Saturday, October 27, 2007
What else was so great about yesterday? Well, ESPN Classic did choose it as it's College Game of the Day for rebroadcast on Sunday (so you didn't really have to go out and BUY the DVD of this one). And oh by the way, this makes the first October that Nebraska didn't win a football game since....1948. I kept thinking about the similarities between this Husker season and Billy C's last year with Oakland in the NFL (you know, the one where those guys in the above picture were on the Husker coaching staff). Or last year's Cotton Bowl (you know, the early morning New Year's Day game that NU SHOULD have won against a good opponent). Or hell, last year's Texas game in Lincoln.
Even with the barrage of "Can you believe this shit" text messages I kept getting in the third quarter that made my cell phone light up like a slot machine, we all kept reminding each other one thing: Even if Nebraska pulls off the colossal upset (and one that would most definitely have to be considered the biggest of the Callahan Error -- I mean Era -- at NU), Bill Callahan is still toast at season's end.
Even after I still tried to find reasons to dig Sam Keller as a Quarterback, an interesting stat came up after he bobbled a snap yesterday. Keller has FIVE of those this season, which only leads me to believe that this was reason number one that Arizona State, despite being in love with his talent and right arm, dropped him down on their depth chart. Obviously, there were issues with him handling the football. Now, I firmly believe that Billy C overlooked this, because he was getting bad press for losing Harrison Beck and needed the next savior to fall into his lap. Which isn't to see nobody else was going to take a shot on Keller, who I still think can play in the NFL.
But it's become obvious that nobody on this coaching staff gives a shit about fundamentals. Nobody cares about conditioning (otherwise that Charles kid doesn't run for over 200 yards in the FOURTH quarter alone). All they care about is implementing a system. Never mind how many 18, 19 and 20 year old students you have under your wing. Students who still need to maintain a certain GPA to stay scholarshipped (yes, I just made that word up), no matter how much help they get. After talking to former players who used to play against Nebraska, all they talked about was how tired they'd make them come the 4th quarter. Which meant that even a Scott Frost could run an option right on 3rd and 8 and come up with 15 yards.
There are no more silver linings. So everyone needs to stop trying to dress up this pig. It's a mess. A 4-5 mess. That's right. It's not even Halloween yet, and the Nebraska football program already has five losses.
All that's left is advice from The Denver Post of all places. And for those still clinging to something, a chance to play in a bowl game on December 21st. CLICK TO READ ENTIRE POST!
Friday, October 26, 2007
In other words, nobody can even muster up anything to be remotely funny about this season. But hey, at least the corn got the New York Times attention in a pretty decent article. More links:
- It's not the coaching, it's the PLAYERS. Ah, that's it, they just have no motivation!
- Forgot about this great piece by Elizabeth Merrill, who's put together a very respected and impressive writing career. Merrill first gained notoriety for leaving a wedding she was in to break the news about Frank Solich's firing for the Omaha World Herald. This led to her getting a nice writing job with the Kansas City Star. Now she's the midwest expert over at ESPN.com, writing about all things Huskers, Royals, Chiefs and even a very good e-ticket piece on Priest Holmes.
- J. Brady McCollough, Kansas City Star: Texas 52, Nebraska 10. And you wonder why nobody cares, because, well that seems about right.
Red Sox Nation had better take a look at this year's Husker team and the free fall that's happened under Billy C and remember the best advice Tony Soprano ever gave his kids: Focus on the good times.
To better days, and better picks, and a shitload of dimes:
- Texas (-21) over Nebraska. That's right, it's gotten so bad that Texas is a three touchdown favorite against the Corn. Speaking of good times, it's becoming more and more obvious that Billy C is going to go Mike Gundy during one of his press conferences. Some of his best lines this week: "I’ve done an excellent job in every area. It’s hard for the media to know, but what we’ve done off the field, and what we’ve done on the field. I think it’s well-documented...." Boy, it sure is now, isn't it Billy Boy? The big focus now is one how all of these 4 and 5 star recruits, in particular Jonas Gray, are jumping off like rats on the Titanic. Billy C also went on about how impressive it was that NU played for a "championship" in year 3. Yeah, he won the Big 12 during a very down year, which is like being the tallest midget. Which of course is what Callahan really is. It was a weird press conference, and just confirmed what a sales robot Callahan is when the red lights are on. How on earth can this guy have that team even remotely unified? He needs to go absolutely nuts in one of these Tuesday morning press conferences. He's already public enemy #1, I think it'd be a great thing for him to really let loose on one of the scribes. Don't go Denny Green ("The Bears are who we THOUGHT they were!") or Herm Edwards ("You play TO WIN THE GAME!"). No no. Take a page from Gundy's playbook. Find one writer or sportscaster and just attach the living shit of him or her. Verbally abuse someone who took one or two of the players to task. Hell, make fun of Tom Shatel's stuttering problem. Get some youtube moment and ESPN coverage. Come on man, you're done at the end of the year anyway. See if going medieval on the Steve Sipple's of the world can't unify a team that maybe next week could give KU it's first loss. As Isiah Thomas would say, "It's crazy enough, it just might work." But that's beside the point. Texas will be the ones going medieval tomorrow.
- Georgia (+7.5) over Florida. As Yogi Berra would say, you can look it up: Georgia for whatever reason finds a way to win or at the very least play close on the road.
- Maryland (+3.5) over Clemson. It's a hunch, maybe it's those new Boomer Essiason commercials.
- Kansas (-3) over Texas A&M. Vega$ knows what it's doing. Many people think this is a game KU could win or lose by a field goal. Many people don't give the real Mangenious enough credit. It would be just like the Big 12 or hell the 2007 college football season in general to have the Jayhwaks finally fall from the unbeaten. But this is not a team that's going to overlook the Aggies even with Callahan's Crew coming to Lawrence next week. Sure it's at A&M, and they're coming off that big win in Lincoln (well, any other year and it'd be considered big). But Kansas plays well on the road, and they want even more BCS style points. I know Mangenious has a lot on his plate, like whether or not he wants to eat that third ham sandwich. I like KU by at least a touchdown.
- Hawaii (-30) over New Mexico State. Thirty points is an awful lot of points, but Hawaii is AVERAGING a helluva lot more than that per game. In other words, if Hawaii's offense got a shot at Super Grover's defense, there's a good chance they could put up 80 points on them. And New Mexico State might be one of the few times with a worse defense than Nebraska.
(I just figured out what Callahan should do at next Tuesday's press conference: Attack that English major student about that book where Billy C allegedly calls TO a crusty old fuck. But he's got to get angry about it. Don't be so calm and say how much respect you have for Osborne. Really lay into the kid. Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming already in progress)
- Penn State (+4) over Ohio State. It's a night game at Happy Valley, which always gives the Nittany Lions an edge. Plus, even though they are for now the #1 team in the country, Ohio State just isn't THAT good.
- Michigan (-23) over Minnesota. Remember how the Wolverines started the season with what was at the time called the biggest upset of all-time in any sport? And then they got whacked at home the next week? Now, they're back in business with a legitimate Heisman candidate and unlike Coach Callahan, Lloyd Carr has righted his ship.
- Red Sox over Rockies in 6 games. Because Red Sox fans need to get a hint of worry back. Because this whole killing the curse thing really started with Curt Schilling, and love him or hate him, it's only suitable that he gets the win at Fenway in Game 6, where Papa can go back to being DH. In other words, the Rockies win the next two games, Josh Beckett stops the bleeding in game 5, and Boston gets what it REALLY wants anyway: A chance to celebrate at Fenway Park (remember, they swept St. Louis in 2004, and even though all of New England erupted with the title, everyone really wanted a chance to dance at Fenway).
- Jacksonville (+3.5) over Tampa Bay. Well lookie here, an NFL pick! Why this game? For one, if I had to pick one team that could beat that New England machine, it would be the Jaguars. Secondly, they hold on to the football and milk the clock better than anyone. And finally, the AFC is so much better than the NFC that a team like the Jaguars -- who you'll notice are GETTING points -- should have an easy way with things on Sunday. That's just who they are, and if I were picking a lock, it'd be this game. Remember, we rarely if ever pick an NFL game. Vega$ will never stop building hotels because of the NFL. They've got that league figured out, always have, always will. Be every once in while, they'll be imperfect. This is one of those times.
Last week: 3-3
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
I'm listening to what I'm considering Don Henley's final masterpiece. Masterpiece is a word that gets thrown around too easily everywhere. But in terms of what one does for a living in terms of art or whatever what you want to call it, a 60-year old man has added something impressive to his resume.
The first time I hear the song, I wanted to cry. I thought it was about MY divorce. I thought it could have been about Mackenzie waiting for some girl from his office for that right moment. The third time I thought maybe Bsmoked Turkey would get it and say, "OK, now I'm ready to go."
Let's face it: Before any of this new Eagles shit album, Henley's death/video tape was all set. "Desperado", "Hotel California", "Boys of Summer", and this site named "Dirty Laundry." The man could have just sat back and collected royalties from all of those songs and the many others he's tied to writing and singing wise.
Then I heard "Waiting In The Weeds."
It was one of those songs I had to give to other people. I shared it with four people I work with, and they were stunned. One other person, who is too young an immature to understand any better, said, "Here, I'll show you a real song." And she youtubed.com song Kennny Chesney song. That woman is no longer with us.
Finally, Henley has taken a cue from Bob Dylan and Elvis Costello. He took his lyrical and songwriting abilities up notches. Maybe he went through something like this in his life, he had to have, but this song is all about divorce and loss and really anything that you think you'd have in life but didn't get. And maybe you're waiting for your shot at the title. I sit here proud, stunned, awed, and frankly impressed that there's at least ONE song that has literally touched me to the point that I need to write about it. Oh the rest of this 20 song album has it's moments, but basically, they're all the Henley songs. You can call it an Eagles album, but aren't all ones anyone liked were the ones with Henley on lead? It was all about harmonies after that, and the old men show they can still get those together better than anyone.
And God love Joe Walsh, who was given two songs on this album, but you really never hear him here. And Glenn Frey is just too stuck in the '80's, too stuck as "The Heat Is On" guy, too obviously just a guy who knew that he had a kindred spirit in Henley and a brand name in the EAGLES to put so much money and sign a deal with the devil (Walmart) so he'd have his slush fund.
At the end end of it all, the Eagles are going to end up as probably one of the top 20 bands of all-time, nevermind this new album and it's gems.
But I can't stop listening to "Waiting in the Weeds". I have no idea how a 60-year old guy did this. He seems to have a delightful and happy life and marriage and wrote and did a song that literally makes me weep. If you want it, click here:
http://www.lite98.com/cc-common/news/sections/special/eagles.html CLICK TO READ ENTIRE POST!
Sunday, October 21, 2007
"We only need two wins to go to a Bowl game!"
Whatever. The only real thing to look forward to with this 2007 season (other than to see if NU can lose all of it's remaining games) is the insightful book written by a Nebraska English Student that alleges Callahan had a lot more to say than "fucking hillbillies." Did Billy C really call TO a crusty old fuck after a phone conversation with him? Does the Pope shit in the woods? OF COURSE he did. And for the record, Billy C isn't the only one who has used that term of endearment regarding our beloved TO in the past 5 years. Remember, Osborne was very sore and bitter about not getting a chance to become the Governor of the state of Nebraska.
But this isn't about TO, it's about a clueless coach who jumped at the first (and only) job available after he got Fredo Corleone'd by the NFL. Remember, that last season, Callahan publicly called out his Raiders team as "the stupidest bunch of players in the world." I'm sure the instant he landed in Lincoln, he felt the big fish in small pond mentality. Actually, he was probably stunned he was offered a multi-year job.
And now, in his final moments at Nebraska, he has a team with talent, but he himself still doesn't even have a clue. It was never going to work out, as much as all of us thought it just "might". It was never a good hire. He was never the right guy. The instant he said he was bringing a 750 pound playbook and the West Coast Offense to good old Lincoln, everyone should have made their Beavis face and said, "Uhm...this sucks." And it does. And it will. Until that chilly November Saturday after the Colorado game, when what Steve Pederson did to Frank Solich will come full circle. CLICK TO READ ENTIRE POST!
Friday, October 19, 2007
Before I forget, great post here that calls Joe Torre's move his Johnny Sack moment. I just finished watching the press conference, and at the end everybody stood and applauded. People wanted to hug him and say good-bye. And these are SPORTS WRITERS. I'll never forget the moment when somebody asked him about going down to go clean out his office. Torre said he'd never go down there again, and he had an assistant that would go get everything for him. I swear I had a tear in my eye. I hate the Yankees with everything I'm built of. Hate everything about him. But goddamn I like Joe Torre. And what a great exit. He didn't get the axe; he pulled a Johnny Sack. Although I personally prefer Joe pulled a Tony Soprano, when Johnny demanded to know where Tony B was. After watching John smoke confidently on his cigarette, Tony walked over to Johnny, and in one of the series best moments, said, "You know what John? Go fuck yourself." Bravo Torre.
Couple other things of note (non-Husker related for once) that are intriguing:
- Both Nick Lachey and Kevin Costner were at the Chiefs game last week, where the Chiefs just so happened to play their best game of the season. I still can't figure out what Lachey was doing there (got to meet him, talk about ordinary), but it turns out Costner has his own rock band, and they played at Harrah's the night before.
- Now the Tampa Bay Devil Rays are making a major uniform change, and who's going to be there to model them off? I'll give you a clue. It's not Nick Lachey, but the other "celebrity" who was at last week's Chiefs win.
- It's now official: betting on college football is like betting the NFL, which means you never know anything. The National Champion could wind up with TWO losses this year the way things are going.
OK, now the Corn shit. I had lunch with a former Husker player (who asked to remain anonymous) yesterday. He said that Osborne had been at EVERY practice since Tuesday, and Billy C has been, shall we say, a bit more behaved at practices. The other big news. Osborne has already been in touch with Bo Pellini, and according to said player, Pellini wants the head coaching job, period. One more thing. Osborne evidently has made no secret of how easy it is to shut down the West Coast Offense, especially in college. And remember, TO was and is an OFFENSIVE guy. He leaves the defense to others. So if he thinks he can stop the WCO, well, let's just hope Billy C has that resume all polished up. This site gave you how it was all going to go down this week. Just watch things unfold come, oh December. On to the games:
- Nebraska (-1.5) over Texas A & M. I had this game as a loss a few weeks ago. Steve Pederson still ran the ship a few weeks ago. If there's one game Billy C HAS to win, this is it. I don't think even Callahan and Cosgrove can shit the bed two weeks in a row at home. Actually, if there were two people I'd bet the house on who COULD, it be those two clowns. However, let's also remember that this Bill Byrne coming back to Lincoln (gee, wonder if he and TO will get together for tea???), and A&M believe it or not has a bigger coaching fiasco on their hands than the Corn. Callahan's gonna get the rest of the season, and for him, it's in his best interest to not let the season end like it did his last year in Oakland. Plus the whole TO thing is going to have Memorial Stadium energized like it's 1997. So pretty please, with sugar on top, take the fucking Corn.
- Ball State (-1.5) over Western Michigan. Ball State started this whole mess be throwing up 40 points in Lincoln and STILL lost. We could have been rid of Pederson way back then. Now they owe us this.
- Notre Dame (+18) over USC. Something happened to the Trojans since that Nebraska game. It could have been TO telling Pete Carroll, "By the way, I know how to stop that offense, and I'm friends with Jim Harbaugh." The Irish are a mess, but are they an 18 point mess at home against a Trojan team that isn't the dominant force we all thought they were? And now, that breeze they had in Lincoln isn't all that impressive. My own opinion is that Quarterbacks don't have three names, famous murderers do. In other words, John Wilkes Booth David Booty just isn't Matt Leinart.
- Florida (-7) over Kentucky. I cannot believe, even with them being undefeated, that KENTUCKY is a 7 point favorite over the Gators. That Gator team isn't far removed from the one that destroyed Ohio State in January. The clock has been striking midnight on all of these Cinderella undefeateds (South Florida, the white courtesy phone please). The slipper won't fit when Urban Meyer gets through with Kentucky. Although I'm sure he's going to have somebody try to spot Ashley Judd at the game, even though she probably won't be there because she likes basketball more than football.
- Michigan State (+19) over Ohio State. Ohio State isn't the number 1 team in America. They just aren't. They have a coach that a school like, oh NEBRASKA, would love to have. Asking them to go three touchdowns over Michigan State is too much to ask for this week. We'll say Ohio State gets buy, but maybe by 14 instead of 19.
- Kansas (-4) over Colorado. Finally, an undefeated team that's the real deal. That's right, KANSAS. The real Mangenious is doing for KU what Bill Snyder did for Kansas State. Kansas is that good. Even though he's sometimes mistaken for this guy, Mangenious still gets another dance at the ball. At least for this week.
Not a bet, but since I actually gave some Yankee love earlier, I have but one with. That Schilling is the playoff Schilling, the bloody sock Curt Schilling. I want to see a line of something like 8 innings pitched, 5 hits, 1 walk, 8 strikeouts, no runs. That's all. Then we get a game 7. That's not too much for a Yankee hater to ask for, is it?
Last week: 8-2
Season: 26-16 (In other words, you people can make money from reading this site. So get on it.)
Thursday, October 18, 2007
- Got to see Wilco in concert last Saturday night, outdoors in a beautiful setting in Kansas City. I don't care what anyone says, this is a band that you need to see live. Tweedy spends too much time trying to be cute and creative in the studio on some shit, but when they roll out everything live, it's an incredible show. It was one of the greatest concerts I've ever attended (it was at a place called the Crossroads in KC). Tweedy has an incredibly funny and dry sense of humor, especially since he realized on that night that he was up against the opening of the much ballyhooed Sprint Center, which was christened by Elton John, and where Garth Brooks is about to play (and I'm not making this up) NINE (9) concerts there in November. I got in on a VIP pass to the show (remember, it's not what you know but who you know), with the promise that, "Hey, I'm probably not going to be able to get you backstage to meet the guys, but here's four 5th row center seats and you won't need to pay for any beer tonight." I got to relive the excitement that I saw from some of their live performances in their underrated movie, I Am Trying to Break Your Heart. BTW, am I the only person who thinks poor Jay Bennett was just some guy played by Philip Seymour Hoffman that movie? I saw at imdb.com that somebody compared him to Hoffman's character in Boogie Nights. Why this isn't explored more is beyond me. But it's one of the greatest scenes in the movie when he can't believe he got fired, and it's almost comical. But I digress, you get a chance to go see Wilco, do it right away because they know how to put on an incredible rock show and Tweedy, although not the greatest frontman in the world, has that sly wit that keeps you begging for more. And oh by the way, a band couldn't be more in sync.
- I have a really, really good Tony Gonzalez story I'd like to tell Mac in person before I share with the rest of the world. It's what us in the business like to call a "TEASE."
- Lucky me -- I find my way to Lincoln for approximately an hour. I find somebody who knows BsmokedTurkey. I beg of her, "Please have him update his blog more, NOW!" She swore the next move in her life would be to talk to her.
And yes, for the record, I think the above picture was doctored. It's OK, in life, not everyone loves each other, that'st the way it goes, but when there's a shitload of dimes to be made, sins are forgiven. OK, now I'm giving the floor to Music Industry legend Bob Lefsetz. I'll be more than happy to share all "Good" songs with those in my "family", but for good sakes, a 20 song 2-disc CD is only $10.99. Who cares. Go Bob:
I'm TINGLING! TEARS ARE COMING TO MY EYES!
So, I'm at the skin doctor, having some suspicious growths removed, and when I'm done with Dr. Rish, I've got a message on my BlackBerry, a phone call from Irving Azoff. Where should he send the new EAGLES album?
Oh, you know how it is today. LEAKS! I had to promise that I wouldn't duplicate it, wouldn't give it to anybody. NO PROBLEM! I'M TRUSTWORTHY!
I was in Century City getting a new keyboard for my Mac. Thank god for Applecare. Wanna know where it's happening? At the Apple Store. You've got to slalom through the people. And the new Lilliputian Nanos? They're IMPOSSIBLY thin. You want to buy one, no matter HOW MANY iPods you already have.
And Irving said Irene would call, for an address. But as I was buying jeans at the Gap, I'd still heard nothing. I e-mailed Irving. Just leave the disc behind the screen door, messenger it over NOW!
The phone rang. They couldn't do that. But by this time I was already home. They'd send it over.
And I've been waiting for the delivery man ever since. I was getting worried he wouldn't come, that I'd get the package tomorrow.
But, just now, I saw a guy with tattoos through the front window. I opened the door, was he from IRVING?
Irving told me the packaging wasn't perfect. That Henley wanted some of the early covers destroyed, the tiny percentage that didn't have the color right. Looked fine to me, I wouldn't have complained.
And after removing the shrinkwrap with the Wal-Mart sticker, I turn the cardboard package over and see the TWENTY TRACKS ON 2 CDs!
And then I open my computer drawer and insert disc one...
I remember dropping the needle on "Hotel California". Buying the album the day it came out, before anything but "New Kid In Town" was on the radio. I did a double take as the sound came out of the speakers. The same thing JUST HAPPENED! Oh, the sweet SOUND! How could it sound THIS GOOD? NOTHING sounds this good. Everything's squashed today. But this was just like 1976, I felt the group was living RIGHT INSIDE THE SPEAKERS.
The harmonies, this one certain change in "No More Walks In The Wood"... If you had that spirit back in 1969, you'll get it.
The second cut is the single, "How Long". And then came "Busy Being Fabulous".
You remember "Life In The Fast Lane", don't you? Surely make you lose your mind. A feeling we were all familiar with, a scene we knew, the Eagles nailed it, the phrase soon became part of the vernacular.
How come the EAGLES, thirty five years old, can skewer stardom, aligning with our sensibilities here in the cheap seats, and everybody on the hit parade, the rappers to the popsters, think we're buying their shit, think we believe they're fabulous?
When Henley starts to sing, you hear that voice from "The Long Run". It's like it's 1979 all over again.
"I came home to an empty house and I found your little note:
'Don't wait up for me tonight', and that was all she wrote
Do you think I don't know that you're out on the town with all of your high-rollin' friends?
But, what do you do when you come up empty? Where do you go when the party ends?
You were just too busy being fabulous
Too busy to think about us
I don't know what you were dreaming of
Somehow you forgot about love
And you were just too busy being fabulous, uh-huh"
Famous does not make your life work. Might get you laid, but won't get you in a relationship. You've got to be three-dimensional, you've got to be a human being, you've got to be trustworthy. But none of the youngsters singing seem to know this. This is why we loved our acts, THEIR TRUTH! Maybe Don sowed his wild oats, but he grew up. JUST LIKE US!
I've got no idea what the other seventeen tracks sound like. I couldn't get that far, I couldn't wait to e-mail you.
It's not about digesting music, thinking about it. It's about the VISCERAL RESPONSE! Ten minutes in and I'm suddenly linked to who I was back when. I feel like I'm not alone on this earth. I feel like I'm ALIVE!
It's not about airplay, it's not about sales numbers, it's not even about Wal-Mart. It's about music. How does the MUSIC make you feel. The music hasn't been emphasized in such a long time. And, it doesn't matter if you get off on what I do. We don't all have the same crush, we're not all in love with the same person. But, if you were ever an Eagles fan, when you drop the metaphorical needle on "Long Road Out Of Eden", your mind will be positively blown.
(This is where Bob talks about divorce and how this song ties it all up and how we all pray to live through it if God forbid you go through it):
I'm in a relationship now. With another person who's been wounded. We're trying to make our parts mesh. But we're burdened by too many bad experiences, there are constantly misunderstandings. But we persevere. Because that's what we have in common, commitment and dedication. I'm leaving my old life behind. But at moments it creeps back in. Like in the mountains only an hour ago.
I was listening to the new Eagles album on my iPod and I heard this song, "Waiting In The Weeds". It spoke of hope, or rather the evaporation thereof.
"I don't know when I realized the dream was over Well, there was no particular hour, no given day You know, it didn't go down in flame There was no final scene, no frozen frame I just watched it slowly fade away"
I thought the fact we weren't divorced meant we had a chance of getting back together, that was my ace in the hole. Sometimes the ace is not the highest card in the deck. I think I just realized the dream was over. It's about bonding with someone new. But the dream faded so slowly.
"And I've been waiting in the weeds Waiting for the dust to settle down Along the back roads, running through the fields Lying on the outskirts of this lonesome town And I imagine sunlight in your hair You're at the county fair You're holding hands and laughing And now, the Ferris wheel has stopped You're swinging on the top, suspended there with him"
I didn't run into her at the fair, but the Pier. With her new guy, who seemed to have no idea who I was. She seemed uncomfortable, she wanted nothing to do with me. She asked me if I had any money. And then she was gone. "I've been stumbling through some dark places But I'm following the plow I know I've fallen out of your good graces But it's all right now"
Shortly thereafter, we instituted divorce proceedings. The six month waiting period was eerie. Then the day arrived, and I was free. I've been to some dark places. I hope you haven't been. But I'm beginning to believe it's the human condition. Try to hang on, do what you need to get through. Try to avoid numbing the pain. Rely on your friends. If you can just hang on, you can get through. At least that's the way I see it.
(Bob can get really in touch with music, but about that epic title song...)
The first track on the second disc of the new Eagles album is a ten minute epic. You won’t hear it on the radio. Certainly not during the morning, when the zoo is open for business and the animals are out. And not during drive time, when the commercials need to be squeezed in. And the band is neither fish nor fowl, neither pop nor country. There’s nowhere for them to fit.
And those stereos we bought back then. They’ve been replaced by home theatres. We’ve got all the porn we can eat on our computer screens, but we listen via tiny little speakers. The old temples of worship are long gone. Those rooms with giant JBLs, ready to blow your hair back like in that Maxell ad.
And you wonder why we’re in shit shape. We’ve lost our infrastructure, we can’t even decipher the tablets handed down to us.
You can go to an Eagles show and relive the seventies. But they were never about live. The Eagles were about records. Home, at a friend’s house, as a friend rolled a joint in an album cover and the music came pouring out of the speakers. One of these nights, that’s for sure.
This isn’t about the cult of celebrity. This isn’t about whether you approve of Don Henley. This is about whether you BELIEVE! In the power of music, in brotherhood. Or are you just out for yourself, living in a gated community, keeping the riff-raff out? Is it somebody else’s problem, or yours?
I can tell you, it’s OURS!
Those are the questions. I’d like to tell you I have the answers. I don’t. But the questions came to my brain while I was listening to the title track of the new Eagles album. The music set my mind free. It didn’t make me dance. Didn’t only make me think about my libido. It made me ponder this fucked up world we live in.
Don’t tell me our hands are tied. Don’t tell me you can’t care. Don’t tell me about major labels. I don’t give a shit what Rapino thinks, Barry Diller either.
Doug Morris can kiss my fucking ass. Jimmy Iovine can follow the dollar off into the sunset for all I care.
It’s not about any of these fucks. It’s about the musicians. And one good thing about this post-Napster era is the bands are now free to follow their own muse, do it their own way. Maybe we can get back to where we once belonged.
Or do you have to lose a loved one. Or your house. Or your pension. What has to happen for you to be motivated?
Sure, musicians need to get paid. But if that’s why they’re doing it, the music sucks. Art is a higher calling. Don’t listen to the President, listen to the records. Find someone who’s saying something. Tune in, and drop in.
Start with "Long Road To Eden". You’ll hear the darkness and despair. It’ll motivate you to DO SOMETHING!
We’re all in this together. It’s about time everybody realized this. My generation stopped a war. We have the power. And with the music alongside us, we’re UNBEATABLE!
Weaving down the American highway
Through the litter and the wreckage and the cultural junk
Bloated with entitlement; loaded on propaganda
And now we’re driving dazed and drunk
Been down the road to Damascus, the road to Mandalay
Met the ghost of Caesar on the Appian Way
He said, ‘It’s hard to stop this bingeing, once you get a taste’‘
But the road to empire is a bloody, stupid waste’
Behold the bitten apple - the power of the toolsBut all the knowledge in the world is of no use to fools
And it’s a long road out of Eden
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Tuesday, October 16, 2007
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Monday, October 15, 2007
Now all we have to do is work on Billy C heading off to 22nd and R for those keg stands, and all will be right with the program. The funniest part of this whole thing? Less than three months ago, NU extended Pederson's contract through 2013. Which in turn, led Stevie P to extend Billy C through something like 2019. They'll be eating money and contracts like Pac Man.
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- Go Larry Eustachy on Stevie P and Billy C. Have some fraternity or better yet sorority or even BETTER an off campus party at the likes of 22nd and R Street. Chances are slim to none that you won't get either of our boys there, but both have "moral clauses" in their contracts. A few shots of these guys doing Jello Shots, Jagger Bombs and Callahan licking whip cream off some little hotties chest, problem solved.
- The more likely scenario. I'm guessing Harvey Pearlman opened his Outlook today and counted something over 1,000 new messages, most of them from donors and boosters saying their cancelling checks and won't donate another penny until that rat bastard Pederson is gone. And he'll probably have to find a way to get rid of Scott Peterson too. Here's the perfect way to bring back immediate goodwill and unite the fan base: Buy out Pederson (and Scott), and announce that Tom Osborne is the new Athletic Director of the University of Nebraska. Hell, it doesn't even MATTER if TO is qualified for the gig. Bob Devaney spent the last 15 years of that job getting shitfaced and going to the Sidetracks on gamedays. It didn't matter. Giving the AD role to Devaney was the right thing to do, just like Wisconsin did with Barry Alvarez. I criticized TO when his team's would stink up the joint to the Florida schools, but the man eventually figured it out and ended his career in a way that can only be compared to The Sopranos final season. Both left on top, both left with their A game clearly in place, and both probably could have gone two more years dominating their professions. I have no idea what TO's health is, I know he's smarting from losing the Governor race, and it's public knowledge that he is still absolutely livid about how Pederson handled the Solich thing. As one former coach told me, "Osborne's got the memory of a fucking elephant. He'll bring up every single time you fucked up, even if it was minor, just to make sure he didn't forget." Becoming AD for Nebraska right now would be even BIGGER than being elected Governor, if you can believe that. After TO's announced as AD, things will start falling into place. Perhaps Billy C feels the noose tighter and thinks being Offensive Coordinator for the Rams is a good idea. Maybe Bo Pellini petitions again to come back to Lincoln.
Whatever the case, David Bowie is right: It's not really work, it's just the power to charm. Stevie P and Billy C have lost that power. Even if TO turned into Bob Hope in his latter years, he'd still have that power over the state of Nebraska.
Saturday, October 13, 2007
Since I refuse to listen to the game on the Husker Radio Network, I sat and watched the live FOX scoreboard (really a pretty up-to-the second and accurate little tool), and when it was 38-0 at halftime, I was actually praying for a shutout. Somebody told me the homer announcers on the radio were actually APOLOGIZING for what was happening, as if to go and listen to something else. Mackenzie actually suggested that the Billy C era has been worse than the Barry Collier Hoops era. OUCH. I compared Callahan to former New York Giants coach Ray Handley, who lost control of a football, was fired and never heard from again. I thought Billy C might start growing long ears and a tail like Pinocchio and turn into a jackass before halftime. Nebraska only has to win two games to become Bowl eligible; I don't think they can even win one more.
I've mentioned before that I've personally had the chance to meet Billy C three times. He's the ultimate salesman, through and through. All he's done since he's been here is sell. He came in with the West Coast Offense like the guy with the Monorail idea on The Simpsons ("Is there a chance the line could bend? Not on your life my hindu friend!"). We all lined up to see the new fireworks. Then we bought into the 4 and 5 star recruits, the kind not even Osborne could find. Where the hell are they? It's like getting XM radio in a new car and only getting local AM. We all got Corn fed this shit, and make no mistake, it's now officially over. There is no saving this season. You can spin this as good as Billy C could, but it's done. Go look at even the year he went to the Super Bowl in Oakland. That team almost quit on him THEN.
Now, on to Stevie P. It's highly unlikely something drastic is going to happen during the season, but if Harvey Pearlman really wants to make a statement and not lose the biggest cash cow this state has ever or will ever see, he's gotta ask Stevie to resign. Fire him if you have too. Sure, there are going to be financially consequences to firing both AD and head coach, but nothing that boosters can't surely come up with. You wanna bet some folks would fork over money to bring in the next Bob Stoops. And everyone knows, no coach worth his salt is going to work under Stevie P. It's like working for Jerry Jones. And the only guy he could find after firing Jimmy Johnson was someone off the scrap heap, just like Stevie P did here.
It was only fitting that the 1997 National Championship team was present for this game, including Tom Osborne. My guess is those boys were very vocal (remember, this was a team with BOTH Jason Peter and Grant Wistrom). That was only 10 years ago. It may be another ten before this program gets back on track. CLICK TO READ ENTIRE POST!
Friday, October 12, 2007
- Michican (-6) over Purdue. Is it crazy to think that after Michigan started the year 0-2 after that devastating home loss to Appalachian State that now all of a sudden the Wolverines can somehow win the Big 10? Billy C might want to take a lesson here--you can actually get BETTER as the year goes on. Oh wait, Carr doesn't have Cosgrove in Ann Arbor. Nevermind.
- Syracuse (+17.5) over Rutgers. Rutgers is looking more and more like the Dexy's Midnight Runners of College Football. All you've got on your playlist is "Come on Eileen" (that big win against Louisville last year). Now? Well, you might play Nebraska in the Independence Bowl.
- Ohio (-4) over Eastern Michigan. Don't believe anything you hear from NU pundits. Frank Solich is laughing his ass off all over the place right now. But his team is in need of a win, so he better stop saying, "Without Question" at every press conference and worry about this game.
- South Carolina (-7.5) over North Carolina. Oh sure, THIS is the year that old ball coach decides he's got himself a football team. Just something a few boys who took to Vegas about one year ago would have liked to know about.
- Oklahoma State (+4) at Nebraska. My favorite part of the week was that finally Nebraska reporters started getting on Callahan at his weekly presser. Asking questions like, "Why do you say the same thing every week? Why do you always say 'We're getting better?" People are really, really starting to take him to task. And I said earlier this is just the game he comes out and wins, but I'll say by a field goal. BTW, I wish some reporter would ask Billy C next week if he went and downloaded the new Radiohead album and how much, if anything he contributed to get it. And I've got a crisp $100 bill to the first reporter who says, "Coach, it's inevitable you're firing Cosgrove at the end of the season. Why not just do it now? You could even give him the new Radiohead album on the way out."
- Texas (-17) over Iowa State. There are two schools of thought going around this week that make absolutely no sense: 1. The Big 12 North is all of a sudden better than the Big 12 South; 2. Texas has already packed it in for the season. Yeah, come back in about three weeks and say both of those things.
- California (-14.5) over Oregon State. Cal's looking like some sort of real deal, but they aren't in LSU's league yet. But give Cal credit. They get that style points matter. They could be up by 14 with 5 seconds left and the ball on Oregon States one yard line, where all they'd have to do is take a knee. This Cal team would punch it in, rankling the gambling community and pissing off other coaches in the process. Good for them.
- Texas Tech (-10) over Texas A&M. I'm sure everyone's aware at how much the shit hit the fan this week with the Aggies and their coach, and how former NU AD backtracked faster than Kent Thompson in a produce room. There's some unrest down there. A&M's just not that good. Oh, they can beat Nebraska at Nebraska, but hell, Ball State was thisclose to doing that.
- Missouri (+12) over Oklahoma. This is the truth "North vs. South" game. Missouri made Nebraska look like Kansas circa 1983 last week. Yes the game's in Norman, but if this year's taught us anything, 12 points is an AWFUL lot of points. Especially for a team that's legitimately underrated. Think about this. The Tigers are undefeated, ranked #12 nationally, and are 12 point dogs at Norman. And oh by the way, OU got beat on the road to....Colorado??? LOCK OF THE WEEK BABY. God I feel like Jimmy The Greek. I could use a Winston Owl Cigar.
- Auburn (+3) over Arkansas. Houston Nutt is officially target #1 on the alleged hot seat (you remember Houston Nutt, right, the #1 candidate to take over the Nebraska program??) Which reminds me, is Nebraska Head Football Coach THAT bad of a job? I mean, Devaney and Osborne are going to have statues erected in their honor. And you're telling me when looking for a coach, the best you could come up with was Houston Nutt, and a guy who just had his head handed to him from Al Davis? Yeah, living in Nebraska can be boring, it's not on anyone's top places to live. But my God, you could probably make $2 million a year and become king of the midwest. Or at least get a chance to run for Governor and lose.
Last week: 6-2
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There was considerable rivalry between bands over which of us was having the most fun on the road. Led Zeppelin were considered to be the masters, with bands like the Rolling Stones and The Who close behind. By comparison, we were Little League, but the one area we did excel was in attracting women. We were young, famous, good-looking and rich. We were right up there on the list of rock-star scalps the groupies wanted to add to their belts.
Glenn [Frey] once publicly described our life on the road as: “Got crazy, got drunk, got high, had girls, played music and made money.” He challenged Led Zeppelin to the claim of supreme party animals, maintaining: “We threw the greatest travelling party of the Seventies.” He was right.
As a band, we had a policy of only ever doing two two-song encores, and after we released the album One of These Nights (1975) that was used to our advantage. While we were onstage, the road crew would scout the audience for willing participants and offer them backstage passes for what became known as the Third Encore – the party after the show.
Later, Don [Henley] and Glenn took the system to a higher level of sophistication. Laminated passes were done away with – too indiscreet – and little buttons, with “3E” written on them in yellow English Gothic print on a black background were passed out by the handful. The message was that the Eagles were having a party and would like to invite these women back to their hotel suite. No boyfriends were invited.
Despite the “relief” on offer, the tensions within the band continued to deepen. Everything from facial expressions to talking too much became an issue, and nerves were frayed. Don and Glenn decided they were going to take control of every aspect of the Eagles, and a lot of emotion was vented – in between the drug-taking.
In March 1976 our record company, Asylum, released a greatest-hits album. None of us had a say in the decision. A week after its release, Eagles – Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975 had sold a million copies on its way to becoming one of the biggest albums of all time (41 million sold worldwide, and counting).
The trappings of success were ours by now, especially when we went on the road again for a 26-city tour. We took Lear jets the way other people took taxis. We drank champagne and snorted cocaine. Groupies were a common feature of the early parties, but Don Henley’s discrimination and discretion increased with his wealth. He began dating high-class, high-profile women and would arrange to have them come out on the road one after another, because the quality of groupies for the 3E parties was very inconsistent from town to town. During what he considered the weakest part of the tour he’d import girls from LA. Glenn did this too.
After two serious relationships ended with the woman leaving him, Don began a two-year on-off relationship with Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac, who were on the road as much as we were. He began paying for her to be flown between Eagles and Fleetwood Mac gigs, engendering the band’s new catchphrase: “Love ’em and Lear ’em.”
I blame the drugs more than anything for what happened with the Eagles. We went from a bunch of young guys hanging out together to five men who couldn’t stand each other. Not that I was going to complain at the time. I honestly didn’t know how much I had in the bank back then. I was a rock’n’roll star, and the business managers could see to the cash flow.
The final recording and editing of the Hotel California album took place at Criteria Studios, Miami. Fresh rifts began to open up. In the words of Glenn Frey, “No one can suck the fun out of a room faster than Don Henley.” But his perfectionism undoubtedly worked; thanks to Don and his insistence on doing everything just so, we produced probably our most brilliant studio album. But the process was sometimes difficult to live with.
In between takes, Don had become a prolific letter-writer. In one he composed to the studio maid, he insisted that the floral toilet paper be put on the roll the other way around so it rolled off the top, pointing out that if it was meant to come off the bottom, the little pink flowers would have been printed on the undersides of the sheets. Where you would see them.
We endured seven quarrelsome months in Miami, broken only by a concert tour. After what seemed like an eternity, we finally delivered an album that continues to dominate the hearts of America. On January 14, 1977, three weeks after its release, we kicked off a world tour. Aside from snatched moments of happiness, however, the gruelling nature of what we were doing took its toll. In Montreal, when there was a screw-up on a hotel reservation, Don blamed our long-time road manager, Richie Fernandez, and ordered him to be fired. This led the rest of the crew, already unhappy with the atmosphere, to dub it the Prison California tour. “The Gods”, as Glenn and Don were called behind their backs, were taking the reins, and those that opposed them were either expelled or driven out. In 18 months I’d lost my two best friends in the band – Bernie [Leadon], that fiery streak of brilliance [who left after One of These Nights], and gentle Randy Meisner, the sweetest man in the music business [who quit after the release of Hotel California].
In the summer of 1979 we were back to the grindstone in Miami. In September our album The Long Run was released. It took 18 months to record, almost a year longer than Hotel California, and it nearly killed us. It debuted at No 1, but the critics savaged it. Instead of resting, as we should have done, we played Japan, Hawaii, the East Coast and the Southern states, before embarking on another world tour. In Japan, I bought my wife Susan a beautiful kimono, hand-embroidered, in heavy material. Don Henley bought 20.
The new decade began with us at the top of the charts. But nonstop touring was getting us all down. After each show, we’d head off to our individual hotel rooms. Only when the stage lights came on were we a unified rock’n’roll band.
Then Glenn committed us to playing a benefit gig at the Long Beach Arena on July 31, 1980, for the reelection of the liberal California senator Alan Cranston, a night that would become known as “Long Night at Wrong Beach”.
Glenn knew I wasn’t comfortable with a rock band doing a show for politicians. His hostility was compounded when Mrs [Norma] Cranston walked up to me backstage to say hello just before we went onstage. “Hello,” I replied. “Nice to meet you . . .” As she walked away, I added, under my breath: “I guess.”
Glenn heard this. He found me in the dressing room and started yelling at me. I don’t know if it was the drugs, or the fact that we’d been on tour for so long, but he just blew up. Just before we stepped onstage I turned to him and said: “You know, Glenn, what you just did back there? You’re an asshole for doing that.”
He replied: “That’s an honour, coming from you.”
We walked onstage, and he came over while we were playing The Best of my Love and said: “Fuck you. I’m gonna kick your ass when we get off the stage.” Neither of us really wanted to be there that night, and for me it was one gig too many. As the night progressed, we both grew angrier and began hissing at each other under our breath. The sound technicians feared the audience might hear our outbursts, so they lowered Glenn’s microphone until he had to sing. He approached me after every song to rant, rave, curse – and let me know how many songs remained before our fight.
When we came offstage and were waiting to be called back for the first encore I stayed by myself, trying to calm down. Then I remembered something [the Eagles’ multi-instrumentalist] Joe Walsh would do to release tension. I told my guitar tech, Jimmy Collins: “Take that shit acoustic guitar I play on Lyin’ Eyes and put it by the back door.”
When the gig finished, most of the band took off in their limos – anything to get away from the atmosphere between Glenn and me. I thought I’d be the last to leave the building. I towelled myself down and headed for the back door. Seeing the guitar Jimmy had put out for me, I took a deep breath, picked it up – and smashed it as hard as I could against a concrete column.
By the time I’d finished it was kindling on the floor. I turned and saw the Cranstons standing right behind me, their mouths agape. A few feet away stood a stony-faced Glenn. This had had little or nothing to do with the Cranstons, but Glenn thought I did that right in front of them to drive it up his butt.
“Typical of you to break your cheapest guitar,” Glenn told me after the Cranstons had hurried off to their car. Afraid of what I might do if I opened my mouth to respond, I jumped into my limo and sped off.
Within a few days, I’d cooled down. The phone rang. It was our producer, Bill Szymczyk. “What’s the schedule for the band?” I asked.
A small silence fell. “There is no band at this time,” he said. It was 1980, and the Eagles were history.
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Tuesday, October 09, 2007
"They might not win another game this year."
We've got the legitimate Fire Steve Pederson and of course the Fire Callahan sites all over the place. There's a great website called Coaches Hot Seat, which ranks all of the college football coaches who are in trouble. It's a great list, saying who's on the hot seat, on the edge, and safe for now.
The number one coach on the hot seat? Houston Nutt, the guy Stevie P (whether he admits it or not) wanted in the first place. Billy C finally cracked the official hot seat list (it should be noted that Frank Solich is "on the edge", but that's not the real point here).
Finally, FINALLY, the Omaha World Herald has stopped drinking the Kool-Aid and calling things as they see them, especially in Lee Barfknecht's now infamous column where he says, "How many times have fans heard Callahan say, 'I don't have a clear-cut answer for that.' Isn't finding answers to NU's problems why he's paid $4,800 per day???"
But a smaller rag (Nebraska State Paper.Com) has more famously declared mutiny on the program, begging fans NOT to order this weeks Oklahoma State game on pay-per-view. Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy and his rant, it should be noted, is right after Billy C on the hot list. But He's a MAN! He's 40!
The most significant thing about this season so far is how it actually feels a helluva lot worse than 2004. My two biggest memories of 2004 are the infamous 70-10 blowout at Texas Tech, and then the "Fucking Hillbillies" game at Oklahoma, where Nebraska was a 30 point underdog and Billy C went out of his way to kick a field goal as time expired to avoid a shutout and lose 30-3, ruining the gambling community's weekend in the process. Saturday night, Missouri looked far better than that Oklahoma team, and also didn't let Nebraska score a touchdown.
All of a sudden, road games at Kansas (where that fat ass Mark Mangino is somehow becoming coach of the year) and Colorado look dangerous. Kansas State at home is no longer a lock. So it's time to seriously re-evaluate what the rest of the season is going to look like, and why there will be no Big 12 North Championship for the Corn (and this is mostly because KU and MU are having miracle seasons mind you) and there could be a house cleaning in Lincoln come December worse than the one that's going to happen to the Yankees:
- 10/13 Oklahoma State: This is probably where that cockroach Billy C finds a way to win a close one at home and tease the fans for just a little bit. I'll say a W, but I'm not altogether putting the house on the line with that W.
- 10/20 Texas A&M: Remember, this is a huge revenge game for the Aggies, and something tells me that Billy Byrne would love nothing more than to return back to the sky suites he built and show Stevie P a thing or two. This looks like a relatively easy road win, and where fans really, REALLY start to press the panic button because...
- 10/27 @ Texas: No, Texas aint what it used to be during the Vince Young era, and Nebraska should have beat them at home last year. But this one's on the road, and the hunch is by this week, Colt McCoy will have developed into the quarterback everyone thought he was going into the season. LOSS
- 11/03 @ Kansas: This is looking like the ugliest game of the season. The real "Mangenius" has officially rebuilt the Kansas football program into a legitimate Big 12 North contender. The Jayhawk fans will be louder than the Tiger fans were. Two years ago, Nebraska got there heads handed to them at Lawrence, and barely squeaked out a win last year at home. Another Loss, and by this point in time, NU Athletic Program boosters till be going on record saying that heads must roll.
- 11/10 Kansas State: The last time K-State came into Lincoln and dominated the Corn was the game in which Stevie P decided Solich had to go. Fans left early. K-State fans stuck around and outnumbered the Husker fans. It was an ugly experience. I remember Pederson literally walking upstairs, visiting suite after suite, and you just knew he was going to do something drastic. The result on the field could be similar here (remember, in 2005, Billy C pulled Harrison Beck out of his redshirt to come in and save a must-win game against the Wildcats in Lincoln). Another home LOSS.
- 11/23 @ Colorado: Of course, after that 2003 fiasco against K-State at home, Solich rallied the troops to a huge win at Boulder in a win that everyone (including that flip flop Tom Shatel) figured gave Solich at least one more year. Somehow, Solich got everybody, his hand-picked coaching staff and even Jamall Lord for crying out loud, to come out and beat the favored Buffs. I don't see Callahan's Kids doing the same sort of rally. I mean, it isn't like Sam Keller and Marlon Lucky have been on record as saying they'd run through a brick wall for Billy C. But by this point in time, it'd probably be too late for Callahan to save his job, and as history has shown us, when he knows he's out the door, he packs shit up quick. This will be the final Loss of the Callahan era.
This would put the Corn at 5-7, and that my friends, in year four would be completely unacceptable. It's time to start looking for the next young genius that can now do what Mangino had to do in Lawrence. Completely turn a program around the right way.CLICK TO READ ENTIRE POST!