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Friday, April 27, 2007

Happy Friday!

How does everyone feel about some Cubs vs. Cardinals action at Barretts tonight? The game is at 7 pm. Cub losing, drinking, and general hilarity to ensue.

How was the Bright Eyes show Pete, Hales, and MIB? Sucky, I am sure.

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Thursday, April 26, 2007

You asked for it...

I finally got ticketed for driving with expired plates. The cop was a pretty good guy about it. Just told me to get them renewed. I told him I'd been out of the country for seven months. He laughed. Hard. I now know how long you can drive on expired plates...seven months. Turns out when the stickers have turned colors twice on you, your plates tend to stand out. Don't judge me.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

F this guy.

It was announced today that Mark Prior will not throw a pitch in 2007. That is all.

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Hey! You...you copiers!

Just ran across this site, which features this t-shirt:

Get your own damn t-shirt idea! Ooooohhh...you guys have your fancy "functioning" website! That doesn't mean you can take our dreams from us!

And just as a friendly reminder...the ORIGINAL Heavy Soul Apparel "Nebraska Nation" is still available! But hurry...only a few of the original press shirts remain! Show your Nebraska pride in this one-of-a-kind, limited-edition t-shirt!

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Good Guys: 2 Old, Overrated Guys: 0

The Bulls continued their systematic dismantling of the reigning NBA Champion Miami Heat, 107-89.

Chicago shot 55.1% from the field, including 64.7% (!) from three. Ben Gordon and Luol Deng led the way offensively with 27 and 26 points each, respectively.

I, for one, am not the slightest bit suprised by this. Yes, it is easy to write off a comment like this from me as I have always loved the Bulls. However, this year is different. I really did not watch much of the NBA this season until the final month of the season, when Pete and I began our enjoyable late night "Tyrus Thomas is sweet" and "Golden State vs. the Suns is like watching the best game of pickup basketball...ever" text message sessions.

Since then, I have felt that the Bulls are a big-time threat to make it to the NBA Finals. So I probably shouldn't have been suprised when my friends at ESPN decided to go ahead and pick against them almost across the board (I figured I would stick with a coherent theme posting over the past couple of days: ESPN sucks). Here are some examples:

--Jeff Weltman (ESPN.com/Scouts, Inc.): "In other words, this series will come down largely to controlling tempo. With Shaq, Alonzo, and a host of quality wing defenders executing Riley's defensive machine, I don't want to bet against the Heat controlling tempo. Wade's shoulder and knee will clearly determine how Heat-like Miami is this series, but I'm assuming he is OK. PREDICTION: MIAMI 4, CHICAGO 2"

What is funny about Weltman is if you continue to read down to his bio, you uncover this nugget of goodness: "NBA analyst Jeff Weltman was assistant general manager of the Denver Nuggets from 2001 to 2006. From 1988 to 2001, he served the Los Angeles Clippers in various personnel, scouting and administrative roles." Wow. No wonder you're so good at breaking down the NBA, Jeff! ESPN only pulls those with the finest sports backgrounds, don't they? (See: Phillips, Steve)

--The other ESPN.com "experts:" Mark Anthony, Heat in 6; Broussard, Heat in 6; Hollinger, Bulls in 6; Sheridan, Heat in 7; Marc Stein, Heat in 6. As far as ESPN Radio goes, I have no links, but do not recall a single host or guest picking the Bulls.

Now, am I ready to say that this series is over? Hell no. We are dealing with a Chicago team here. But the way the Bulls have just destroyed Miami so far with overwhelming team athleticism and scoring ability, I just don't see how they can blow a 2-0 lead. And further proof that ESPN employs people who are paid to have an opinion...just not one they have to back up or anything.

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Stating the REALLY Obvious: Mike & Mike In The Morning Is Really Annoying

Again, I feel like I'm just pissing in the wind here, but...Mike Greenberg is really, really annoying.

This morning he breathlessly threw out the hyperbole:

"Alex Rodriguez is having the best start to a season in the history of baseball."

Jesus Christ. How can you be just months from completely throwing this guy under the bus to hero-worshipping him? Especially when it is ultimately leading to the Yankees having an 8-10 record and 4 games back from first (sitting in fourth place, half a game in front of Tampa Bay)?

Not only that, but can we really say this is the best start to a season ever? I mean, I'm sure ol' Greeny poured over hours of web time on Baseball Prospectus and everything, but I'm guessing that there have been similar starts. Hell, here are some in very recent history. I'll have a little guessing game...I left out the games played and home runs here because it would be obvious:

Any guesses? Would you say, looking at these stats (in order to see them better, click on the picture and you can actually read the numbers), that one line is the "best start in the history of baseball?" Of course you wouldn't. You wouldn't because, dear Heavy Souler, you are one of sound judgement and rational opinion-making.

So, have you decided who applies to what line? Like I said, these stat lines are from recent history. And when I say recent history, I mean the years 2005, 2006, and 2007. The players are Derrek Lee (2005), Albert Pujols (2006), and A-Rod (2007).

How could you possibly suggest that the greatest start in the history of Major League Baseball--keep in mind, that spans over 131 years--could be incredibly similar to the best starts of the past two years? If it were the best start in the history of baseball, A-Rod's numbers would be about 20% better in virtually every category over the best starts of the past two years. In fact, I would argue that--unless A-Rod stays as hot or gets hotter over the next six games remaining in April--Albert Pujols had the all-around better month. And Derrek Lee's 2005 start could certainly be favorably compared, especially in the "pure hitter" sense.

Again, to people like Mike Greenberg and the majority of those at ESPN, all that matters is the East Coast, and in baseball, that just means Boston and New York. As long as a player hits a bunch of home runs in the month of April and they have a "B" or a "NY" on their hat, it translates into "the greatest start in baseball history."

It is utterly ridiculous, and beyond me that these guys NEVER get called out on stuff like this by ANYONE that joins them on the air. In the era of instant gratification and the need to have up-to-the-minute news five minutes ago, these type of people get a free pass. Well, not anymore, fuckers! Heavy Soul is on your ass!

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Monday, April 23, 2007

Stating The Obvious: SportsCenter Is Very Annoying

Let's see...it is April 23rd. 22 days into the baseball season. A regular-season matchup couldn't be that important, could it? I mean, you've got the NBA and NHL playoffs. The NFL Draft is coming up this weekend (although I do not have any idea as to how you could possibly cover it anymore).

You're a producer and/or writer for ESPN's SportsCenter. You ask yourself, "hey, what should we lead off with on the show today?" What's your answer?

"I've got it! 9 straight minutes--from the top until the first commercial break--on the Yankees/Red Sox series this weekend!"

Really? That's your answer? After you covered it ad nauseum all weekend, not to mention roughly 1/3 of the SportsCenter that aired last night/this morning? We still need an uninterrupted 9 minutes of this? And you're already showing commercial teasers for more repeats of this series for later in THIS SHOW?

I understand that the Red Sox and Yankees are the biggest rivalry in baseball. It is home to the two most popular teams in the sport. But does it really merit obnoxious coverage three weeks into the 162 game baseball season? In particular when the NBA playoffs have gotten off to such a underdog-themed start?

No, none of this matters. What matters is that ESPN does not believe that sports exist outside of the northeast corner of the United States (unless USC is playing football, and...well, that's about it).

I am not even sure why I'm even typing these thoughts out--it is an obvious complaint, and has been talked and written about as much as this series as been covered on this episode of SportsCenter. But sometimes when you can't take it anymore, you just can't take it anymore.

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Will Ferrell's Internets Debut...

Will Ferrell and his writing partner started a website called "Funny or Die," where people vote on the videos uploaded as to whether they are funny or should be sent to "The Crypt." It is pretty cool.


Here is the link if you have not seen it.


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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Save Internet Radio


I got this e-mail from Pandora, which is a internet radio website. This is a bullshit deal, and I encourage everyone to sign the petition, even if you don't listen to internet radio. If you're like me and do--and you live in a town with the shittiest radio stations in the world--losing net radio would really, really suck. Not to mention this is garbage that has been brought on us because of Washington lobbyists from the likes of ClearChannel.

So sign this petition, por favor.

Hi, it's Tim from Pandora,

I'm writing today to ask for your help. The survival of Pandora and all of Internet radio is in jeopardy because of a recent decision by the Copyright Royalty Board in Washington, DC to almost triple the licensing fees for Internet radio sites like Pandora. The new royalty rates are irrationally high, more than four times what satellite radio pays and broadcast radio doesn't pay these at all. Left unchanged, these new royalties will kill every Internet radio site, including Pandora.

In response to these new and unfair fees, we have formed the SaveNetRadio Coalition, a group that includes listeners, artists, labels and webcasters. I hope that you will consider joining us.

Please sign our petition urging your Congressional representative to act to save Internet radio: http://capwiz.com/saveinternetradio/issues/alert/?alertid=9631541

Please feel free to forward this link/email to your friends - the more petitioners we can get, the better.

Understand that we are fully supportive of paying royalties to the artists whose music we play, and have done so since our inception. As a former touring musician myself, I'm no stranger to the challenges facing working musicians. The issue we have with the recent ruling is that it puts the cost of streaming far out of the range of ANY webcaster's business potential.

I hope you'll take just a few minutes to sign our petition - it WILL make a difference. As a young industry, we do not have the lobbying power of the RIAA. You, our listeners, are by far our biggest and most influential allies.

As always, and now more than ever, thank you for your support.

What's The Word?

Where is the Rick Welcome Train meeting up tonight? I talked to Rick this morning, and he didn't suggest anywhere in particular.

Let's hear some suggestions in the comments...

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Monday, April 16, 2007

Iron Man in KC...

If anyone would be interested in attending a book signing with Cal Ripken Jr. on Thursday, 4/19, I have an extra ticket. It's in KC, so a day trip would be in order. It's a 2 hour deal with lunch, a talk from Cal, then the book signing.

I've never been a huge O's fan, but this seemed like a cool deal, plus Cal has always been one of baseballs "Good Guys."

Let me know if you'd like to come.

4 and 1/2

Recently I have stopping by the Royals Review while watching the Royals get blow out of the water (It is kind of my therapy to know other people are going through the same things) Turns out today it got good, instead of bitching about the poor bullpen or the lack of offence with profanities and old movie quotes today it got interesting with haiku shit talk. Here is the website (http://www.royalsreview.com/story/2007/4/16/173449/945#commenttop) and here are some of my favorites so far:

This one was crafted moment prior to Grinke giving up a first inning grand slam.

Grienke met Laura
therefore he will win tonight
let's go boys in blue!

And the follow up post

another grand slam
what the hell was he thinking
please no more change ups

And after he was pulled after a 2/3’s on a inning

zacky needs a hug
too bad i am not nearby
he can go to Buck?

And I can pretty much agree with this A-hole

this is fucking dumb
I can't believe I love them
gonna slit wrists now

Let me tell you, these are great days to be a Royals fan, to bad Pete had to pick a winner.

Greetings from Sydney International

I have three hours to wait for my flight. I changed in my Australian loot and got back what amounted to $7.24. Great. Those exchange places will get you every time. I thought things couldn't get worse until I found this little free internet oasis. I will leave this site up so that we can get some international notoriety.

I'm....I'm speechless.

Found this on Deadspin this evening...this is just bananas.

EDIT: I guess this guy is a pro skater, too.

Monday Night Hip-Hop...

I was dicking around on the Goofy Foot Lodge's website a bit ago, and came across this gem: Pseudo Slang. Click on the link to hear some of that good shit on the laid-back vibe. It is really good.

And the even gooder news is that they're playing at the Goofy Foot tomorrow night. El Deuce will be joining me...who else will be? As a little treat, I have one of their tracks from their album "Broke & Copascetic:"

"Track One"

Scroll to the bottom of the page, select "Free," and it will lead you to a page to download it after waiting for about 35 seconds. Simple as that, friends. Or just click on Pseudo Slang's hyperlink up there and get your stream on.

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Sunday, April 15, 2007

Major Newspapers agree...Omaha is awesome.

O! what an aritcle, npgage! Your hometown Chicago Tribune is spelling out all the reasons you need to move back...below is a snippet.

There was also an even better article in the New York Times very recently, called "Omaha's Culture Club."

O! for Omaha
A wealth of surprises in a city with a heart

By Robert CrossTribune staff reporterPublished September 24, 2006

OMAHA -- Tentative showers cast a pall over the last remaining minutes of the downtown lunch hour.I had seen downtowns like this before--modern towers casting shadows on a few surviving Greek Revival and Neo-Gothic old-timers. At that time of day, the sidewalks had all but emptied. A lot of the cafes there open only for breakfast and lunch, and those were preparing to close.Surely Warren Buffett was out there somewhere making money, and that's always exciting. But I had been led to believe downtown Omaha also had a lively side, an enclave called the Old Market.There, said the booster Web sites and tourist brochures, one could find unique little shops, fine dining, street life, plenty of bars and apartment lofts--most of those housed in former warehouses and factories.The closest old quaint thing in my line of sight, however, was the Flatiron Cafe, a designer-touched eatery wedged into the pointed end of--what else?--a flat-iron building. I was led to believe the Flatiron was a part of the Old Market scene, but its surroundings appeared to be nothing but warrens for Office Depot clientele.Anyway, the Flatiron still served lunch. Black-clad servers brought my vegetable/lentil soup and salmon salad. Everything about the restaurant whispered sophistication. So where could I find the rest of that touted Old Market ambience?It turned out I had undershot my mark by a few hundred yards. My hotel, the Redick Plaza, is, like the Flatiron, just off the western fringes of the Old Market district, across Harney Street from the Orpheum Theater. The theater springs to life in autumn, but this happened to be summer, so the Orpheum neighborhood lacked cultural pizzazz.By turning my back on the financial institutions, etc. and walking two blocks east, I found the city's throbbing pulse. For years, Omaha has marched in the forefront of an urban trend--the preservation, revival and repurposing of buildings that otherwise would sink into decrepitude.The brick walls of Old Market structures bear the faded signs of long-ago occupants and advertisers: Anheuser-Busch beer depot, the Millard Block, Omaha Bemis Bag Co., Skinner Macaroni, Hotel Howard, that sort of thing. Mundane back then, nostalgic/cute today.Interiors work as clothing boutiques, restaurants, book stores, jewelry stores, antique emporia, art galleries, flower shops, bakeries, taverns, theater companies and apartments.Deep in the heart of the Midwest, verging on Great Plains, a hearty segment of the 415,000 Omaha residents insist on all the metropolitan amenities. They refuse categorization as fly-over rubes.That's understandable, because workers typically occupy cubicle farms, rather than tractor seats. Omaha boasts an impressive collection of big-league businesses.Heard of Berkshire Hathaway? No? Well, GEICO Insurance and Dairy Queen are but two of its many subsidiaries. The holding company, headed by Buffett, also owns significant stakes in American Express, Coca-Cola, Gillette, Wells Fargo and the Washington Post. ConAgra (think Chef Boyardee, Orville Redenbacher popcorn and almost everything else in your fridge or pantry) operates a handsome headquarters campus on Omaha's Missouri River riverfront.Other household names: Union Pacific, Mutual of Omaha. And don't ignore Peter Kiewit Sons' Inc., the huge construction and mining firm.

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My Spring Training Starts Today.

Today I woke up at 8:30, with a hard on. You want to know why, tonight is the beginning of softball season. I call it spring training because it is co-ed, and really does not matter because half the team is female, but I am still going to get my cuts in.

So it is odd occurrence that I wake up prior to noon on Sunday, so little confused with what people do on Sunday morning. I got Holy, and filled a void that has not been touched since last fall. . .I brought out the bat bag and filled the bitch up.

Glove: Check
Bats: Check
Balls: Check
Hats: Check
Shoes with fresh socks: Check
Tylenol: Check
Cold Weather Clothing: Check
Bug Spray/Sun Screen: Check
Icy Hot: Only a half tin shit I need more.
2004 Jenna Jameson Penthouse: Missing, but replaced with a Playboy.

The pitcher in tonight’s league and the Wednesday men’s league is out until mid-June due to Tommy John’s surgery (I shit you not, our men’s slow pitch softball pitcher had Tommy John’s during the off season.) Anyways I got the call, I will be taking the rubber tonight, but I need supplies. So I will be heading to the sporting goods store this afternoon to purchase sliding shorts that can handle an athletic supporter. Fuck Yeah, where does wearing a cup rank in being a man. . .I will tell you were, right up at the top with puking rally’s, sliding in slow pitch softball, gambling, skinamax, Irish Whisky, and 14 hour binges.

I let everyone know how the game goes tonight, I am guessing that I will go three for four, with a single, two doubles, and a fielder’s choice. As for my pitching line, complete game, two K’s, four assists, and giving up six earned which is good for a win.

New Picture Update

This might be my last post as a world traveller. I have new photos posted. In an attempt to be truthful, I did not hide much.


Edit: I fixed it so the link works. Can't wait to see you Tuesday, buddy! --GA

Thursday, April 12, 2007


I'm looking at you.


More music news addendum...

Nothing much to report:

Casadaga is a nice little album. I think Bright Eyes are definitely moving to a broader sound with this and I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning. I'm still partial to Fevers and Mirrors. However, I think the broader sound will attract more fringe listeners. Brakeman and Must Belong Somewhere seem to be blog favorites and for good reason. Can't wait to see them played live again. When they played in February, it was the best set I'd seen them play live...and that was at the beginning of the tour. I can't wait until they've had a couple of months of sharpening their chops.

The new Kings of Leon album, Because of the Times, is really nice. They're definitely evolving on every album.

Arcade Fire's, Neon Bible, is worth the hype. It takes the momentum from Funeral and runs with it. It adds, in my opinion, quite a bit of pop. Easier to listen to as individual songs than their first album.

If you get a chance, check out Amy Winehouse's, Back at Black. She's this 23-year-old Brit who apparently has the growing reputation of being an incredible drunk. Reminds me of Lauryn Hill's solo album. Minus the white hate. The bonus is a duet with Ghostface. Very nice.

In Australian music, I was introduced to Xavier Rudd. Dude plays the didgeridoo and a million other instruments. Very much in the vein of old Ben Harper and Dave Matthews. I was over them too until I heard the album, Solace. If you're feeling up to it, check it out.

Spring Game

I see that the NFL network is going to broadcast the Nebraska Spring Game. Does someone (I'm looking your way, Deuce) want to DVR it for me.

All the best,


P.S. My flight gets in at 3:45 on Tuesday afternoon. Frontier.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Now I'm speechless.

NORTH PLATTE PUBLIC LIBRARYComputer Classes April 5, 9:30 AMSMART INTERNET SEARCHING Can't find what you want on the Internet or worried that the information may be inaccurate? This class will give you the techniques to improve Internet searching and become more website savvy.Each 2-hour class is $5.00. Please call the library's Technology Learning Center at 535-8036or stop by the library at 120 West 4th for more information and to pre-register for classes.www.ci.north-platte.ne.us/fol

Thanks to JimStock and the fine folks at exit177 for this one. Not a lot else needs to be said.


...check out www.firejoemorgan.com for their latest Joe chat. Not only is it the funniest thing I've ever read, but it may be the nail in the coffin of Joe Morgan on TV. Okay, anything written after the comma in the last sentence is not true. But, by all accounts, his inane answers are perplexing to the point its impossible ESPN doesn't know how bad he is.

Has he somehow grandfathered his way into being oblivious to broadcasting/commentating scrutiny? Does ESPN care about the quality of their baseball product? I want answers, this is goddamned ridiculous.

My trip to Homers yesterday...

...resulted in four CD purchases. Loose Fur for GA, which sounded good from the three or so songs, and the aforementioned Bright Eyes, which, after giving it another listen, probably would get a 7.2 on the Pitchfork scale from me at this point, accounted for two of the purchases. I definitely want to go to the Bright Eyes show on 4/26. I know Hales is in, and MIB as well. Holla back for confo on that.

I also picked up the Cold War Kids and Ted Leo + Pharmacists. Only the former of these CDs came out in 2006 and I've listened to the one that came out like last week, Ted Leo. Both are rumored excellent. I don't know how I didn't get into Ted Leo sooner. He sounds like the kind of guy who would piss a lot of people off, a real instigator. The sound is kind of like the Pixies only more abrasive and punkish attitude. Some reggae too. Not The Clash reggae, actual reggae. I know from my brother that he does Kelly Clarkson and Springsteen covers as well in concert.

The Cold War kids is about to get its first listen. This probably should have happened for me at least four months ago. Apparently I need confirmation from The Deuce, MIB, my bro, Pitchfork, and Rolling Stone before I will give a band with a name as crappy as this a try. Godspeed...

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Network TV: Gaining Back Their Reputation....

...of sucking.

This on Variety.com:

"NBC is giving up on "Andy Barker, P.I."
After a lightly promoted four-seg run, the Peacock has pulled Conan O'Brien's critically adored midseason laffer from its Thursday perch effective immediately. It will be replaced by "Scrubs," which had been set to inherit the 9:30 p.m. timeslot April 19."

How could this show be cancelled already? There's going to have been, what, 6 episodes of it (after they run the final two on Saturday night)? The show is fucking hilarious--as has been discussed in a creepily-timed text message discussion by Pete and I--and it is exec-produced by Conan O'Brien. You would think that being produced by the Tonight Show heir would be enough reason to at least try to build it up a bit and see if it developed a following.

Thursday nights on NBC is the best night of television by far. But it just got taken down a notch. And, this provides a wake up call to those of us who may have been fooled lately: network TV sucks.

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Cassadaga means rocks beneath the water

The new Bright Eyes came out today and I got a chance to listen to most of the album this afternoon. Its a softer sound than a lot of the old stuff: a lot of acoustic guitar and piano. Still this is Connor Oberst and his lyrics give an energy to the songs that goes above and beyond what the music itself conveys. While this cd doesn't have the twelve piece ensemble that Bright Eyes is known for, Mogus and Wolcott really do a lot to make a relatively simple group of instruments sound like more. My favorite songs so far are Coat Check Dream Song, I Must Belong Somewhere, and Soul Singer in a Session Band.

GA and Thunder go ahead and ignore this because I know you two don't give a shit.

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Saturday, April 07, 2007

You're the one who is in jail...

So there. I'll be honest with you. I've had a bit of a rough go of things. Turns out the other night, I walked about 11 miles home. We measured the next day. Believe me, it's not like walking from downtown Omaha home. There's no Smoke Pit. Australians who see you walking on the side of the road only shout directions and do not offer rides home. However, there are plenty of cabs on the way home. Nobody knows why I didn't get a ride home. I checked my camera the next day and found some random pictures with bad looking people and some Swedish backpackers who must've confused me with the Zodiac killer. Very nice people. Too nice. I should've stolen their car. If I could only drive stick.

Then last night happened. Bars don't close til five. We went out at midnight. With 23-year olds. They had something to prove. As did I. I can keep up, I thought. They weren't racing. I was.

I'm going to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. I WILL vomit while at the theater. Not my choice. Easter is big here.

Also...The Heartless Bastards are opening for the Hold Steady. I just got two boners.

Friday, April 06, 2007

A Sight (Picture) For Sore Eyes...

This quote was probably my favorite from today's press conference at Kentucky announcing Billy Gillispie as the new head coach of men's basketball (when asked if the crazy fans and their expectations will be "tough"):

"When you talk about tough, I don’t think 24,000 fans caring about your team as being tough. I see the opponent having to play in front of that as a tough assignment. I look at having seven or eight thousand fans at a game - that is tough. When you have 24,000 fans, I hope that every one of them is a coach. I hope that everyone has an unbelievable passion like I do. Whether they are screaming at me or at the players, lets just all do it together. We are going to be working hard, and they are going to be working hard. We are going to call on the fans, as great as they have been for so long, let’s just take it up a notch and let’s make it impossible for anyone to come in here, we want to make the other team leave at halftime."

And as a newly married dude, this was really funny response to a question (and I'm paraphrasing, don't have the direct quote):

-Reporter: "Are you concerned with being frequently second-guessed by arm-chair coaches?"

-Billy G.: "Well, uh--you guys do know I was married, right? That's all that happened when I was married."

He is really funny, and great with reporters. I can certainly see why him and Doc Sadler are best friends.

Billy Donovan was obviously my first choice, but as anyone who cared to know knows, Billy G. was a very close second. After watching his press conference and pep rally today (where he started to tear up talking about how great of an opportunity this was for him), I could not possibly be more thrilled.

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Anybody else concerned about the sudden stop in posting from MIB on his Australian adventures?

Monday, April 02, 2007

New Team Announcement+Predictions

Very quick. As I have a meeting in seven minutes:

NL East: Phillies
NL Central: Brewers (hardest division to pick, Brewers have the best pitching)
NL West: Dodgers
Wild Card: NY Mets or Braves (I'll take the Braves, but I do think it will come out of the east either way)

AL East: Red Sox
AL Central: Tigers
AL West: A's
Wild Card: Twins

World Series: Red Sox over Phillies in 5

And Pete's new team is: The Twins. Nice work EZT.

Opening Day Quick Hits....

Just a reminder: Heavy Soul will be reppin' again at Barretts for Opening Day today. First pitch at 1:05, followed by more baseball, and National Championship action. Can't wait for work Tuesday morning....

--Could there have possibly been a worse Opening Night for me? The Mets and Cards? Puke. Although I will say the Mets are made up with a lot of players I like, which kills me. David Wright and Jose Reyes will be pretty exciting to watch until we're, oh, 40. Those guys are good.

--Speaking of puking, any dreams of the Cubs doing anything were erased by one simple sentence uttered on Mike and Mike in the Morning today: Steve Phillips picked the Cubs to go to the World Series. I don't know who he picked to play the Cubs, because I was too busy pounding my head on my desk and moaning "NO! NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!" God, that guy is the biggest idiot on ESPN. And saying that is like saying "________ is the worst murderer in this maximum security Federal prison." Not good.

--EDIT: HOLY SHIT!!!! The Trib is selling the Cubs!!! HAPPY DAYS ARE HERE AGAIN!

There it is. I guess really, really quick hits. See some of you at Barretts!

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Sunday, April 01, 2007


It's pretty easy to forget you're in a foreign country while you're in Australia. The language is not that different. They still have BP stations. American television litters the airwaves. That is, until you are alerted of a tsunami warning not far off the coast. An 8.0 quake just hit the Solomon Islands. I think the Indian Ocean tsunami three years ago was a 9.0 quake. If you look at a map, there are a ton of little islands to the East of the Solomons. To the West lies Papua/New Guinea. Townsville is about 1100 miles SE of the epicenter. Early reports from Honiara near the epicenter report the town was quickly covered by 10 feet of water.

Stay tuned.

I'm Done: A Baseball Fan-imesto

"F the Cubs, I'm done supporting these assholes. I'm dead serious, I'm finding a new team. I can't take it," I drunkenly announced to my fellow bloggers at 11 AM Arizonatime. Maybe it was the Tucker Max Death Mix (some fucked concoction of Gatorade, Smirnoff, and RedBull), the 6 beers I had already drank, or my proclivity to say things at the wrong time, I may never know.

Actually, it goes back farther than that. My gradual ascension out of Cubdom started directly during the 2003 season, when there were about 7,000 more Cubs fans in Omaha than there were the year before. Suddenly, local bars were crowded with obnoxious bandwagon climbers-on sensing the chance to be a part of something great. After all, I suppose it is human nature for people to grab hold of something that was equal parts never-before-seen success, redemption for a century of misery, and plenty of enthusiastic drinking and revelry.

As we now know, it was all a mirage, the Cubs continued to be the Cubs and all was right with the world. I was upset with the NLCS, but not surprised. Nothing about the Cubs should ever be a surprise. From 2004-2006, normalcy gradually returned. By late in the season 2006, die hards were really all that was left of the Omaha Cubs scene. Sure the Cubs were horrible, but as a Cubs fan this was hardly a revelation. I watched every game and felt the usual Cubs dismay, frustration, and anger. Weirldy, I was happy, things were comfortable.

That's when I realized it, I WANTED the Cubs to be bad. My least favorite period as a Cubs fan was that 2003 playoff run, not just because we lost, but because the Cubs axis was turned on its side. Did I want my team to be a success, only to suffer the insufferable once again? My answer, oddly, was no. I liked my beer cold, my meat red, and my Cubs horrible. I liked not having to talk to every drunk asshole in a Mark Prior jersey at the bar about how the Cubs might win the World Series. I liked following the team with my trusted circle of friends and others that I knew had been following the Cubs their entire life. Should the Cubs become good again, I knew that the bandwagon would be back and I would be upset with it, and I didn't want that to happen again.

Then there was 2007 free agency. Soriano, Lilly, Marquis. Rampant overspending for all. The Cubs' payroll ballooned and I watched the events unfold like a guy watching his girlfriend bang some other dude right in front of his face. Part shock, part dismay, part anger. Several questions emerged: What the hell are we doing? (Jason Marquis is terrible, Ted Lilly questionable, Soriano is batting leadoff and playing centerfield despite being a poor fit at both) How can we be doing that? (Because apparently they are jacking up the payroll to increase the value of the team to sell them) Why did we never do this before? (Because winning has never been a priority because people go to Cubs games regardless). What a bunch of assholes. If you give me a blank check and a carte blanche attitude now, why did you not do it in the past 50 years?

My third bone of contention has to do with the Tribune Company being the biggest corporate cocksuckers in the universe. The rooftop dispute was strike one. Broadcasting a lot of the games on FSN and not WGN was strike two Now, in advertising on the Ivy and the "Bud Light" bleachers I officially want to fucking vomit. They are the biggest whores this side of Atlantic City. Now, not only do I dislike most of people who root for the team (at least when they are good), I now hate the organization with a newfound zeal.

Back to Arizona. I said I was done with the Cubs, and I'm a man of my word, even when drinking. The resistance among the Cubs fans I hang out with (most of whom routinely post on this blog), has been palpable, but not unbearable. I really don't even think most of them are angry, or even disappointed, I think they just feel my loyalty is negligible. A valid criticism. However, I don't see any of my feelings of resentment toward the decision making and philosophy Cubs organization from a baseball perspective, the corporate whoring of the product, and the general shift in what it means to be a Cubs fan from "undying loyalist and true believer" to "drunk guy with no historical perspective who is only seen or heard from when the Cubs win." In Chicago, this may not be the paradigm, but in Omaha it undoubtedly is. Objectively look at Cubs fans in Omaha and you'll discover that they really are by and large a bunch of dicks. And I don't live in Chicago.

To my former fellow Cubs fans (especially those I have been following the Cubs with since we were trying to grab ass at Rec Center teen dances): I absolutely do apologize for letting you down with my abandonment. I felt like I could never reconcile my conflicting feelings about the team and honestly root for the product on the field objectively. I thought it was better to cut ties than half-assedly support the Cubs vocally while hating them internally. I welcome all criticism that comes my way and I will own up to it. This was not an easy decision, but I felt it was the right one. You are entitled to disagree. Best of luck with the Cubs in the future, you'll probably fucking need it.

For the past three weeks I have been looking into new teams, and I believe I have settled on one. I did not pick the best team in the league, nor the worst. I used location, tradition, future direction, front-office philosophy, uniforms, stadium and fan enthusiasm as my criteria. I will not reveal its identity until tomorrow, but my team will be announced on this blog sometime tomorrow morning. Some of you will hate me, some will probably endorse the choice. Stay tuned.

And to the rest of you, if anyone is still reading: Enjoy the 2007 baseball season, it should be a great one. I'll post predictions tomorrow as well.

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