REM, BCS and An X At The End

Justin November 13, 2010 0

I have excellent taste in music.

It spans genres and generations. It’s eclectic (which is a fancy way of saying it spans genres and generations.) It’s something I take quite a bit of pride in. I think it makes me cool.

But then, it doesn’t.

Every morning, I pop on my Ipod as I leave for work and spend the first 34 and a half minutes of my commute feeling like a cool guy.  Maybe the Clash will come on while I ride the subway. The Pixies may be next, as I climb the steps and begin my walk across SoHo. Then Springsteen, Jay-Z, REM, Vampire Weekend, The Smiths etc, etc, etc.

Then, invariably, it happens. I will approach my office building with something awesome on, maybe glance at my reflection in the big glass lobby window as I enter, (wow, Justin, hounds tooth blazer and jeans with your tie slightly askew is TOTALLY WORKING! You look like a cool college professor or classy talk show guest. And that Arcade Fire song you’re listening to absolutely contributes to that impression.) I get off the elevator, walk to the office door, flash my key card, grab for the door and then…

Hall and Oates.  or Neil Diamond. Or Billy Joel. Or Elton John and Kiki Dee. or Foreigner.

And all that internal cool guy energy I’ve worked up during my commute instantly drains out. The girls who sit near the door don’t see confident, musically diverse Justin strutting by. They see, “I hope the volume is low enough that they don’t notice this Mark McGrath song from the 50 First Dates soundtrack” Justin hunching his shoulders and trying to pass by unnoticed.

Now, this is not to say I don’t like Hall and Oates or Elton John. I am big fans of all of it. In fact, I love me some Billy Joel. They’re just not the artists I think of when I talk about my cool taste in music. I suppose that’s why they call them guilty pleasures.

And now.. Sports Illustrated: November 15th, 2010

Cam Newton, College Football, Auburn


By now, you know that I love Joe Posnanski as a writer. I think he has a unique ability to humanize the subjects of his stories, be they players, managers or fans. He does that very well in his remembrance of Sparky Anderson.  But,  he does it even better in this non-Sports Illustrated blog post about the Springsteen song, “The Promise.” If you don’t have something in your eyes by the time you’re done reading it, you are incapable of showing human emotion.


What Could Be by Austin Murphy and Dan Wetzel

Man, this system is FUCKED!

In the past, I’ve written angrily about members of Congress involving themselves in the fight about the BCS. Aren’t there more important things to worry about? But, this article has made me change my tune a bit. If the BCS costs schools money,  those schools have to raise tuition to make up the difference. And that affects everyone in America. And so, maybe the government should be involved.   Credit goes to both Murphy and Wetzel for laying out their arguments so logically and intelligently.

Just Like Old Times by Jim Trotter

I’m happy to see the Raiders doing well. Mainly because it reflects well on my brother and makes the “guy” who ripped him for writing that column look like a dick. A dick who loves 25 year old cultural references that are no longer funny. But, let’s calm down a bit. The Raiders are 5-4. The Chiefs are 5-3. They are not BACK quite yet. At this point, they’re just a bit less sucky than usual.

And A Wild Child Shall Lead Him by Chris Mannix

I kind of wish I had an X in my last name. It makes Chris Mannix sound like a bad ass crime fighter or a half-lizard half-man.  I also applaud him for using a call and answer style format for this piece.

As far as Gilbert Arenas is concerned, I have never had a problem with him. Even the gun thing didn’t bother me too much. It was stupid, but it’s not like he actually shot someone. And being scared of boos makes him seem a little sympathetic. I think he will have either no impact or a slightly positive impact on John Wall’s development. John Wall, by the way, is fun to watch. So is Blake Griffen. Take some time and watch them.

The Devils’ Bargain by Sarah Kwak

I am a New York Rangers fan. But I am a New York Rangers fan who came of age as a hockey watcher during the early 90’s.  As a result, I have only mild dislike for the Rangers traditional rivals, the Islanders. But I ABSOLUTELY HATE the Devils. So, watching them struggle this season has been fantastic. Reading about the ridiculous level of blind faith the entire organization has placed in Ilya Kovalchuk made me smile. It means the team is going against everything that’s made them so infuriatingly great over the past decade and a half. That being said, he scored an overtime winner last night. I’m always scared that these bastards will turn it on and end up winning the division again.

The 2,500-Year Old Man by Michael Farber

If you work in news, as I do, marathons are no longer athletic endeavors. They are pains in the ass,  full of false enthusiasm, unpronounceable names and stories from that one guy you work with who ran a marathon 15 years ago and mentions it every 5 minutes throughout the entire duration of the race. Also, a lot of drunk people along the route. I’m glad that Michael Farber was able to cure me of that for a few minutes. Instead of focusing on professional runners I don’t care about, he talks about the every day people who compete. It’s a great article full of humor, good emotion and great writing.

Point After by Phil Taylor

I had no idea what sport these kids played until I was nearly half way done with this column. That seems like something that should have been mentioned earlier.

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