Jackson idolizes Adrian Peterson so much so that he's also leaving school early for the greener pastures of the NFL.

"My decision was not based on the last game of the season," Jackson said in a prepared statement. "It was based on the opportunity in front of me to play at the next level in the NFL."

Yeah right. We all had a feeling that woozy New Year's Day when Marlon Lucky started at I-Back or whatever the hell Billy C calls the position now. I'm sure that four player running back situation played into his decision as well.

All I know is, here's a list of some of the other running backs available for the NFL draft, not including the aforementioned Jackson:
Adrian Peterson, Oklahoma
Marshawn Lynch, California
Michael Bush, Louisville
Antonio Pittman, The Ohio State University
Dwayne Wright, Fresno State
Jon Cornish, Kansas
Tony Hunt, Penn State
Darius Walker, Notre Dame
Kenny Irons, Auburn
Garry Russell, Minnesota

Personally, I think Jackson saw that "surprise" start by Lucky in the Cotton Bowl and figured he better get out because with Billy C, you just never know. Lucky is the last remaining 5-star recruit from that infamous 2recruitingting Class. He should be the featured back for the Corn next year, but guess who else is coming back? Cody Glenn and Kenny Wilson for just two. Plus the Corn have verbals from Quentin Castille, Roy Helu, and Marcus Mendoza, who I can only hope rushes for 200 yards one game and we can start the "Mendoza Line" for college football. That's a lot of backs looking for a lot of carries. And Billy C could use them all. CLICK TO READ ENTIRE POST!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Somewhere, Marlon Lucky is Smiling

I don't think any of us saw this coming. Brandon Jackson has somehow decided with the flurry of juniors declaring themselves ready and available for the NFL draft that he too needs to consider going to the party.

Was he that pissed off that Billy C started Lucky in the Cotton Bowl? The link to the article actually makes a pretty good case for Jackson leaving now. It fails to mention how much his stock could really, really INCREASE after next season. Maybe that broken hand just scared the shit out of him. CLICK TO READ ENTIRE POST!

Duck, Duck, GOOSE

The "other" story about Baseball's annual Hall of Fame election on Tuesday is about how poor Richard "Goose" Gossage has to wait ANOTHER year for his shot at Cooperstown.

Every year, it's the same for the Goose. The 2nd Tuesday of January comes, radio and television stations line up interviews to talk to Goose about the election, and with every passing year, he just...keeps...coming...up...short. And this year, he winds up 21 votes shy. The glass half-full response that is he's a shoe-in now for next year (especially with a new class of candidates coming in who don't have a prayer of getting any support). I guess after waiting every January since 2000, and getting more support with each election, what's one more year of waiting for the phone to ring?

Meanwhile, it's been impossible to avoid A&E's hyping up the fact that they're now airing a sanitized version of The Sopranos. The stories might be the same, but it's just not the same show. First of all, this is a program that shouldn't have commercials, and secondly, A&E has done the unthinkable with the series. No, not removing the F-bombs and some of the violence, but the biggest shock to me is that they've totally done away with one of the signature moments of each episode. There's no more closing song over the closing credits. This has to irk creator David Chase to no end, as I know he and his producers carefully select a different song for each episode to tie everything up. It's almost like the final song is a character of the program. The pilot episode ends with Nick Lowe's "The Beast In Me", but you'd never know that if you first saw the show last night on A&E. If you've never seen the show, for Chrissakes, see it either on HBO first or buy the damn DVDs. Plus "fuck" just sounds so much more effective than "freak".

The one good thing that A&E has done is a pretty damn addictive internet game called Suitcase Full of Cash. This is actually a brilliant idea on their part, as it allows users to put together a bingo card (they almost called the game "Bada Bingo") of characters and other items seen in each program. You can watch your card in live time (when the shows first air on A&E), and see how many points you score as the show moves on. Or if you actually don't have time on your hands, you can come back later and see how you scored. Seriously, this is actually worth checking out. Unfortunately, the closing credit songs are not a playing piece for your game card.


Friday, January 05, 2007

Sabes on the Hall of Fame Ballot

As Bill Simmons pointed out earlier today (in one of his more entertaining pieces), one of the most fun parts of looking at the annual Baseball Hall of Fame ballot are recognizing some names you seemingly forgot about. Basically, it's a list of guys who don't stand a shot in hell of even getting on the ballot again for another year, but at one point in time, you might have thought they were SHOE-INS for the Hall.

There was a point in time where I figured Bret Saberhagen was one of those shoe-ins. That he'd be the second Kansas City Royal (after George Brett, who's arms he's jumping into at left after the Royals won their lone World Championship) to make it to Cooperstown. At one point in time, I thought he was Roger Clemens with less press. Then I realized he was Greg Maddux, only every other year (for some odd reason, he did remarkably well in every odd-numbered year, 1985-1991 for KC). He won two Cy Young Awards from 1985-1989, with one of the greatest seasons of the last 20 years for a pitcher in 1989. I had no doubt that Sabes was on his way to Cooperstown.

And then the 1990's happened, and for whatever reason, on December 11, 1991 Royals GM Herk Robinson traded by the Kansas City Royals with Bill Pecota to the New York Mets for Kevin McReynolds, Gregg Jefferies, and Keith Miller. I still maintain to this day that this was the trade that killed not only the Royals but Saberhagen's career. That Mets team, at the time, was the worst place in the world for Sabes to go:
  1. First of all, he was going from Kansas City to New York. Never an easy thing for any player to do.
  2. Sabes was already a wild card, and he was now going to a team with Dwight Gooden, Vince Coleman, Bobby Bonilla, and did I mention he'd be in New York City?

Nevertheless, in the strike shortened season of 1994, Sabes put together another season for the ages, one that's overlooked so much because it ended in mid-August due to the labor dispute, and overshadowed by the year Greg Maddux had.

And then that was pretty much it, until finally Boston took a chance on Sabes in 1997, and he'd reward them in 1998 and 1999 with respectable seasons while playing second fiddle to Pedro Martinez. Arm & shoulder troubles and age finally caught up with Sabes, and he was finally forced out of the game after another failed comeback in 2001.

And now, he's on the Hall of Fame Ballot, where he might get something like 10 votes, then forever going off into obscurity. Well, maybe not obscurity when you consider he was MVP of that 1985 World Series, still had those 2 Cy Youngs, and does have that spot in the Royals Hall of Fame.

I had the chance to become friends with the woman who ruined Bret Saberhagen's marriage, while he was still playing. She was never proud of this fact, and she only confided in me because I was such a Royals fan, because I held Sabes in such high regard, because I mentioned that we almost mentioned my son's name with one "t" instead of two because of Sabes, and because she genuinely feels Sabes is still a great guy. And by all accounts, he's an incredible father to his children. There's a big part of me that thinks his marriage woes led to the Royals trading him in 1991, even after he threw that no-hitter against the White Sox that August. That Herk is still a jerk, that Sabes should have had the chance to try to finish his career as a Royal. After all, it was less than a year after the organization traded Sabes that they reacquired another wild card and future Cy Young Award Winner, David Cone, via free agency.

And even though we know Sabes isn't going to be anywhere near a phone on Tuesday expecting some sort of call that he somehow got elected to Cooperstown, he recently said that if he were voted in, he would not attend the ceremony because he believes Pete Rose should be inducted.

I'll always remember Bret Saberhagen in that magical October of 1985, when he was clowning to the camera about telling his then-wife to wait to have the baby, as he had another game to pitch. About how his wife gave birth to his first son, Drew William, on the same night of the infamous Don Denkinger call. And then the next night, 21-year old Bret Saberhagen pitched a complete game shutout in Game 7 of the World Series, finally making World Champions of the likes of George Brett, Frank White, Willie Wilson, and Hal McRae.

I'd like to ask the Royals to retire Sabes #, but the funny thing is that he wound up wearing two different numbers during his Royals tenure. He wore #31 in 1985 and then through 1988, but switched to #18 in 1989 to change his fortunes (which it most certainly did). I guess his biggest claim to fame is that he's the one Royals starting pitcher you'd pick if you had to save your life.

I'm compelled to mention, after bringing up the messy woes of his personal life, that Bret Saberhagen does have a website dedicated to millions of American children with diabetes and other debilitating diseases. After his career and marriage, he started the Bret Saberhagen Make a Difference Foundation. Sabes was always the money guy, and continues to be one.


Thursday, January 04, 2007

Weiss vs. Callahan

Before we get to this, it seems that Buck O'Neil basically gave away any money he had to a local church or charities. I remember reading a few years ago that somebody came to Lincoln looking for Charlie Starkweather's grave, and could only find just some small rubble that noted of his passing. The guy literally went out and bought a new tombstone -- for a mass MURDERER -- because he wanted his presence documented. According to that link above, somebody made a nicer remembrance for the late Satchel Paige years following his death. Hopefully Buck will get this sort of special treatment as well.

Bill Callahan came to coach Nebraska football after being chased out of the NFL, mostly because he followed up a Super Bowl season with a 4-12 flop, both seasons with the Raiders, and called out his team for being "stupid." Charlie Weiss came to Notre Dame as the chosen one, just coming off winning his third Super Bowl with New England.

So Billy C's had three years with the Corn, one of which everyone would just like to assume never happened. Charlie Weiss has had two years at Notre Dame, where he's been anointed sainthood already. At least up until the Irish got absolutely slaughtered against LSU in the Sugar Bowl. Weiss is 0-2 in Bowl Games, both losses to programs amongst the tops in the nation (Ohio State and LSU), Billy C 1-1, including a win over Michigan and a loss he very easily could have had against a damn good Auburn team.

Weiss is 0-2 against the best college football program around (USC), whereas Billy C has only had that one "shot" against the Trojans where he kept it close to the vest and took a loss over a shoot out. USC comes calling to Lincoln in 2007, and that's going to be the real litmus test for where Callahan really does have Nebraska in his 4th season.

In fact, the biggest problems facing Weiss and Callahan in 2007 is going to be that USC, in all likelihood a pre-season #1 ranked team, comes to both South Bend and Lincoln. I would think that both Weiss and Billy C make major steps in the fall. I'm expecting both Notre Dame and the Corn to play in BCS games at around this time next year. But if I'm Weiss and Callahan, I light a candle at some church hoping that Pete Carroll takes off for the NFL. I just can't see it happening though (I mean, can you see Billy C in a church? No, meaning Carroll leaving). Pete Carroll recognizes he's got the best gig in all of college sports. He gets his pick of all of the best players before anyone else does. He seems to be one of the better "halftime" coaches in the business. He's probably taken a good look at what happened with Nick Saban over the past few years.

So it'll be Pete Carroll bringing John David Booty or John Wilkes Boothe or whatever his quarterback's name is into town next season. Weiss had one of Carroll's best USC teams on the ropes last year at South Bend in one of the greatest college football games I've ever seen. The luck of the Irish could come through against USC in 2007. But I just can't see the Trojans losing to both Notre Dame and Nebraska next year.

Which means one thing: Husker faithful are going to be ready to hand Billy C's head on a platter to Stevie P, or for whatever reason, the Irish fans will continue doing what they started yesterday: Comparing Charlie Weiss to Tyrone Willingham.

For the record, here are the 2007 schedules for both the Corn and the Irish, starting with your beloved 2007 Cotton Bowl Runner Ups (at least I'm sure that's how Callahan's spinning it):
09/01 Nevada Lincoln
09/08 Wake Forest Winston-Salem
09/15 Southern Cal Lincoln
09/22 Ball State Lincoln
09/29 #Iowa State Lincoln
10/06 #Missouri Columbia
10/13 #Oklahoma State Lincoln
10/20 #Texas A&M Lincoln
10/27 #Texas Austin
11/03 #Kansas Lawrence
11/10 #Kansas State Lincoln
11/23 #Colorado Boulder

Boy, scheduling that road game at Wake Forest the week before USC sure doesn't look as much fun as it did, oh say about two years ago. Thank you to for that schedule. Now for the chosen one and the Irish:
Sept. 8 at Penn State
Sept. 15 at Michigan
Sept. 29 at Purdue
Oct. 6 at UCLA
Oct. 20 USC
Nov. 3 NAVY
Nov. 17 DUKE
Nov. 24 at Stanford

Obviously, they get all of their heavy lifting in the early part of the season, which is just nuts, before finishing with Navy, Air Force, Duke and Stanford. BTW, getting 5 home games in a row, including the last 3 against Navy, AF, and Duke?

So even though both Callahan and Weiss have huge expectations for their football teams in 2007, nobody can legitimately expect either to run the table with either or those schedules, can they? Just for grins, here's what Pete Carroll's got to deal with (and just think if Mr. Jarrett would come back, which he definitely won't):

9/01/07 IdahoL.A. Coliseum
9/15/07 Nebraska Lincoln, NE
9/22/07 Washington State L.A. Coliseum
09/29/07 Washington Seattle, WA
10/06/07 Stanford L.A. Coliseum
10/13/07 Arizona L.A. Coliseum
10/20/07 Notre Dame South Bend, IN
10/27/07 Oregon Eugene, OR
11/03/07 Oregon State L.A. Coliseum
11/10/07 Cal Berkeley, CA
11/17/07 Arizona State Tempe, AZ
11/24/07 UCLA L.A. Coliseum

Special tip of the hat to Trojan Wire for that schedule update. Just another something fun for everyone to chew on until Sam Keller comes out of the tunnel in April for what we used to call the Soap Scrimmage (as in, a bar of soap would get you in to watch a football practice). CLICK TO READ ENTIRE POST!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Two Clips to at Least Get You Through April and Sam Keller's Debut

This first one is great to see if only for the "Little Frankie Solich" highlight. Also some great Kent Pavelka audio. By the way, if anyone at the new Host Sports Communications Network is listening, Pavelka is still alive and well and quite healthy I might add:

This one is cheesy and somewhat disappointing considering how this past season ended, but it's a nice little recruiting video that I'm sure Billy C is going to keep on his laptop to take into living rooms over the next few months. At any rate, the season's over, it was a 9 win season if you want to look at the glass half full, and maybe it'll make you forget that the Cotton Bowl never happened.

The Cotton Bowl That I Guess Never Happened

This could be the shortest post in history regarding one snooze of a football game, and yet it was a game that really defined the 2006 Husker Football program and the current state it's in.

They're so close, but not anywhere close enough.

But then again, according to what we've seen during the Bowl Games, nobody from the Big 12 is close enough. Texas played a disappointing Iowa team way too close. Somehow Bob Stoops let the Rocky Balboa's of the college football world fool him twice in a row with Callahan-esque trick plays. Hey, at least Texas Tech was able to get Minnesota to finally fire Glenn Mason.

Fine, so the Big East won this weird Conference Championship trophy for going 4-0 in bowl games. Where does any of this leave our boy Billy C?

The opening drive told the tale of the entire Corn season. Marlon Lucky got the not-so-surprising-start-at-I-Back-when-you-consider-Brandon-Taylor-had-a-broken-hand and looked like the phenom he was promised to be, or at least reminded a few old hearts of another Husker who used to wear #20. Like they did in almost every game this season (except for of course the USC game), the Corn marched down the field in impressive fashion and scored on the opening drive.

Seriously, this is one of the oddest things about the Callahan era. I don't remember Osborne doing this with his teams this often, even against good teams. Although there is this first play from scrimmage from a 1989 game to remind us that he had plenty of first drive magic (forgive me for not embedding it in the page, youtube won't let us, you'll just have to go to the link and come back, but this clip is fun to see):

So the Cotton Bowl started off not unlike the other games of the 2006 season. Great opening drive, Nebraska looks like it could literally kick the living shit out of the opponent....

And then for whatever reason, Billy C slams on the brakes.

I haven't understood any of this all season. Usually it was the road games where they'd pull this shit, and you could literally see Callahan and Cosgrove on the sidelines nervous just to escape town with a win. You could almost hear Callahan preaching to everyone, "Remember, our one and only goal this entire year is to win the Big 12 North. Let's do that without screwing anything up and I'll send the entire coaching staff to Jerico's in mid-December for some real Nebraska grub."

And for the most part, save the Oklahoma State debacle, it worked. They got to Kansas City and make over 70,000 take the trip with them. So even after Okie State, and the letdown in KC, what could have possibly led the Corn to finish an unranked 9-5 when it looked like on the very first hours of 2007 that they could finish 10-4 and ranked as high as 16th? Oh let's count the merry ways...

  1. Auburn was (and is) an extremely great football team. Remember, this was a season where the Auburn Tigers felt they had a legitimate shot at playing for a National Championship. They finished 11-2, all while playing in the best conference in college football, and could finish in the final polls ranked as high as 5th or 6th. Remember, Florida's only loss was to this Auburn football team. I still say that USC was the best team the Corn played this year, but Auburn is a close second. Just think what could have happened if Tommy Tuberville would have given a shit.
  2. Billy C. This Cotton Bowl loss is all on his tab. Here's what we'd all like to know: In a season of weird trick plays in virtually every game, why on earth did he call for a fake punt inside his own 30-yard line early in the game and why on earth didn't he at least try for that potential tying field goal when the Corn were on the Tigers' 30 late, as in less than 2 minutes left in the game late. I guess the moves gave Callahan the chance to use the word "discombobulated" to the press. That's going to give him major media points.
  3. Callahan really fucked up. I just wanted to say that again after spending the last three months going back and forth on this bastard.
  4. Is there anyone who loves this fake punt thing more than Callahan? How many you count from memory from this season? Without looking, I remember USC, K-State and this stupid Cotton Bowl.
  5. The 10:30am CST start. Ordinarily, I'd really be hammering this point home, but Penn State and Tennessee started at 10am, but at least Joe Pa got to sit upstairs and watch the game. Mackenzie wasn't even awake in time to watch the first half of the Cotton Bowl after a wild New Year's Eve. How on earth could we expect Billy C and the crew to do the same? Trouble is, they were more alive and awake at that time on New Year's Day than anyone else (see: Opening Drive).
  6. As David Letterman used to say, "Uma......Oprah.....Oprah....Uma." How about the whole, "Lucky....Jackson......Jackson.....Lucky" thing that was going on? If Jackson's hand was really still broken -- and there are reports that suggest that it wasn't fully healed -- why not stick with Lucky, who seemed to have been reading Norman Vincent Peale during the last 2 weeks and was busting through with new levels of enthusiasm. I know Jackson's been a meal ticket for many games, but this was the Marlon Lucky coming out party. Jackson did have that nifty 20 yard touchdown run, and then it was as Pat Summerall would say, Lucky, who's better than that. I mean, "Uma....Oprah"? I like the fresh legs idea, but I also think the whole '90's adage of "If it aint broke, break it" went out of style with, oh I don't know, Enron maybe???
  7. Tom Shatel is ripping off this blog and it's starting to piss me off. This has nothing to do with the outcome of the Cotton Bowl, but I get some sort of swarmy satisfaction in knowing Shatel is coming here for things to put in his final Husker Football column.
  8. Matt Herian got more timid and shy about playing football as the year went on, and it was nowhere near as obvious in the Cotton Bowl. Look, I admire this kid's gusto more than anyone. When his peers like Ross Pilkington quit early on in the Billy C era, Herian busted his ass off just to get back on the field. I just wish that the team's psychologist would have worked with Herian more on playing through the fear after that devastating injury, because an inspired Herian might have been the difference between a 9-5 team and an 11-3 team.
  9. Let's just call it like it is one more time: Callahan mailed this season in after that bizarre trophy presentation following the Colorado game. Even Pat Summerall made mention about what a splash Billy C had made in Dallas and surrounding areas high schools. Bottom line: Billy C looked at this as one more recruiting trip, and from the sounds of things, the week leading up to the game was spent in blue collar athlete's living rooms and admiring the ornaments on their Christmas Trees. Translation: "Oh sure, we might have lost a bowl game to a much better team, but I got an entire free week in Dallas to talk to some recruits. What was my bonus for winning this game again?"

I just can't get past the fact that this Nebraska team had a great Auburn team on the ropes and could have actually ended this season with 10 wins. I think that would have been a lot to build upon. But our man didn't really give a shit in the end. And these are the cards we're dealt.

When the Eagles were elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998, Don Henley went up on stage and thanked their longtime manager Irving Azoff. Azoff had and still has a reputation for being somewhat of a prick who only looks out for things that are in the best interests of his very own clients. So Henley went on stage to thank Irving, saying, "He might be Satan, but at least he's OUR Satan." Billy C might not be that bad (look at how friendly he is to those female sideline reporters for Chrissakes). But if he truly winds up being Satan, he's OUR Satan, and we have no choice but to be all in with this yahoo. As Henley once wrote, we can check out anytime we'd like, but we can never leave.


Monday, January 01, 2007

Sleeping Summerall

It's been widely reported that Pat Summerall has quit his alcohol habit for years, which explains why he's a natural choice to do play by play for a game on New Year's Day at 10:30 AM CST.

You know what? FOX has a lot of money and could put a dog doing dishes to call this game. But for Chrissakes, here are some of the early Summerall highlights:
  • "Bill Callahan won a Super Bowl a few years ago....But he loves college football (NOTE: Well, it actually doesn't merit a note, but all readers know that Billy C didn't win that Super Bowl, in fact got his head handed to him by his former coach)."
  • "Pufi-FEE with the catch. Oh, Pufiy."
  • "He's better than Lucky....Marlon Lucky is the running back...Replacing...Marlon Jackson...this is a surprise (His replacement's name is actually Brandon Jackson)"
  • "Taylor to throw the ball....oh that's Thomas. (NOTE: Poor Pat has called Zac Taylor by the name of Thomas at least twice already...And we're in the first quarter)"

I'm sorry, but it's almost like Summerall was out like the rest of us last night, woke up, got a sheet on a game he was supposed to call in the early morning, and doesn't have a clue of who's even playing in this game. Pat Summerall is acting like he's doing this job as some huge payback or favor for somebody at FOX. But it's certainly sad. Summerall doesn't even know where he is. It's almost like he started drinking again during the start of the broadcast. I'm having a hair of the dog from last night right now, but when I hear poor Pat Summerall attempt to do anything involving this Cotton Bowl broadcast, I had to immediately come to the monitor and call him out.

On another note -- it looks like Billy C actually gives a shit about this game, but unfortunately he still has Kevin Cosgrove in his hip pocket.