While still psyched about the concert I saw this past week...
Oh, and don't forget you can follow me on Twitter - @TheOneTrueJay
LITTLE LEAGUE WORLD SERIES
The New England representative Cumberland, Rhode Island got knocked out in the beginning of the week though they did play well. The thing most people will take away from their games is the rather strong oratorical presence of the team's coach. He sure has a way with making speeches that serve to inspire his young charges.
His speeches were so good that ESPN was running them as highlights on Sportscenter AND during broadcasts of other LLWS games.
As for Mo'ne Davis and the team from Pennsylvania, they lost their last two games in Williamsport. She got tagged with the loss in the first of those two games. Of course, you could chalk up the end of their run to the fact that Davis realized a dream of all athletes this week when she was on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Yes, the curse lives!
The U.S. title game was played by teams from Nevada and Illinois. I saw the end of the Illinois/Rhode Island game and their reliever came in and just killed the Rhode Island batters. And he did it with a deadly serious look on his face that brought to mind any number of major league closers.
Illinois beat Nevada to win the US title and advanced to play in today's final against South Korea. The Koreans beat the defending Japanese champions to seal their berth in the title game.
The New York Liberty closed out their season with wins over the Washington Mystics and Indiana Fever. Each game was decided by the score of 73-61. But the Liberty's record of 15-19 kept them out of the playoffs again this year and my interest in the league pretty much ends.
I'll keep tabs on the playoffs to see which team wins, but this has been a hard year for me in terms of my WNBA fandom. I wasn't a fan of any active player this year and the Liberty never got on track enough to convince me they were going to make the playoffs.
As for next season, who knows what is going to happen.
BOSTON COLLEGE WOMEN'S BASKETBALL
The school's website has published another interview with one of the team's players. This time around it is junior to be Alexa Coulombe. You can check out what she had to say HERE.
There is a men's summer basketball league here in my town and their season is winding down. An article in the local weekly paper featured the league's founder bemoaning the state of the attitudes of the players while saying it might be the last year for the league because of said attitudes.
My question about this was how did he just notice this trend NOW? The piss poor attitudes of the players (some of who coach or coached at one time or another in the youth league) has been atrocious for years. This is not some new development.
I follow the local paper's sports editor on Twitter and earlier in the week he mentioned that there was a number of fights in the parking lot during one night's games.
It's good that the league is there for men still looking to play basketball in a competitive fashion but it is entirely facetious to act as if this year's attitudes are the straw breaking the camel's back when it comes to continuing to have the league at all.
Books - I finished reading the Louise Millar novel The Hidden Girl this week. I am hopefully doing a review of the book soon, but the main thrust of my review won't be positive. It was billed as a psychological thriller but for me it was 300 pages of annoying characters and their interactions before getting about 5 minutes of actual thrills. Very disappointing.
Music - Fair warning, there's a lot of music stuff this week.
My latest CD review on KNAC.com is for the brand new Kix CD Rock Your Face Off. After I posted it on the various places I pimp out my reviews on Facebook, the band shared the link on their FB page and it got a lot of likes and shares. The band also responded to the review in a quickie message to me. Oh and the singer for the band Hellion hit the favorite on the link when I tweeted it out so that was cool too. You can check it out the review for yourself HERE.
I picked up the new Unisonic CD Light of Dawn this week. Yes, there will be a review forthcoming.
I've got a couple of new songs for you to check out this week. The first is the new single from John Mellencamp. The song is called "Troubled Man" and you can check it out via this Youtube link.
The second song is from the band Soulbender. This is the side project of Queensryche guitarist Michael Wilton. The song is called "Turn Anger Up" and you can check it out via this Youtube link.
Finally, this past Wednesday I attended what is likely my only concert of the year when I saw Night Ranger at the Zeiterion Theater in New Bedford, MA. It's about 25 minutes from my house so this was perfect. I'm planning on doing a full review of the concert at some point but I will say that I had a blast at the show as the band just rocked out. The high energy show was filled with one great song after another. I was about 5 feet from the stage so when the guitarists came up to the edge of the stage, I could see up close and in detail as their fingers flew across the fretboard. It was just something great to see.
Of course, the odd thing about going to the show on Wednesday is that less than 24 hours later, one of the band's guitarists (Joel Hoekstra) announced he would be leaving the band to join up with Whitesnake. This meant I was even more happy I'd seen the band play on Wednesday.
While horrified at someone posting a nearly 30 minute video on Youtube of my 1988 junior prom (THE HORROR! THE HORROR!)...
LITTLE LEAGUE WORLD SERIES
I know that a lot of people kvetch and moan about the Little League World Series and every year I mention how I absolutely love it. Well that time of year is upon us again and the games have gotten underway.
I'm rooting for Cumberland, Rhode Island this year at the moment. The team is the North East US representative and I always follow whichever team ends up getting that bid. They lost to Texas in their first game on Friday night but there is still time to bounce back.
They are playing Tennessee as I write this on Saturday night and they are currently up 5-2 in the 4th inning. Cumberland was still up 5-2 going into the top of the 6th inning but Tennessee put 5 runs on the board to take a 7-5 lead. But the Rhode Island boys rallied back for a walk off three run bottom of the 6th and a thrilling victory.
There's a team from Chicago that made a big splash in their first game with one of their players hitting 3 homers (and a triple) in their debut.
And let us not forget the team from Pennsylvania. They've got the young girl Mo'ne Davis as their pitching star. She throws a 70 mile an hour fastball and she has been overpowering batters. In the game that got them to Williamsport, she threw a complete game shutout with 6 strikeouts. And on Friday, she became the first girl in the 75 year history of the Little League World Series to throw a shutout. Tennessee was the victim as she had an 8 strikeout day while giving up just 2 hits.
While the story is obviously going to get a lot of play because this is a girl doing so well in the boy dominated LLWS, I'm simply enjoying watching her dominate in her performance. Best of all, she seems thoroughly unaffected by all the media attention and shoutouts from pro athletes she's been getting.
It was another busy week for the New York Liberty. Sadly things didn't go well for them. The week started with a 90-76 loss to the Indiana Fever. They followed that up with a 76-64 loss to the Phoenix Mercury. Then came another game against the Fever and they lost that one 76-63.
The team just doesn't have the personnel on the roster that will allow them to truly compete with the league's best teams. Bill Laimbeer's magic touch with roster moves hasn't really panned out over his two seasons in New York thus far.
Unsurprisingly, my WNBA season will end as the regular season ends, another depressing season soon to be in the books.
BOSTON COLLEGE WOMEN'S BASKETBALL
This week you can check out an interview with senior Victoria Lesko as she prepares for her final season with the Eagles. The interview can be read HERE.
HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
The girls track coach at Wareham High has run a fitness camp for all female athletes this summer. The local paper had an article last week that included quotes from Paige, one of my former players. She is in the photo below (2nd from the left). Here's the article.
Comic Books - The Boston Comic Con was held last week. I was unable to go and that bummed me out a bit because I would've loved to have met creator Stan Sakai. He's celebrating 30 years of work on his comic series Usagi Yojimbo. While I can't share a photo of me with him (since I wasn't there obviously), you can check out this interview with Sakai reflecting on the 30 year journey with his "Ronin Rabbit".
Toys - I don't really collect much in the way of toys, but when I saw they were coming out with some old style action figures for the Firefly TV show I knew I had to pick them up. Two of the figures were released this week and I picked them up at my local comic shop yesterday.
Books - This week I finished the Daniel Silva thriller The Heist. It is the latest in his Gabriel Allon series and like the rest of the books in the series, this one was a fantastic read.
Music - You can check out my review of the new Overkill CD White Devil Armory via this KNAC.com link.
The new Accept CD Blind Rage comes out on Tuesday August 19th. You can check out the lyric video for the song "Final Journey" below.
While enjoying the slow introduction of the Firefly universe to Julie...
By the way, after just the pilot and 3 episodes, she has declared, "This is a great show!"
YOUTH SPORTS CATCH UP
A couple weeks back I learned some news about a couple of my former players but I didn't include the news here until now.
Sam (pictured below with clipboard) coached the local high school boys summer league team for the second season in a row. His dad is the varsity coach and Sam appears to be following in the footsteps of his grandfather, father, uncle and an aunt.
The team was the top seed in the summer league playoffs, but I haven't yet found out how the playoffs have gone for them.
The other player's news is not as good though it currently has a happy ending. Cody played for me for three seasons (I coached his sister and brother as well.). He was in his freshman year at the Mass Maritime Academy when he was diagnosed with a form of cancer. I didn't even know about it until I saw an article in the paper a couple weeks ago on his mother riding in the Pan Mass Challenge.
From what I was able to learn from people close to the family, he's in remission right now but it was a tough road to get there. Cody and his mom art pictured below.
ED O'BANNON LAWSUIT UPDATE
The news came down on Friday night that the judge in the O'Bannon lawsuit vs. the NCAA ruled largely in favor of the plaintiff. I am not nearly well versed enough to go into details about the rulings, so just check out this article.
When you combine this with the news that the NCAA is ceding some of their control to the 5 power conferences, the face of big-time college sports is about to get a huge makeover.
Of course, whether this will be for the good or the bad has yet to be determined but it will create a new tiered level of NCAA "citizenship" between the haves and the have nots of colleges. And at least some of the players will be seeing some money beyond the mythical scholarship to attend the school.
It is a long time coming given the billions the NCAA has raked in over the decades but let's hope that things don't blow up in everyone's face as this new day in college sports begins its shakedown cruise.
BOSTON RED SOX
As the Red Sox continue their one step forward, two steps backwards way, there were a couple of notes on players that caught my eye. Mike Carp was designated for assignment and ended up being claimed on waivers by the Texas Rangers.
So in his quest to play more, he's gone from the last place team in the AL East to the one of the worst teams in the entire major leagues.
Oh, and in a sign that these trades are not going to work out all that well for Boston, recently acquired Allen Craig is already on the disabled list. He sprained an ankle according to reports and now joins Kelly Johnson as new Red Sox players doing nothing to help the club.
And sadly, the season of Shane Victorino is officially over and done with. He could just never get healthy and this week he finally gave in and underwent season ending back surgery.
In off the field news, it appears Red Sox honcho Tom Werner is one of the three finalists to replace Bud Selig as the commissioner of baseball. I really do hate to be so pessimistic, but given that he's part of the "brain trust" that has destroyed the Red Sox in 2 of the last three seasons, do you really want to give him the chance to screw up the entirety of major league baseball?
The New York Liberty had a busy week this past week with three games on the schedule. They knocked off the Dream 83-76 but then inexplicably laid a huge egg by getting crushed by the Mystics 79-46. On Friday, Tina Charles led New York back from that pasting and to a 71-66 win over the Sun to up their record to 12-16 for the season.
While this isn't tied to any of the games mentioned above, here's a Getty Images pic of Katie Smith from the July 6th game against the Minnesota Lynx.
In other Liberty news, the team waived Leilani Mitchell this week. She's been "suspended" for the entire season in a procedural move and spent her time in Australia. It was never really going to work out for her in New York with Bill Laimbeer in charge (he reportedly didn't like her skill set) so this move was inevitable.
In other league news, San Antonio Stars player Becky Hammon (pictured below) will be retiring at the end of the season, but she won't be out of work long. She's been hired to be the first full-time female assistant coach in the NBA.
While she was out injured last season she got permission to attend practices for the San Antonio Spurs and Greg Popovich must've liked what he saw because he added Hammon to his staff for the upcoming season.
I've never been a big fan of Hammon (really hated how she got a bogus Russian citizenship so she could play in the Olympics for them), but this next chapter of her life should prove very interesting. So good luck to her as she embarks on her coaching career.
BOSTON COLLEGE WOMEN'S BASKETBALL
You can check out an interview with BC's Lauren Engeln HERE!
HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL
I thought I had attended my last high school summer league game a couple weeks back, but this past Wednesday, the playoff schedule aligned with mine and I was able to see the Wareham High girls play against Coyle-Cassidy. The Vikings led 20-15 late in the first half and then things just completely fell apart for them as Coyle-Cassidey went on a 40-13 run when I finally had enough and left with 43 seconds left in the game.
While I coached a number of the girls on the team, this was just an abysmal performance by the team. While they were winning things were fine. But when faced with adversity on the court, they played out of sorts and with no depth of understanding in terms of how to play as a team. It was worse than playground basketball to tell the truth.
You've got selfish players who think they are the only ones who can do anything. That might be a forgivable attitude if they didn't then proceed to screw up in the same old ways they used to do while playing youth league.
Shot selection was a joke and worse yet, the shots were so weak they sometimes barely hit the front of the rim.
Players were constantly out of position defensively leading to a number of second and third chances for Coyle-Cassidy.
The varsity coach was watching the game and I can't imagine anything he saw in the second half of the game pleased him. The summer league coaches really didn't seem to make any adjustments to the game plan. Either that or the players simply didn't bother to follow through on any of the suggestions.
Music - On Sunday last week, I woke up to the news that my all-time favorite band, Savatage, would be reuniting for the first time in over a decade. They are set to play a live set at the 2015 Wacken Open Air festival in Germany. If I had thousands of dollars to make the trip I would have. But I guess it is a good thing that I didn't have the money because the 75,000 tickets for the event sold out in 12 hours.
I'm hoping that the event streams their set online, or the band records the show for a live CD release.
I have to be excited about the reunion even if it is in Germany because it just wouldn't be financially feasible for the band to play any kind of tour here in the States.
Also, I received the brand new CD from the band Kix in the mail on Friday. It is called Rock Your Face Off.
Movies - I went to see Guardians of the Galaxy yesterday with that certain someone special. I am not writing a full on review of it but my brief review is that the film was rather fun and outstanding. I don't normally go to see a film more than once in the theater, but I would definitely pay to see this movie again. So much in the way of fun, and both Rocket and Groot were hilarious. I was initially worried that the abundance of humor in the trailers would hurt the overall product but instead it really did well at lightening the more dramatic portions of the movie. A job well done.
Fans of the classic science fiction TV show Babylon 5 got some potentially good news this week when it was announced that creator J. Michael Straczynski is going to reboot the franchise as a movie. He's looking to get the film made and on screens by 2016. I'm very cautious about a full reboot as this would seem to be set up as. This would be because my fandom for the TV leaves it as quite possibly my favorite TV show ever. But I'll wait to see the movie before making any final judgement. You can read the news article HERE.
Books - I picked up the new Greg Rucka thriller Bravo this week. Oh, and I received that book from Atria Books so I can do a review. The book is The Hidden Girl by Louise Millar. I also picked up the new Carol O'Connell novel It Happens in the Dark.
While thoroughly enjoying the new person that has come into my life...
BOSTON RED SOX
If you want to know what I thought of the flurry of Red Sox moves before this past Thursday's trade deadline, you can check out my blog post about it HERE.
One final trade that wasn't made before I did that blog post was the Stephen Drew and cash considerations to the Yankees for Kelly Johnson. This trade made me laugh. I know Drew wasn't hitting but the guy they traded for is on the disabled list so neither is he.
The Liberty ended up getting blown out by the Phoenix Mercury 78-63 to start off their week and then lost to the Chicago Sky 87-74 to drop to 10-15.
Two blowout losses do nothing to inspire confidence that the Liberty will indeed turn things around and make a run to a playoff berth. If this keeps up the two teams I follow during the summer months will both be providing other teams with a playing out the string opponent until the season's merciful end.
I would really hate for that to happen here, bad enough it happened with the Red Sox. But if it does, that will mean my only continued hope for summer sports excellence will be coming out of the Little League World Series.
I'm glad ESPN suspended Stephen A. Smith for his idiotic comments about how women shouldn't do anything to upset their pro athlete significant other and get beat up. The comment was stupid and the lame apology as he tried to say he meant something else and just didn't convey his actual thoughts was preposterous. You mean to tell me a guy who uses words for a living can't put together a coherent word blurb that doesn't make it sound like NFL players beating up their significant other is the fault of anyone but the player?
But can I start a petition to extend the ban a few more decades? I can't stand listening to the blowhard on Sportscenter and anything that keeps him off the air is fine by me.
The problem with ESPN is that they let these types of blowhards get facetime on the network and turn them into across the platform "experts". And Smith and others begin to believe their crap doesn't stink. So they pontificate and pontificate louder and longer and invariably think that whatever they say is the gospel of truth since they said it. And then they get stupid.
ESPN is their co-conspirator by not refusing to make their talking heads behave less like incompetent in your face know it alls and instead focus on providing solid based in reality commentary.
ESPN should return their focus to being the "Worldwide Leader In Sports" and stop with all the caterwauling nonsense of their "Look at Me!" roster of ranters and ravers. Give me substance over style...PLEASE!
BOSTON COLLEGE WOMEN'S BASKETBALL
Here's an interview with 5th year senior Shayra Brown as she prepares to comeback from last season's foot injury. It's not often I can say I was there when a player suffered an injury, but in this case, the injury came in the first game of the season when the Eagles played Stanford and I was at the game.
I don't think anyone realized when the injury occured that Brown was not going to be back on the court the rest of the year.
And her loss did affect the Eagles. While her presence wouldn't have changed the fact that BC wouldn't have made post season play, Brown's play would've likely made them more competitive in games.
Movies - I introduced a special someone to the movie Galaxy Quest this past week and surprisingly she really liked it. The next day I found MTV had published a 15th anniversary oral history article about the film. You can check it out HERE.
And in even better news, a couple of days after I found that article came the news that IDW Publishing is resurrecting the "franchise" and will be publishing a new Galaxy Quest comic book. You can read some details via this link.
By the way, with the release of the new Marvel Comics movie Guardians of the Galaxy, I would've gone to see it yesterday and had something to say about it here. But I am holding off a week and will see it next Saturday.
Depressing Story of the Week That Demonstrates We Are Doomed - It seems the head of an English language learning center fired a blogger that works for the school because the blogger wrote a post for the school's website about homophones.
It seems the HEAD OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNING CENTER doesn't actually understand English...because he cited the reason the guy was fired was because by writing about homophones, the school would now be associated with homosexuals.
You can read more about this dizzying downward spiral of homo sapiens HERE.
TV - A trio of programming notes you might want to be aware of this week. Up first is the news that the fourth season of the AMC series Hell on Wheels started last night. You can see a brief teaser trailer below.
Next is a reminder that the fourth and final season of The Killing premiered on Netflix as of Friday August 1st. I haven't watched it yet but actually do have a means to do so instead of waiting for DVD. The trailer for the season is below.
Finally, the Starz network will premiere the series adaptation of the Diana Gabaldon book series Outlander on August 9th. But the first episode has reportedly hit On Demand a week early. I'm not familiar with the books myself but they do seem to be rather popular. I'm interested in checking out the series and will likely take a peak at the first episode sometime this week.
Hot Actresses of All-Time - Everyone has their favorite smoking hot actresses of choice. But my buddy J.D. has compiled his choices for the Top 15 hottest actresses of all-time. You can check out the list and agree or disagree via this Pop-topia.com link.
Books - I'll be receiving a new mystery/thriller book from Atria Books in the next week or so. I had gotten forwarded an email from the guy who owns Pop-topia.com. The company was offering the chance to download four books. Because I'm having problems with my computer I didn't want to download anything. So I took a chance and fired off an email to the publicity person for the book The Hidden Girl by Louise Millar. I asked if a hard copy of the book was available for a review and got a positive response. So when it gets here, I'll read it and then do up a review.
I also picked up a couple new books this week as well. The new Sue Grafton mystery W is for Wasted is now a part of my large "to be read" pile as is the new Dick Wolf thriller The Execution.
Music - My Pop-topia.com review of the new Winger CD Better Days Comin' can be viewed HERE!
While still kind of mystified and pleased over a recent development in my life...
The Celtics signed Evan Turner this week bring the total number of players on the roster to 18. Even worse is the fact that Turner comes to a team that is already loaded with players of the same general skill level in both the shooting guard and small forward positions he usually plays.
Something has to break soon with GM Danny Ainge's plans to improve the team because right now, there is just too many good but not great players on the team. The plan to rebuild the team through trading players and/or draft picks to land a big time player to compliment Rajon Rondo looks to be going by the wayside. There has been no movement towards landing Kevin Love from Minnesota (with Cleveland and Chicago leading that chase) and after that, there really isn't a true franchise changing player left on the market.
It is going to take something drastic for the Celtics to improve on 25-57 this coming season if they end up with essentially the same roster they had last year.
In other NBA news, the trial for control of the right to sell the LA Clippers took an interesting turn when the team's CEO testified that coach Doc Rivers would likely quit as coach if Donald Sterling is in charge when the next season begins. You can check that article out HERE.
If Doc Rivers quits or Chris Paul and other players refuse to play for the team because of their racist owner, this would make a rather interesting NBA season would it not? The refusal to play or coach for this particular reason would have to be something never before seen on a professional sports level, no?
And since the players are under a legally binding contract, does it open them up for lawsuits from the team for violating the contract. Now that would be an interesting Catch-22 for the league to find itself in the position of having to take sides in.
The New York Liberty got back to work after the All-Star break and handed the L.A. Sparks a 66-64 loss.
The team ventured to Seattle the next night and came away with an 84-80 overtime victory. The two wins improve them to 10-13 on the season.
By the way, you can check out an article on New York's Tina Charles HERE.
As for the Sparks, they fired coach Carol Ross (and assistant Gail Goestenkors resigned) and replaced her with the team's GM Penny Toler. This is an interesting move because Toler has never coached before. I mean if they were looking for a coach, I have 25 years of youth league coaching experience, that has to count for something more that ZERO EXPERIENCE at coaching of any kind.
It has been going on for a few years now, but this trend of hiring people with no actual coaching experience is a bit disturbing to me. Maybe it is because I was a coach (though with the way people keep asking me if I'm going back or suggesting coaching jobs that might become available, you'd think I was still an active coach) but every time I see someone with no coaching experience getting hired to run a team, I cringe a little and get a little bit of outrage worked up over what I see as a devaluation of the coaching profession.
Look, I know that I'm not in the same league as professional coaches, but I still believe that someone who has made coaching their vocation is a far better option than picking a neophyte like say, Jason Kidd, off the just retired as a player list and handing him the keys to the kingdom of coaching.
You can argue that a new coach can simply hire an experienced staff or that some newbie coaches have turned out to be really good at their jobs. The latter is certainly true but exceptions don't prove the rule. As for the former, if you expect a new coach to hire an experienced staff to help guide him as he or she learns on the job, why don't you just hire the experience in the first place. I'm sure players don't really care about who coaches them, but if I was a player I would want someone that I believe knows what the hell they are doing and not being more of a figurehead while the ones with actual coaching acumen do all the work.
WOMEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Tennessee - Ariel Massengale missed the last 16 games of the season last year after suffering a head injury. She's on the comeback trail now and you can read about it HERE.
UCLA - Guard Lauren Holiday announced the end of her playing career this past week due to head injuries. According to this ARTICLE, she suffered 4 head injuries during her freshman season and then 3 more head injuries (and a broken nose) during her sophomore season. She's going to remain on scholarship as an undergraduate assistant while pursuing her degree.
Boston College - The Eagles have signed guard Martina Mosetti, a 5 foot 9 inch guard out of Trieste, Italy. You can check out what they had to say about her addition to the team HERE.
Denver Broncos - My sympathies go out to the Broncos this week after the organization was hit by the body blow of owner Pat Bowlen stepping away from the team due to Alzheimer's Disease. You don't have to be a fan of the team to feel for them. Bowlen has been a great owner and representative of the NFL since taking over as owner 30 years ago.
The press release announcing the move was a bit badly worded in my opinion though. It said he was stepping away to focus on his battle with Alzheimer's Disease. This seems a big disingenuous to me given that it is hardly a battle when you've already lost the war when diagnosed with the disease in the first place. You don't get better, it is a despicably terminal disease and I just thought the way the wording of the statement tried to make it sound like he was actually going to win the battle.
Tony Dungy - The former coach found himself in hot water this week after making comments about Michael Sam. Dungy said he wouldn't have drafted Sam because of all the distraction that Sam being gay would bring to the team.
Now, given Dungy's religious avocation and all the discriminatory things his faith would allow him to feel comfortable getting away with, the comments blew up into a scandal (fueled by ESPN of course).
But as much as I hate being in the position of having to defend anyone of faith, what Dungy said really didn't strike me as coming from a position of Dungy expressing his religious faith. Rather, I thought he was expressing a football coach outlook on the situation.
While Dungy has always been portrayed as a cool, calm and collected opposite of the stereotype of a mad scientist football coach, you don't get to the top of the NFL without a little bit of that 100% focus that comes with being a detail oriented madman.
And that's what I think this is. Yes, making the comments is a bit stupid given the state of the world these days, but last I checked wasn't Dungy answering a question put to him? Asked and answered, no?
And what is so strange about a coach not wanting to deal with someone or something that could serve as a sideshow to the business of putting together a football team to try and compete for the championship.
Jeff Fisher deserves kudos for being willing to at least attempt to take this on. Let's remember that Michael Sam hasn't actually made the Rams yet, shall we? But just because Fisher accepts the challenge of having every question (Did your defense screw up that goal line stand because Michael Sam is on the team?) devolving into a referendum on Sam being gay, doesn't mean every coach would be as willing or open minded. But it doesn't always mean that they are doing it as a form of discrimination.
Of course, Dungy backtracked his statement the next day and the tempest in a teapot died down but now he's been tarred and feathered in the media for expressing his opinion and there is no walking that back.
I hope Michael Sam makes the Rams, I really do. Not because he's a gay football player but rather because the football player making the NFL is the culmination of a path started in pee wee football and that is something anyone should aspire to and others admire their dedication in pursuit of that goal. Sam has repeatedly said he just wants to be a football player. I think it is time every outside party start covering the story that way.
Books - I finished reading the Michael Connelly book The Gods of Guilt. It is the latest in his Lincoln Lawyer series. It was a decent enough read but it took darn near forever for me to really get into the book. Not a whole lot of fireworks.
TV - MTV announced that they will air a series based on the Terry Brooks Sword of Shannara book series. The show will be called Shannara. I was actually kind of excited about this at first, I'm a long time fan of the start of the series (the first trilogy) and a few of the succeeding follow up series.
But when I read the news article saying they plan to skip the first book in the trilogy and start with Book 2 ( The Elfstones of Shannara), my BS alarm started ringing. I'm not going to get down on a series before seeing it, but this does have me feeling a bit cautious now.
I know MTV's target audience is teenagers with little understanding of depth of content but I do not want to see an adaptation of a series I loved turn into little more than a show about horny teenagers with no brains running around with swords. MTV needs to insure that if not exactly the tone of Game of Thrones, that the Shannara series at least aspire to reaching for great dramatic heights and not wallow in the muck and mire of most of their "original content." You can read more about the series HERE.
Sunday October 12th is the premiere date for the fifth season of The Walking Dead. And at the San Diego Comic-Con on Friday, they unveiled the 3 1/2 minute trailer for the season. It is freaking intensely awesome! You can see it below.
Music - My review of the new Judas Priest album Redeemer of Souls is now available HERE.
Meanwhile, there was a couple of new videos online this week that I thought you might want to check out. The first one is for the Overkill song "Bitter Pill". This is the second video from their new album White Devil Armory (which I received the deluxe edition of in the mail yesterday). I found it much better than the first song released, "The Armorist".
The second video is from blues guitarist Joe Bonamassa. It is the title track from his new album Different Shades of Blue (due out September 23rd) and quite honestly this is an amazing song. It was so good that I immediately put the album on my to buy list. I like the song so much I'm already considering adding it as a candidate for my song of the year.