Friday, April 3, 2009

Eyeing little blogs with bad intent...

I’d have bet my next paycheck that MU head basketball coach Mike Anderson would’ve bolted to Georgia or Memphis and the money they were about to throw at him.  Good thing I didn’t, because in a rare display of loyalty in college hoops, Anderson decided to remain in Columbia and signed a seven-year contract extension.  He could’ve gotten a lot more money from those other schools, too, but I bet he figured why start over somewhere else when I just spent three years rebuilding a program that is now poised to be a perennial Big 12 power?  Finally, some stability at MU, both in basketball and football, for a change…

LOU SABAN, 1922-2009
Colorful football coaching legend Lou Saban passed away over the weekend of congestive heart failure at age 87.  Lou—no relation to turncoat Alabama head coach Nick Saban—was the original head coach of the then-Boston Patriots in the old AFL, and later led the Buffalo Bills to back-to-back AFL titles in ’64 and ’65 and coached them again in the mid ‘70s (when double-murderer O.J. Simpson still legally ran amok) after a stint as Denver Broncos head coach from ’67 to ‘69.  During Saban’s tenure in Denver, NFL Films captured one of the funniest sideline coach sound bytes of all-time (included in this video remembrance) when Lou—exasperated by the play of his offense—uttered those immortal words, "They’re killin’ me, Whitey—they’re killin’ me!!"  Assistant coach Whitey Dovell was the target of Lou’s hissy-fit, and to this day, I often use "They’re killin’ me, Whitey…" during my own little fits of rage, although most people don’t have a clue what I’m talking about.  Saban had another famous sound byte before the cameras during a locker room pep talk in Buffalo in the ‘70s:  "You can get it done…what’s more, ya GOTTA get it done!"  Rest in peace, Lou…

Speaking of the Patriots, I can actually remember when they were still called the "Boston" Patriots when I was little, and hearing that name always warms my heart.  "New England" Patriots always leaves me a little flat, for some reason, even though they play an hour away from Beantown now.  Same goes for "Florida" Marlins—it sounds too much like Florida Evans from "Good Times".  I hope they finally get their new stadium in Miami proper so they can finally be the Miami Marlins.  "Washington" Bullets is another lame example—Baltimore Bullets sounded so much cooler with the alliteration (plus they had the coolest uniforms in the NBA back in the day).  At least Washington Wizards sounds slightly hipper than Washington Bullets, and it’s a damn sight better than Washington Nationals—what a bland name for a team!

Famed Kansas City-based architectural firm HOK Sport Venues, best known for their designs of major stadiums and arenas around the world, like the new Yankee Stadium and Citi Field in Gotham City, the new Twins stadium in Minneapolis, and the retrofitting of our own Truman Sports Complex, has changed its name to Populous.  That’s nice, but get a load of the bugle oil they’re spouting about their new name:  "Populous allows us to enthusiastically embrace the expertise we uniquely claim—drawing people together," according to senior partner Joe Spear.  What the hell does all that have to do with designing stadiums?  I hate it when these big corporations get all lofty and spin-doctor-y over some name change—why don’t you just admit that you bought yourselves out from your parent ownership group and shut the hell up already?

Ain't it amazing how the only time construction workers ever seem to go on strike is when they're doing a major project like a stadium or arena, a convention center, airport or high-rise hotel?  That's what's been happening here this week with a couple of the unions involved in remodeling Arrowhead and Kauffman Stadiums.  Funny how these union schlubs never get the urge to go on strike when they're building a Wal-Mart or a Starbucks or something.  Forgetting the stadiums for a moment, I think these som-bitches have one helluva nerve going on strike during this economic climate—I bet there's a few thousand unemployed construction workers out there who would gladly cross their picket lines and take their places.

Hate to keep beating a dead horse here, but I read another discussion about the Crock ‘N’ Roll Hall of Fame on this week about why classic groups like Rush and the Moody Blues are excluded from consideration for the Hall, yet "Rockers" like Run-DMC get voted in.  You can read the whole thing here, but here are a couple snippets:

—According to Joel Peresman, president and CEO of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation, Inc., the initial selections are made by a committee of 30 to 35 music business people.

I think we’ve hit upon the operative word here—business!

—"It’s not really that this one [act] sold this many albums or this many tickets," explains Peresman.  "It’s really ‘What’s the significance of the artist? And why should they be inducted?’"

Duhhh!  That’s precisely the point I’ve been trying to make this whole time—what impact and/or influence has that artist had on Rock ‘N’ Roll music over time?  You can’t tell me that Rush or the Moody Blues or Kiss or the dozens of other HOF-worthy acts who are annually snubbed by this sham institution aren’t significant.  And I defy any of these committee people to explain the "significance" of Leonard Cohen to us.  I bet if you polled 100 average Rock fans, not a damn one of them could to tell you who Cohen is.  Hell, I’m a very above-average Rock fan, and even I can’t tell you who the hell he is without looking him up on the Internet!  Throw me a frickin’ bone here…

Come on Joel, ol’ buddy, ol’ pal—why don’t you just come out and admit that the selection process for the Hall is pure politics perpetrated by a bunch of elitist music journalist snobs who wouldn’t know Rock ‘N’ Roll if it bit them in the ass?

"Get Over It"—THE EAGLES (1994)
  "…wallow in the guilt, you wallow in the pain/You wave it like a flag, yeah, you wear it like a crown…"  I originally thought Don Henley sang "you wear it like a badge", as in red badge of courage, which would still fit right in with the Jerry Springer/Moron Povich crowd.  Easily my favorite Eagles song of all-time, too.

Brian Griffin:  "Shouldn’t there be an ‘o’ in ‘country’?"
Glen Quagmire:  "No"

Why is it TV and movie people who go on skiing weekends with their friends always have the ulterior motive of scoring hot chicks or hot guys?  I think I’d forego the skiing altogether and just stay home and shoot for getting laid instead—it’s safer!

I re-watched one of my all-time favorite comedy flicks this week, the mighty Car Wash from the 1976.  For some reason, I have an affinity with movies that don’t really have a plot to speak of—like American Graffiti, The Big Chill, Hollywood Knights and Fast Times At Ridgemont High—and CW fits in that groove.  It featured a typical work day at a Los Angeles semi-automatic car wash emporium staffed by dysfunctional employees and frequented by even crazier customers (Pop Bottle Bomber, anyone?).  The movie was shot on location at an actual old-school car wash at 6th & Rampart in L.A. (long since demolished in the ‘80s), which made things seem all the more real, and many of the shenanigans that went on there were certainly very believable—made you almost want to work there!

The cameo appearances by the late Richard Pryor and George Carlin or even the Pointer Sisters and "Saturday Night Live"’s Garrett Morris in Car Wash weren’t even necessary—they were merely there to lend a little star power—and this film could’ve easily made it on its own with its ensemble cast of mostly unknowns, some of whom made names for themselves later.  You had a pre-Huggy Bear Antonio Fargas playing the ever-flaming Lindy…Darrow Igus, who played Floyd, later became a regular on ABC’s "Fridays"…future MTV VJ J.J. Jackson was the radio DJ voice over the closing credits…and a pre-"thirtysomething" Melanie Mayron looked infinitely cuter here playing busty cashier Marsha before she lost all that weight, IMO.  There were also a few other familiar names in the cast, like ex-Hogan Hero Ivan Dixon, comedian Franklin Ajaye (a Pryor wanna-be with the biggest afro this side of the late Billy Preston), and even Oakland Raiders defensive behemoth Otis Sistrunk, who played the cook at the diner across the street.  Danny DeVito was even in the original screen version of Car Wash, but this thing has been butchered up so many times for re-issue on VHS and DVD, and his scenes plus a few others have vanished over time for reasons unknown.

Oh, and did I mention the killer soundtrack?  It featured some great stuff from the dying days of old-school ‘70s Soul and R&B, right before Disco came along and finished it off...

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