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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Tunnel Walk: Gator Bowl Special

Happy Birthday, Earth! You've made it very convenient for Tunnel Walk by having your birthday on New Year's Day. It's been a while since we've been able to rockwitchu while watching our Huskers on your big day.

As Tunnel Walk sits at home watching the Best Damn Hooters Swimsuit Pageant, we can't help but feel a nervous feeling arising. And it's not what you think. You see, Tunnel Walk is a bit nervous about the pesky Clemson Tigers. Everything seems a little too perfect for the Cornhuskers. Winning five of six and restoring optimism in the future of the program is nice and all, but...

...a death in the family of not one but two coaches has to cause some distraction no matter how tough those coaches are.
...Clemson still has James Davis and C.J. Spiller on their roster.
...and Aaron Kelly and Cullen Harper. Sure, they've all been a bit disappointed statistically this year, but the talent to hurt the Blackshirts is definitely there.
...Tunnel Walk's New Year's resolution is to stop worrying so much.

The Recruit Files

Since the last time we've talked, the Big Red have picked up some big time recruits. Here's the scoop on a few:

Dijon Washington, S. 6-0, 173. Lawndale (CA) Leuzinger. Washington could stand to bulk up a bit. Nothing that a year at the training table can't fix. Rated with four stars as the number 14 safety by Rivals, Washington will help to bolster the future of the NU secondary. At one of the most recent Big Red Breakfasts, Bo Pelini revealed how surprised he was with how bare the cupboard was in the NU secondary. Mr. Grey Poupon should hopefully help, but don't be surprised if Oregon or another Pac-10 school makes a late run at Dijon.

Brandon Kinnie, WR. 6-3, 215. Fort Scott (KS) Community College. Kinnie will add another big target to a receiving corps that loses Nate Swift and Todd Peterson. Paired with the likes of Menelik Holt, Niles Paul, and Will Henry, Kinnie will make the Husker receivers some of the tallest and most physical in the Big XII. Kinnie will also re-establish a connection to the talent-rich Kansas juco ranks.

Rex Burkhead, RB, 5-10, 190. Plano (TX) Plano. While it's still over a month away from signing day, Burkhead is arguably the key to this recruiting class. NU stole Rex away from most of the Big XII South. Burkhead is a heavily recruited do-everything back with 4.46 speed. From film, Burkhead looks more physical than Marlon Lucky and shiftier than Quentin Castille. In addition to an awesome spy name, Burkhead possesses a good head on his shoulders. He delayed most of his recruitment until after his team's season was complete. Definitely a team player.

Jason Ankrah, DE. 6-4, 248. Gaithersburg (MD) Quince Orchard. Probably the most highly touted DE recruit for NU since Benard Thomas. Let's hope Ankrah becomes more productive than Benard. Ankrah was recruited by John Papuchis and could plant a seed in the fertile recruiting grounds of Northern Virginia/Maryland/D.C. On film, he looks big and strong and fast and mean. I can't wait.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Two Quick Onion Links

These are two of the best Onion headlines I have seen in a long time. One is from this month, but the other one is from last year. That said, I don't care, because it is hilarious.

The first one is for Napa:

Staten Island Historians Piece Together Genealogy Of Wu-Tang Clan

[Staten Island historian Charles] Tinsley was quick to note, however, that
the total number of Wu-Tang descendants was impossible to calculate, and could
very well reach into the tens of thousands.

"While the Clan is generally associated with tales of conquest,
slaughter, and 'bringing da motherfuckin' ruckus,' it must also be noted that
its members were prolific lovers who expanded the empire by sowing their seed
all across the country," Tinsley said. "Who knows, perhaps my very own children
are direct descendants of Ghostface Killah."

The other one I find just hilarious, simply because I have had the same thought approximately 10,000 times:

Even CEO Can't Figure Out How RadioShack Still In Business

Despite having been on the job for nine months, RadioShack CEO Julian Day
said Monday that he still has "no idea" how the home electronics store manages
to stay open.

"There must be some sort of business model that enables this company to
make money, but I'll be damned if I know what it is," Day said. "You wouldn't
think that people still buy enough strobe lights and extension cords to support
an entire nationwide chain, but I guess they must, or I wouldn't have this desk
to sit behind all day."

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Totally Extreme Trains, Dude!

I thought this was important as we are all quickly approaching 30, and apparently have all made the History Channel part of our heavy channel-changing rotation...

Tonight at 9pm (CST), the show "Extreme Trains" is about Union Pacific. According to the news man on the radio today, the show focuses on Omaha and North Platte.


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Monday, December 29, 2008

2008...you looked like a winner.

For the last couple of years, I've thrown together a list of my favorite albums of the year. This year will be no different, except for the fact that I recruited a few other Heavy Soul contributors to submit some of their favorites to give a couple of different tastes. In all actuality, there's not much difference in tastes.

10. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, Dig!!! Lazurus Dig!!! Nick Cave had always been one of those figures in my head that I always knew I should know more about than I actually did. Like T-Rex or Todd Rundgren. I think the only things I'd ever heard from him before this album was his frightening cover of "Let it Be" from the I Am Sam soundtrack and his hilarious single, "No Pussy Blues" as his alter-ego Grinderman. So you can imagine how excited I was to discover the title track of the Goth Prince of Rock 'n' Roll to be a very listenable and accessible ditty. If you aren't fully versed, Cave's speak-sing vocal style will be familiar to fans of The Hold Steady. Also, Nick Cave may have the creepiest/awesomest mustache this side of the bad guy who ties the damsel to the train tracks.

9. Blitzen Trapper, Furr. When I first reviewed this album in October, my tone was that of reluctant surprise. I was surprised that a band I imagined to be more folksy and hippie could rock so soundly. The opening track, "Sleepytime in the Western World" is an upbeat tune that definitely borrows from the classic rock era, but in such an unabashed way that's tough not to like. "Not Your Lover" is a heartbreakingly lovely ballad that could be an undiscovered Neil Young gem. This album is the definition of a grower, the type that works well on the way to the lake or on the way down the slopes. A very natural sound without the patchouli.

8. Los Campesinos!, Hold On Now, Youngster. Apparently, this isn't the only great LC!album to come out in 2008, but it is the only one that could physically be found in the musical hotbed of central Iowa. LC! is equal parts pop, punk, and indie-rock collaboration woven into an upbeat album that can put you in a good mood pretty quickly. Lyrically, LC!! won't be drawing Dylan comparisons anytime soon, but don't let the party sounds fool you. Listen carefully and you'll get a picture of indie-rock culture in the United Kingdom. Key tracks are: "Death to Los Campesinos!" "You! Me! Dancing!" and "Sweet Dreams, Sweet Cheeks". Another fun fact is that the whole band legally changed their last names to Campesinos. I like that gag.

7. Titus Andronicus, The Airing of Grievances. If you don't like Conor Oberst or Bright Eyes because of all the lamenting and whining, Titus Andronicus might be for you. When Pete told me that these guys sounded like Conor Oberst screaming and fronting a band consisting of members of Rancid and Arcade Fire, I was in. The entirety of the album sounds like a cut and paste effort of a live show giving it a very DIY sound. And as good as it sounds recorded, the album gives you the feeling that Titus Andronicus' best stuff comes out in person. I got a chance to see them live at the Pitchfork Festival and I was not disappointed. The band came out with five guitarists in the beginning of a rainstorm. It seemed fitting. It's probably not the way you draw it up, but it made for a perfect set. Messy and distorted and humid and hairy. Fitting for a bunch of kids from New Jersey.

6. MGMT, Oracular Spectacular. I've grown to hate the idea of this band. Artsy and psychedelic. Cover shoots with animal skins on their heads and feathers in their hair. I wish I could quit you, MGMT. But I can't because you're too damn catchy. You've heard "Time to Pretend" played in a movie if you've seen one in the last year or so. And "Weekend Wars" is one of the better songs I've listened to this year. So despite my growing discontent for the band, the album continues to satisfy.

5. My Morning Jacket, Evil Urges. I like this album because it's good and comes from the most creative band out there. It's not all radio ready. It's not all even extremely listenable. But it's ballsy. And that goes for something in my book. Jim James has one of the most pleasant voices I've ever heard and the band's sound is one that in a relatively short time has influenced a number of good bands (I'm looking in your direction Band of Horses, Fleet Foxes, etc.). Oh, and to all of those buttlicking critics who say the song "Highly Suspicious" sucks, bite me. Bite my big, fat, hairy, pasty ass. That song has a corner office in the City Hall of Awesometown, which is the county seat of Awesome County.
4. Conor Oberst, Conor Oberst. It wouldn't be an MIB end-of-year music review if it didn't include some Conor Oberst project, right? Well, who am I to break precedent? Oberst's self-titled release is not extremely noteworthy, as it continues his development along the country/folk genre that began on Lifted, and blossomed on I'm Wide Awake. The album does mark Oberst's first recording without Mike Mogis in over a dozen years, hence the lack of the Bright Eyes moniker. Oberst shows a continual maturation lyrically and seems a bit happier and more at peace with life, love, and liberty. Hopefully, next year I'll be reviewing the Monsters of Folk (Oberts, Jim James, and M. Ward) album.

3. Hayes Carll, Trouble in Mind. Not sure who or how I got turned onto this album, but I'm thankful I did. Carll tells his stories like Hank Jr. Lots of booze and broads, sure, but also with a code of honor from days gone by. Most of the songs could be classified as singalongs, but be cautious--you'll sing yourself to a dark place you may not have known you were going to.

1 (tie). The Hold Steady, Stay Positive. If any given album has a finite number of plays, then Stay Positive may be coming to the end of its run on my iPeezy. From the time "Sequestered in Memphis" first leaked its way to my computer in May to the drive home from work this evening, this album hasn't gone a week without being played in its entirety. Stay Positive definitely doesn't stray from the tried and true formula that Craig and the boys have developed, but I don't hear anyone asking them to. I like to think of The Hold Steady's catalog as a menu at a steakhouse. There are several different steaks on the menu each with their own distinct characteristics. But when you break it down, they're all hunks of bloody, delicious beef. Keep the butcher shop open, THS. Keep the butcher shop open.

1 (tie). TV on The Radio, Dear Science. It seems like just a couple of years ago that TVOTR and The Hold Steady topped my favorite album list. Hopefully that means that 2010 is going to be another awesome year. This band does a considerable amount of ass kicking. The album is kind of dark and kind of unsafe, like driving at night by yourself for the first time in Detroit. But there are parts of the album that feel familiar and comforting ("Love Dog", "Golden Age"). And then there's that one part ("DLZ") where you're the only car on the road for miles and you decide to see how much muscle your car really has.

Pete's Best of 2008-Music Edition

If you thought that I was putting together a list of my favorite sports-related moments, let's just say that none of them involved the Cleveland Browns. Actually I will talk about my favorite sports moments in another post, but for now let's tackle the music of 2008.

My favorite Albums of 2008,in no particular order, unless noted:

Hayes Carll-"Trouble in Mind". Roadhouse country from a youngster with a propensity for whiskey and Tom Waits covers. Lost Highway does it again, and does it well. Catch him on Austin City Limits soon, and hopefully for a long time. This is the best album of the year to listen to on the road, or drink alone to.

Jake One-"White Van Music". The best Seattle rap since "My Posse's on Broadway" by Sir Mix-a-lot. Jake produces some topshelf rappers and make hip-hop that is catchy and creative without being overly commercial. Take some notes, Common. Your new album SUCKS.

TV on the Radio-"Dear Science". Solid follow-up for the boys. They make quirky rock that is daring but also listenable. Maybe not the most catchy album in the world, but has absorptive qualities that would make The Bounty paper towel guys jealous.

The Hold Steady-"Stay Positive". While it is not the stone-cold classic that Boys and Girls in America is, it only further cements their legacy as the best bar band in America and the official band of Heavy Soul. Some of their best work is on here, even if it's not as consistently excellent as Boys and Girls.

Fleet Foxes-"Fleet Foxes". I was a bit of a slow convert, but this album puts me in a great mood. It's kind of hippy-ish in places and can run together, but the harmonies and experimentation are spot on and undeniable. A pop masterpiece. Pitchfork rated it as their album of the year, and I can't blame them for it.

Mudcrutch-"Mudcrutch". Tom Petty's reunion with his first band is all good. It's no reinvention of the wheel, but it has all the hooks you crave from Petty with a bit of a country tinge. A must have for Petty fans, which means basically everyone.

She and Him-"Volume One". M Ward and Zooey Deschanel combine to take over the sultry world with some really good jams. Some good originals, plus Smokey Robinson and Beatles covers. Approved.

Titus Andronicus-"The Airing of Grievances". Another Pitchfork-approved album that totally rules. These guys are badass New Jersey guys that get after it, shredding guitars and vocal cords and owning fuckers all day and night. The MIB and I are onboard for their impending world domination. Kind of like the evolutionary Rancid only with some E Street Band rhythm.

The Walkmen-"You and Me". I've been a fan every since The OC told me it was cool, with lots of payoffs. A Hundred Miles Off was great, and this one is at least as good if not better. I can't wait to see what you guys do next. Ol Pete is in.

The Gaslight Anthem-"The 59 Sound". If you like The Hold Steady, buy this record immediately. I did, and am forever grateful to the AV club.

Songs of the year for mixtape purposes:
"White Winter Hymnal"-Fleet Foxes
"Constructive Summer"-The Hold Steady
"The 59 Sound"-The Gaslight Anthem
"In Color"-Jamey Johnson
"It's a Shame"-Hayes Carll
"Gunpowder and Lead"-Miranda Lambert
"What Up Man"-The Cool Kids
"Oxford Comma"-Vampire Weekend (still don't get the backlash)
"The Man I Shot"-Drive By Truckers
"Paris, Tokyo"-Lupe Fiasco
"Scare Easy"-Mudcrutch
"I Don't Want to Grow Up"-Hayes Carll
"You Really Got A Hold on Me" She and Him
"Carpetbagger"-Jenny Lewis and Elvis Costello
"The Truth"-Jake One
"Titus Andronicus"-Titus Andronicus

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Random Husker Notes

Bowl Week, bitches! It feels good knowing we get to watch the Huskers play on New Year's Day. In fact, I was thinking about the fact that everyone is going to have to get immediately back in the saddle after celebrating on New Year's Eve and realized that the Huskers have played on New Year's Day just twice in the last 10 years. So seasoned pros we are not in this area of taking one for the team the day after New Year's Eve, but I'm guessing we'll soldier on regardless.

(Speaking of New Year's: we're doing the same drill as we did last year. Anyone interested in joining us, e-mail me at gahill87(at)gmail.com.)

Anyway, a few notes:

--Saw this on the "Life in the Red" blog over on the Journal Star's website, coming from badass man-child Ndamukong Suh:

The Pelinis were around the team this morning when players practiced in
Lincoln before leaving for Jacksonville. The coaches are expected to miss
Saturday morning's practice in Florida, but should arrive late tomorrow
afternoon or night.

"It's tough for them to have to deal with that loss," Suh said. "We're
controlling what we can control. We want to go out there and bring some joy to
them -- not that it can take away their loss -- but we want to bring some
That's pretty powerful stuff right there. There are several other comments like that from other players, as well. Isn't it refreshing to have a team that's motivated by those around them and by the head coach rather than their NFL draft position?

The culture change that has occurred in just one year is truly remarkable. Here are some more quotes from senior d-lineman Shukree Barfield, who was rewarded with a Blackshirt this week:

"That's probably one of the reasons I got one (a Blackshirt) -- when I do
get in, I make plays," Barfield said. "I couldn't be a starter this year, but
I'm just happy to be winning, man. I'm just going to do whatever it takes to
help my team win."

Nebraska's success -- the Huskers take an 8-4 record into the Gator Bowl --
has kept Barfield's motor running even when he wasn't playing a lot.

"Any time you win, all of that other stuff, you just block out," he
said. "I feel like as a team, we got closer to each other. My teammates, they've
been motivating and supporting me, just keeping my head up."

And yet more from Larry Asante:

"We love our coaches," Husker junior safety Larry Asante said. "This would
be a great win for them knowing that they just lost their father. We’re doing it
for the seniors, too. We want them to go out with a victory because they're the
guys who got the program changed around."

Asante said he's noticed most guys on the team aren't interested in playing
around outside of the field on this trip.

"Me, personally, I didn’t come out here to have fun. It’s a game. I haven’t
been out the past two nights. Me and Armando Murillo, we stayed in," he said.
"Basically everybody in the secondary except for a couple of scout guys stayed
in and watched film last night. It’s a business trip. We didn’t come out here to
have fun."

Unreal...especially if you choose to believe the rumors of last year's team, who apparently lived by the classic Eddie Murphy/Rick James collaboration "Party All The Time".

I'm feeling pretty good about taking out the Clemson Tigers come Thursday...what say you? Leave your predictions in the comments...

--On the other end of the spectrum, Eric Mangini was fired today by the J-E-T-S. With that news, I assume, that Bill Callahan will be gone as well.

I'm not big on piling on fired coaches too much. Obviously, reading this blog probably wouldn't lead you to believe that. I opined several times about how much Callahan sucked. However, after reading last year's story in the World-Herald by--I think--Mitch Sherman about Callahan's private life and all the things he did for Nebraska charities, I started to feel slightly bad about killing the guy so often. By many accounts, he seems like a stand-up guy.

All that aside: good. The guy gets a huge payout for doing everything in his power to destroy the legacy of Nebraska Football, then lands a great NFL job just a couple of weeks later. Karma came late this year, but it did come.
--In academic news--because I know that you have been anxiously awaiting SAT statistics--it seems that the Husker Football student-athletes are in very good shape. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution did an investigative report on SAT scores for football players across the country. The Huskers boast a team average of 962, which would rank them either the 11th or 12th best average in the country (right behind #10 Iowa's 964). Their team GPA of 3.11 is good enough for 7th-best in the country. Not too shabby. The only Big XII team rated higher than that is--and I found this surprising--Colorado, at #9 with a 966 average. (Kansas, K-State, and Baylor's info was not listed)
On the other end of the spectrum--and yes, I realize I used this phrase twice in one post--, the Big XII represented. Of the Bottom 10 schools in all of college football, you'll find Texas A&M (#7) and Texas Tech (#5). But the kings of the dummies are...drum roll please...*gasp* It's a tie! The dummest college football teams--with an AVERAGE SAT of 878--are Oklahoma State and Louisville! This is the most not-surprising news I think I have ever read.

--Lastly, this has nothing to do with Nebraska Football, but our man Pete got his wish: Romeo Crennel was fired today, and Cleveland Browns GM Phil Savage was canned yesterday. May a new, not-so-shitty era of Browns football be upon us? Time will tell. (Too bad Bill Cower has already said "no.")

**Photo taken above from the Lincoln Journal-Star, taken by Gwyenth Roberts. Because I knew you thought that someone from Heavy Soul took it.

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas. Love, Heavy Soul


Friday, December 19, 2008

I would have took the money line

I think Napa said it best with ‘I think hell froze over a little bit’ anyways I am engaged and getting drinks tonight at the bar around 4.

The Hold Steady @ The Slowdown: April 8th!!!

Tickets on sale today (Friday)!!!!

God bless it, Hold Steady: why can't you play on a weekend night?

To say that we're excited is an understatement.

(Tickets are only $15.)

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Roy, For Three...YES!

Here I am, eyes barely able to stay open. But one man, half a continent away, is keeping me awake.

Brandon Roy--someone who manages to constantly be somewhere between on the radar and off it--just scored his 50th point!!!! What a performance.

Blazers up 122-119 on the Suns, 29.3 seconds to go.

Let's go Blazers! *clap, clap, clap clap clap*

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Blue Who? Wha?

Three posts in one night? Yep! That's right, you lucky so-and-so!

Anyway, this may make me a bad sports fan. Probably not, but may. Here's my question/concern:

What in the hell is a Blue Jacket? And when in the hell did they become an NHL team?

Well, the answer is (apparently) 2000. There's been an NHL team in Columbus called the Blue Jackets for 8 years??

I'm honestly at a loss here. Even after I purchased NHL season preview magazines last year after Pete and I decided that we were going to follow the Oilers last year--a decision that we recanted on after, oh, 3 days--I never knew of any squad that went by the Blue Jackets.

Whatever. I'm probably (or absolutely) am an idiot, but I swear to God I had never heard of this team until I watched SportsCenter tonight. Incredible. I put much of the issue on myself here, but I think it says a lot to where the NHL is these days: I listen to a ton of sports talk radio, and check SI.com and ESPN.com several times a day, and literally have got nothing when it comes to the Columbus Blue Jackets. Nothing! I swear to God, I thought this was a 2008 expansion team.

Other than Pete, am I the only guy that falls in this category?

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I Have This Can Of Worms Here...

...I may as well open it.

I came across this article on CNN.com: "Obama's inagural choice sparks outrage."

It is talking about how Obama has chosen mega-pastor Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at his inauguration next month.

Liberal groups are outraged because Warren is socially conservative; specifically, he is against gay marriage and abortion. On the other hand, he is a very strong advocate and lobbyist of fighting global poverty, fighting human rights violations, and is a very strong proponent of the fight against AIDS across the globe.

Obama's camp defends the choice, saying:

"The president-elect certainly disagrees with him on [lesbian, gay,
bisexual, transgender] issues," [Linda] Douglass said. "But it has always been
his goal to find common ground with people with whom you may disagree on some

Douglass also noted that Obama and Warren agree on several issues,
including advocating on behalf of the poor, the disadvantaged and people who
suffer from HIV/AIDS.

However, these two quotes came from Obama's more liberal supporters:

"[It's] shrewd politics, but if anyone is under any illusion that Obama is
interested in advancing gay equality, they should probably sober up now," Andrew
Sullivan wrote on the Atlantic Web site Wednesday.

People for the American Way President Kathryn Kolbert told CNN she is
"deeply disappointed" with the choice of Warren and said the powerful platform
at the
inauguration should instead have been given to someone who
has "consistent mainstream American values."

I am not familiar with the People for the American Way. However, to say
that someone like Rick Warren is *not* "consistent" with "mainstream American
values" to me is, in a word, ridiculous. Personally, I would not agree
with Warren's stance on gay marriage. And as much as I hate the thought of
abortion, I do regretfully believe that first-term and incest/rape abortion
should be legal.

And I believe Sullivan is way off base here, as well. Any presidential candidate that hands out rainbow campaign stickers at a gay pride parade obviously is not taking a stance comparable to a passing comment in some gay community at a small campaign stop. Not to mention--didn't Obama put a gay person at a pretty high staff position already?

But that is not really the point here. I believe that Obama has chosen a name that resonates with most people in America who does many great things in the name of people all over the world. To me, this People for the American Way seem to have the "American Way" completely confused.

I guess my question is this: does Rick Warren really not represent *most* Americans? Again, this isn't about yours or mine personally-held beliefs. I just think that someone saying that this guy is not consistent with the majority of American's beliefs and values is stepping out to an incredibly flimsy ledge that has no support in fact.


*Note: Sorry for the jacked-up formatting, I don't know why it's doing that. Quotes from the article are in italics.

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Creighton Fan: "I'd Probably Rather Have Doc"

Whoa, Nellie!

That was an actual quote I got from a Creighton fan tonight. And not just any Creighton fan: a graduate, multi-season ticket holding Creighton fan.

The conversation came about after I told him that someone who he offered two tickets to last Saturday's Creighton game replied something along the lines of "I can't go, but tell him that Doc says 'hi.'"

After laughing about that for a minute, he said that at this point, he probably would rather have Doc Sadler as a coach, because he "gets more out of less, especially compared to Dana." Upon hearing this, I asked him what Doc would do with Creighton's current roster. His reply:

"Oh, man..."

So there you have it. A die-hard (and I do not use that term lightly with this person) Creighton fan admitting that he would take Doc Sadler over Dana Altman.

I sincerely hope that Bluejay Cafe gets a hold of this post, then whines about it and claims that we made this story up.

Doc's your daddy, Jays!

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Good Answer

This is from a SportsNation chat today on ESPN.com that featured Coach Billy Clyde Gillespie. Gotta love Kentucky fans...

kenny newport KY: hey coach... Can i get a preferred walk on LOL i can't jump or shoot BUT i will hustle like no other PROMISE YOU THANK

Billy Gillispie: No.

I just find that hilarious that he offered no joke, no silly answer, just a solid "no." That's hilarious. And along with not being able to jump or shoot, "kenny newport KY" also can't bother himself with proper grammar or punctuation--I cannot tell if this guy is on some hillbilly Yoda shit or what.

That's all. Back to your work day.

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Monday, December 15, 2008

Charles Barkley on Turner Gill

Charles Barkley apparently lobbied for Turner Gill to get the Auburn head coaching job. Hard.

After they hired Gene Chizik from Iowa State, Chuck had this to say about the situation:

"I think race was the No. 1 factor," said Barkley, who played basketball
for three seasons at Auburn during the early 1980s. "You can say it's not about
race, but you can't compare the two resumes and say [Chizik] deserved the job.
Out of all the coaches they interviewed, Chizik probably had the worst resume."


But is he wrong? Chizik clearly sucks as a head coach. And I don't want to hear that "he was only there for two years, what do you expect, miracles?" argument. Turner Gill wasn't ask to do anything other than make Buffalo competitive, and went ahead and performed miracles anyway. Anyone who is worth a poop as a coach can win *a* conference game.

There are some other interesting notes from this article:

Barkley, who works as an NBA analyst for Turner Network Television, said he
spoke with Gill before Gill interviewed with Auburn officials last week.

"We talked about the whole race thing in Alabama," Barkley said. "I told him it's
there and it's going to be anywhere you go. I told him you can't not take the
job because of racism. He was worried about being nothing more than a token
interview. He was concerned about having a white wife. It's just very
disappointing to me."

Those comments are very sad. Very sad. How the hell is Turner still getting "token" interviews? He won the flipping MAC Championship at Buffalo against an undeafeated, ranked team! People were talking about if he could win 4 or 5 games a year, it would be a success--and he's winning conference championships at year 3. Unreal.

This was the best point, I thought:

"My biggest problem with the black coaches is they're not getting jobs and
they're getting [expletive] jobs when they are hired," Barkley said. "They're
not getting good jobs. They're not getting jobs where they can be successful.
That's why I wanted Turner to get the Auburn job. He could win consistently at
Auburn. You can't win consistently at New Mexico. You can't win consistently at
Kansas State.
He could have won at Auburn."

I think this is basically true. It is strange; it is almost as though Tyrone Willingham was the only guy that is going to get a shot--and since he screwed it up, people are tepid. This, of course, is ridiculous.

Ultimately--Turner Gill or not--how Gene Chizik got the Auburn job is just beyond me. How you are on the edge of being fired at Iowa State leads to getting a SEC job is insane.

Oh, and one more thing: LOL at Chuck's comment about Kansas State. You suck, K-State. Even the Chuckster knows it.

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Friday, December 12, 2008

The Pain Train Is Back!

From the files of "One of the few things ESPN doesn't suck at:"

Kenny Mayne's "Mayne Street."

This web series is hilarious, and today's episode brings a very-welcome comeback from one of the great commercial characters ever. Click the link and enjoy.

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Tuesday, December 09, 2008

The Roots news not from someone named GA Hill

Unfortunately it comes from Jimmy Fallon.

Illinois Governor Blagojevich, And The Total Mind-Blow

This article is completely staggering. Staggeringly stunning.

Today, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich was arrested by the FBI. U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald said “the breadth of corruption laid out in these charges is staggering.”

(I totally copied Fitzgerald with my adjectives. Sorry, Pat.)

Here are some highlights:

--He was unapologetically asking for money up front from potential candidates to take Barack Obama's now-vacant Senate seat.
--Was considering taking the seat himself, to--somehow--simultaneously set himself up for a Presidential run in 2016, while avoiding impeachment (!) from the Illinois Congress.
--Was threatening the Chicago Tribune editorial board to change their tone of criticism towards him and his office, or else he would not approve the sale of Wrigley Field to the State of Illinois.
--On top of asking for significant campaign donations, was trying to also package a plush lobbying job for his wife in exchange for a Senate appointment.
--Trying to exchange significant increases to already enormous state government contracts for campaign contributions.
--Intimidation tactics to get donations through before legislation passed, in order for it not to appear that there was a conflict of interest.
--Trying to get an executive position with a Union board in exchange for a nomination of someone in the Union's pocket for the open Senate seat.

That's just the summary.

And you people wonder why I'm a libertarian. Power doesn't just corrupt Republicans, it turns out.

This story sends chills up my spine, and I don't even live in Illinois. It should you, too, because I PROMISE you that this happens everywhere.

Somewhere along the lines, the "power of the people" got shot in some dark alley and left for dead. It is incredibly depressing.

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Monday, December 08, 2008

Perfect Sandwich seeking mate full of barley...

Today, beer fans, I created for the first time (at least in my kitchen) a sandwich that brought a tear to my eye and a food boner to my bathing suit area. Before I unveil it's loveliness, I beseech you B&B readers to match this carnivorous snack with a suitable beer. I present to you the Sneaky Pete:
On two slices of potato bread (which unbeknownst to this author beforehand is 99% fat free), dress the left slice with your favorite mayonaisse and the right slice with a nice spicy brown mustard (I like French's).
On the mustard slice, cover with hard salami (Target's Archer Farms brand makes a nice salami, but you can also get resourceful and use the stuff you'll get in your stocking on the 25th.)On top of the mayo slice, make an obnoxious pile of thinly sliced roast beef. Thin is key here, fellas. It makes you more manly to stack more slices.
On top of the salami, apply a blanket of sharp cheddar. Any sharp cheddar will suffice and most pre-sliced packages are thick enough to provide a suitable cheese kick through the meat hug.
On top of the roast beef, apply two slices from a medium tomato. Give a good salting to the slices, you'll thank me. Carefully place the two piles of awesomeness together and get ready. Accompany with a handful of the world's finest snack pickles, Gedney's Mini-Munchers.

I made this sandwich at lunch today and literally was impelled to masturbate immediately afterwards. I paired the sandwich with a bottle of Boulevard Pale Ale. It tasted great when poured into a pint glass because it was my last bottle of beer and it was at lunch. Don't tell my boss. Now here's your homework, beerniks: Based on the aforementioned ingredients, what is the best beer for The Sneaky Pete?

Ron Santo - Hall of Famer?

There are a lot of things that can be said about Ron Santo--fighter, ambassador of the game, hilarious announcer, unabashed homer, the king of unintentional comedy--but one thing that cannot be said is "hall of famer." I have always thought this was kind of a shame, but not the worst thing ever. His numbers are certainly worthy of the Hall, but they certainly toe the line.

Well, that is, until possibly now: this report is saying that Ronnie got in through the Veteran's Committee today along with Joe Torre and Dick Allen. Who knows how legit this report can be, but that would be pretty cool.

In addition: I would give up my salary for a month to be in the same room as Santo when he gets the call. The comedy of that moment would be through the roof, although I legitimately worry that the shock might just kill the guy.

So let's hope the report is true, and congrats to Ron Santo, one of the genuinely nicest people I have ever had the chance to meet.

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Sunday, December 07, 2008

SNL Digital Short

Andy Samberg strikes gold again.


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Friday, December 05, 2008

Yes! Follow-up to The Hold Steady

Thanks to my man Ruckus, the Hold Steady poster from the Sokol show has been found!

Even better news: the artist, Christopher Halbkat--who appears to be incredibly talented--has agreed to print some up for us! Here's the specs:

Glad you like the poster! Yeah, The Hold Steady was a heavy show & I'd be
happy to print some more posters for you and the crew.

About Each Print: $25.00 / Signed & Numbered

Printed digital offset with archival-pigmented ink on acid-free Etching
paper, which has the subtle texture of an etching paper and a soft white tone.

Print Size is 12"x 18" including the 0.25" border for framing.

It is much more cost effective to print more than one at a time so If your
interested in more than one I can sell you four prints @ $75.

Let me know and I will email you a Paypal Invoice, Thanks much!

So there you go: if 4 people will purchase one, they are only $18.75. Pete and I are already down for orders, and I was going to purchase another one for when Sgt. Hales returns.

If there are any takers, leave it in the comments or get a hold of me. I want to order these ASAP, so please decide soon.

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Only In North Platte...

The only thing that would make this story better is the father of one of Heavy Soul's finest represented the macaroni mad man.

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Thursday, December 04, 2008

Familiar Faces? A Look Back at The Hold Steady in Omaha

So last night I continued my futile search for a poster commemorating when The Hold Steady played at the Sokol Underground in Omaha, back on May 20, 2007.

Still have found nothing. Damn.

However, I did find an interesting "roll" of film on this site, taken by Chip Duden. Tell me if you notice anyone familiar on the far right:

Great "I'm totally into this song right now" rock concert face.

And then there's this one...while you cannot see his face, as anyone that was there would know, the MIB was threateningly pointing at the keyboard player all night. I'm pretty sure we've got a confirmed sighting in this photo:

Anyway, I thought those were kind of cool. More importantly, it reminded me of that day/night, easily one of the most fun days ever. Ahh, memories.

In the meantime...1% Productions, get these guys back in Omaha!!!!!

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Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Chris Webber...ugg.

Unfortunately, I am watching NBA GameTime Live on NBA TV. It is a complete and total attempt of a rip-off of the best television show ever, "Inside the NBA" on TNT.

Ahmad Rashaad is the host, with Chris Webber and Gary Payton providing the "analysis." So far, they have sung at least two songs (terribly), attempted to make some jokes (terribly), and tried to have inside-type jokes between the studio idiots and the production people (al la "Kenny's Pictures" and "Gone Fishin'", only way, way, way f-ing worse).

They have had several things about the Glove playing at Oregon State, and Webber jumps in saying that Payton should try to compare Oregon State to the Michigan Wolverines.

Now--granted--Michigan basketball's history is better than Oregon State's. Probably not even close. But ol' C-Webb said something along the lines of "if you want to talk about the hallowed history of Michigan basketball--you know, all the national championships, wins, ...."

Chris, buddy: Michigan has *one* National Championship. ONE. And their best overall run at things was stricken from the books. BECAUSE OF YOU, YOU DIPSHIT!

My God. The guy went to school there. I would venture to guess that 75% of the people who have attended Michigan know that Glenn Rice was the only person to bring home a NC for Michigan...let alone someone who freaking played there.

Long story short: don't ever, EVER watch "NBA GameTime Live." Ever.

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Monday, December 01, 2008

Oh My

Look at this guy--this is from a high school game in Idaho.



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