User Showcase
World Flop (err Cup) 2014
Category: User Showcase

As I look on with interest about how America responds to Soccer, I look at the two groups and I’m not sure I see a middle ground here.  Kind of reminds of in a sense of NASCAR.  However, NASCAR doesn’t have the pretentiousness, elitism, and arrogance of Soccer, and NASCAR is uniquely American.

The first group won’t accept Soccer under any circumstances, the most common reasons being too boring, the flopping, and the corruption within the sport.  And they’re right – to which I would respond:  as opposed to Baseball (boring at times), Basketball (flopping and corruption), Football (flopping and selling their soul for their next dollar)?  Oh, and to this group, I would also say this – Ann Coulter says shit for effect, but she doesn’t help your cause when she claims that Soccer is a cause of the moral decay of America.  No Ann, You, and the judge first flame-throwers like you are the cause of moral decay in America.

Then there is the pro-soccer group who is making it their mission in life to convert every American to Soccer, the beautiful game.  These people DEMAND for everybody to acknowledge that the game is the next great thing and won’t accept anybody who doesn’t acknowledge that.  To these folks, I say this:  The reason folks don’t like Soccer is because it’s like Golf and Tennis in a sense where elitism rules, and that offends American sensibilities far worse than boring, flopping, corrupt sports.  That may sound crazy, but that’s the way it is with us – nobody ever accused us of having common sense when it comes to sports. 

To those who demand we love Soccer, I also say this:  Exhibit one of why we shouldn’t was that farce of a game Saturday between Argentina and Belgium.  The amount of bullshit flopping and “injury” is a disgrace and you Soccer fans should be SCREAMING about shit like that.  I’ve seen harder hits in a freaking 3rd grade Saturday Morning soccer-fest.  Memo to the Argentines:  When you get kicked in the shin and you’re “injured”, we all know better, you’re all wearing shin-guards.  So just knock it the hell off.

I actually had a very polarizing scribe here in Crack-town say this:  Honestly, if Dan Shaughnessy or anyone else doesn't like soccer, who cares? They don't have to like it. Many older white guys don't. Move on.”  Yet this very same guy who I respect, in the very next tweet continues to mock those who don’t like it.  Makes no sense.  Move on…

Hey look, I get it, Soccer isn’t everybody’s cup of tea.  A lot of it, they have done to themselves, but Goalie Tim Howard carried the Americans on his back last Tuesday in that loss to Belgium.  I don’t know what that USA defense was doing, but they checked out the whole game.

My brother absolutely loves Soccer.  I’m not a Soccer fanatic, I like the sport (in moderation), and I think it’s a sport that caters demographically to certain groups of people, and it’s not a bad way to go out and spend a nice Summer evening, or Saturday Morning if you have kids – and it’s certainly cheaper than dinner and a movie.  But IHM and Sully are also right.  Keith Olbermann seems to be about as anti-Soccer as it gets, but he had it right with his seven points of advice to making soccer more popular in America on this monologue:


While Olbermann is right on all counts, let’s not be naïve about this.  You know what the real issue about Soccer in America is?  M-O-N-E-Y.  It doesn’t bring in anywhere near enough.  Let’s see ESPN’s commitment AFTER the World Cup.  Are they going to break out with the MLS coverage?  Doubtful.

Hey by the way Soccer Fan, I’m on the fence here, but it doesn’t help your argument about how great the game is when you look at the stands and there are tons of empty seats – IN “SOCCER-MAD” BRAZIL.

TageRyche's Non-Sports Concert Checklist Blog
Category: User Showcase
Tags: Music Concerts

Due to Sully's June 30th Question of the Day post, I decided to do a concert checklist blog post for the various shows I've attended over the years. I'll try to include what did or did not make the show special as well. The shows are listed in order of attendance. 


01. The very first concert I ever attended was sometime BEFORE 1986. I was a little kid and my parents took the whole family to see The Statler Brothers. Growing up, our Sunday morning chores were done to one of their greatest hits albums.

My parents had gone to see them in prior years and decided to take us in this particular year. We went to the South Shore Music Circus in Cohasset, MA. Country singer Helen Cornelius was the opening act and for a boy that was maybe 10 years old at the time, she was smoking hot in those REALLY tight pants. I got to meet her after her set and still to this day have the autographed photo of her that I got that night. And then when I went towards the stage during the Statler Brothers set, one of the singers (Harold Reid) stopped the show so I could take a photo of them.

02. My first rock concert  was Survivor in 1987 on their When Seconds Count tour. My dad took me to the show at the South Shore Music Circus. I missed out on getting a drumstick thrown into the row where I was sitting but during the encore of "Eye of the Tiger" I got to be right up at the stage and shared a high five with singer Jimi Jamison. Keyboardist Steve Mullen opened the show and I got to meet him after his set. Bought a Survivor T-shirt at the show.

03. In 1988 I went to see Robert Plant at the Providence Civic Center. He had the volume up way too high and you could barely make out what he was singing. Cheap Trick opened the show and they were awesome. I bought a Cheap Trick T-shirt.

04. In 1988 I saw Aerosmith at Great Woods in Mansfield, MA. They were great. My best friend at the time got the tickets from his dad. They were good seats too. Smartly, I stopped my friend from taking the pot pipe offered to him by some smoking hot babes at intermission because I saw the security guards watching them. As soon as the lights went down for Aerosmith, the guards came and took the babes away. Opening act? A pretty decent sounding Guns N' Roses.

05. In 1988 at the Orpheum Theater in Boston I saw Bad Company (with Brian Howe on vocals). The band was great. Opening for them was Winger and me and the group of friends that went got to meet the whole Winger band after the show outside of their tour bus. I still have the album flat and jean jacket that they all signed.

06. In 1989 I saw Poison at the Worcester Centrum. They were gawdawful bad and the opener Tesla completely blew them off the stage.

06. In 1989 I went to the first Headbanger's Ball tour at the Orpheum Theater in Boston. Anthrax was the headliner and they were pretty good. Memorable event during their set was towards the end when a kid jumped from the balcony landed on the floor smashed 3 or four chairs and limped away like it was a walk in the park. Helloween was the middle act and the main reason I went. Sadly about 2 weeks before the concert the guitarist who founded the band, Kai Hansen, left the group so I never got to see him perform live. Exodus was the opener and they were okay but I really only knew the song "The Toxic Waltz" from them at the time.

07. In 1989, I saw Metallica on their ...And Justice For All Tour. They were freaking amazing. But the potheads kind of ruined the actual atmosphere. The lights went down, take a breath and fine, take a second breath and a wall of pot fumes smacked you in the face. Queensryche opened and they were awesome as well.

08. In 1989 I saw W.A.S.P at the Citi Club in Boston.  They were fantastic. Accept was the middle act with David Reece on vocals and they weren't much more than mediocre. Metal Church was the opener and I got to meet four fifths of the band before the show. Funny thing was the club was on Landsdowne Street right next to Fenway Park and their was a Red Sox game that night. And both the concert and ballgame let out at the same time, so that was an interesting mix. Oh, and I got a drumstick from W.A.S.P. drummer Frankie Banali when he tossed it into the crowd.

09. In 1989 I saw Metallica for the second time on the ...And Justice For All tour. Again they were awesome. I can't remember where the show was held though. The Cult was opening for them and while musically they sounded fine, singer Ian Astbury was a lazy performer who sang every third word (Yes I actually counted) in the songs. For that reason, The Cult is one of the worst shows I've seen.

10. In 1989 at Great Woods in Mansfield I saw Tesla headline over Great White and Badlands. Tesla was fantastic again, Great White was really good and brought the house down during a particularly strong rendition of "Save Your Love" and Badlands was solid.

11. In 1989 at Great Woods, I saw a supremely awesome show by Don Henley. He was just a kickass performer on this night. Edie Brickell and New Bohemians opened the show and were decent.

12. In 1989 I saw a local club band called XCalibur. They were a band that was friends with a friend of mine. They put on a decent show and I had the four song EP cassette of theirs for a while. They never went anywhere but it was a good show. Got to hang out with them after the set.

13. In 1989 at the original Living Room in Providence, RI I saw a headline set by Badlands. Unfortunately the sound was great and because I was having problems with the heat from the totally oversold crowd I moved off the main floor and watched most of the show from the side. Did spend part of the Badlands set standing next to the drummer from openers D.A.D. who had come out to watch the set.

Oh and I got a picture of the late Ray Gillen that was actually a screwup in the photo development but came out better than what I had actually taken.

14. At the Worcester Centrum in 1990 I saw Whitesnake (with Steve Vai on guitar) headlining over Kix. Whitesnake was really good. However, despite the reputation of Kix as a great live band, I was a bit disappointed in their set.

15. At the Living Room in Providence in 1990 I saw one of the best concerts I've ever seen. It was Savatage on their Gutter Ballet tour. Those who know the Living Room know there was only one way in or out. So the band heading into soundcheck (which sounded great too) had to go through the fans and we got to meet a bunch of the guys. Local band Emissary opened the show but weren't very impressive.

Here's some shots from that show:

Singer Jon Oliva

Me with Steve "Dr. Killdrums" Wacholz

Me with guitarist Chris Caffery

Me with one of my all-time favorite guitarists, the first one to make me listen to the music as intently as the singing, the late Criss Oliva.

16. In 1990, I was unemployed at the time of this Aerosmith concert at Great Woods but friends of mine wanted to get lawn seats so I scraped together the bucks for a lawn ticket and went. Never so pissed in my life. The Black Crowes opened and they were terrible. Then during intermission (this was before the big fences were installed) I counted 200 people who hopped the little fence and got away into the crowd. Security was a joke. They nailed this huge muscle bound freak like he was a terrorist but somehow missed this girl with a full leg cast on her broken leg and hobbling on crutches. At least Aerosmith was decent.

17. I saw Heart at Great Woods in 1990. They were outstanding. The opening band was Giant and the guitarist for that band went on to become a huge producer in Nashville.

18. I saw Melissa Etheridge at Great Woods the day after the Heart show. At the time, I had no idea she was gay but learned real fast that she was given the makeup of the crowd. She put on an electrifying show though. I didn't care for the opener del Amitri.

19. In 1991 at the Citi Club in Boston I took my sister to see Nelson. I wasn't a fan of the band but wanted to see the opening act House of Lords. She loved Nelson so we both got to have a good time. My brother's godfather took us to the show in his limo.

20. In 1991 at the Providence Civic Center I saw Queensryche's headline tour for their Empire CD. They performed the previous CD Operation:mindcrime in its entirety and put on one of the greatest concerts I've ever seen. Suicidal Tendencies opened and I thought they were good but the singer Mike Muir was totally blitzed on drugs and/or booze and made nearly no sense when he was talking.

21. In 1991 at Great Woods I saw Damn Yankees headline over Bad Company. Both bands put on great shows and Ted Nugent was crazy good on guitar. The band Tattoo Rodeo opened the show but I didn't think much of them overall.

22. In 1991 at the Boston Garden I saw Queensryche for the second time (third time overall) on their Empire tour and again they put on an amazing show. The opener Warrior Soul sounded good musically but their singer was a total ass and the band got booed off the stage.

23. In 1993 I saw Def Leppard at Great Woods and they put on a great show. Ugly Kid Joe opened up but I thought they were average at best.

24. In 1994 I saw Melissa Etheridge for the second time. She was fantastic. The duo Billy Pilgrim opened up and I didn't think much of them at the time but when their second album came out, it was one of those hard to find "perfect albums". One of the guys, Kristian Bush, went on to co-found the country megastars Sugarland.

25. In 1994 I went to the Wang Theater in Boston to see Mary Chapin Carpenter. She was AWESOME! And the opener was folk singer John Gorka. I had no idea who he was before seeing him live. But he was great and funny in concert and I've since been a huge fan of his music. I have all of his albums and buy them direct from his label when they get released.

26 and 27. In 1995 I was a member of the Melissa Etheridge fan club and bought tickets to both nights of her stay at Great Woods. I had really good seats too. She had Paula Cole opening. Cole was great on the first night, but on the second night she performed the same set from how she came out on stage to how she left (arm gestures, stage banter and everything) exactly the same so I wasn't happy with the second night. As for Etheridge, I even had tickets to the after party but ended up not being able to go because the 6'2" Amazon goddess I went with to that night's show didn't realize I was as young as I was and we just went home after the show. The other show I went with a friend of mine and we had a good time too. Oh and on Night 2, they encored doing AC/DC's "You Shook Me All Night Long" with Aerosmith's Joe Perry coming out to jam.

28. In 1995 I saw Queensryche for the fourth time. They were touring on their Promised Land CD. They put on a good show that nearly half the crowd didn't see because they left after the opening act Type O Negative, having apparently only come to see them. Sad thing too because they were awful live.

29. In 1995 I went to the Orpheum Theater in Boston to see Blues Traveler. They sucked and ended their show early after some idiot in the crowd through something at them hitting the guitar player.

30. In 1996 at Great Woods I saw Ozzy Osbourne (this was the last solo tour before he started Ozzfest). He was good enough I suppose but openers Prong and Filter were awful. I walked out on both of their sets.

31. In 1996 at Great Woods I saw Mary Chapin Carpenter and Trisha Yearwood. They both put on amazing shows and yet I think I was most impressed with the opening act Kim Richey. I'd never heard of her before but she was awesome and made me a HUGE fan of hers. Her guitar player at this show played a solo that would put most rock guitarists to shame.

32. In 1996 I went to the New Boston Garden (then called the Fleet Center) and saw Melissa Etheridge again. She had drummer Kenny Aronoff during this tour and he was really smoking on his playing. The show was great, though for the first time, the lesbians in the crowd were rather pissy that straight people were at the show.

33. I forget exactly where I saw this show but a friend of mine got us on the guest list to see Dokken in 1997. They put on a great show but openers Maraya and Uncle Jack were a waste of time.

34. In 1997, my parents got me tickets for my birthday to see U2's Pop-Mart tour at Foxboro Stadium. The show was a spectacle and a half, despite not liking the music from the Pop album. Openers Fun Lovin' Criminals should've been arrested for impersonating musicians.

35. I went to Great Woods again in 1997 to see Queensryche who put on another great show. Local band Dirty Larry won a contest to open the show. But they stunk.

36. In 1998 I saw Mary Chapin Carpenter at the Cape Cod Melody Tent. She was great and opener Joe Ely was pretty entertaining too.

37. In 1998 at Mama Kin's in Boston I saw Savatage blow the doors off the place (despite a criminally small crowd). I wasn't overly impressed with opener Joe Stump though.

38. At the Orpheum Theater in 1998 I saw Queensryche again. But this was a terrible show. I live 90 minutes away and was still home before Letterman started. Found out later that singer Geoff Tate was sick but I would've rather they cancel the concert than turn in such a bad show. Don't remember anything about opener Caroline's Spine.

39. At the Cape Cod Melody Tent in 2000, I saw Trisha Yearwood and Kim Richey put on a fantastic show.

40. In 2000 I took my sister to see Def Leppard at Great Woods. They put on a good show again. The opener The Unband were dreadful.

41. For the first time ever, in August of 2000. I saw Iron Maiden live. It was at Great Woods and they were well worth the wait. Queensryche (the sixth time I saw them) were mediocre and their guitarist at the time was Kelly Gray, who stunk so bad, they shut his guitar off. Rob Halford opened the show and deafened the crowd with his awesome set.

42. In 2001, I went to visit a friend of mine in Connecticut. We went to the Webster Theater in Hartford to see Savatage touring for their Poets & Madmen tour. The show was again awesome. And I got to go backstage to meet Jon Oliva and Damond Jiniya and met drummer Jeff Plate at the merchandise stand. Fates Warning was the support act and musically they were great but they were lifeless on the stage. Openers Silent Shadows and Weapon X were unremarkable.

Here's some pics:

Me with Jeff Plate

Me with Damond Jiniya:

Me with Jon Oliva:

43. In 2001, I saw Trisha Yearwood put on another lights out show at the South Shore Music Circus.

44. In 2001, I went to the Cape Cod Melody Tent to see Kim Richey open for Shawn Colvin. I wasn't very familiar with Colvin but she was pretty good. Kim Richey was awesome though and I got to meet her after the set and got a signed CD.

45. In 2002 I saw Trisha Yearwood again at the Cape Cod Melody Tent. Awesome show.

46. In 2003 I saw Mary Chapin Carpenter at the Cape Cod Melody Tent with opener Eliza Gilkyson. Both put on great shows and I became a big fan of Gilkyson over the years.

47. In 2005 at the Providence Civic Center I saw Trans-Siberian Orchestra's Christmas Eve and Other Stories concert. It was fantastic.

48. In 2007 I went to see Locofest which had about 14 bands that I wanted to see on their festival lineup. Including Godhead, Shadows Fall plus some new bands that interested me. But the bands that were the big headliners of the day were Queensryche (eh), Alice Cooper (awesome) and for the first time ever, I saw Ronnie James Dio live in concert because Heaven & Hell were the headliners. They were mindblowingly awesome!

49. In 2008 I saw Iron Maiden at Great Woods...awesome!

50. In 2012 I saw Iron Maiden at Great Woods again...awesome! And Alice Cooper opening put on another fantastic show. You can read my review "The Chaos of Precision" here.

51. In 2013 I saw Black Sabbath at Great Woods and despite some iffy vocals from Ozzy, this was a fantastic show as well. You can read my review of this show here. 

So that's my list thus far. I'll be adding Night Ranger to the list this summer but mainly my concert going days are few and far between these days. Ticket prices are crazy and that's when a band I like actually comes to my area. But I'll continue to pick and choose a concert a year to take a trip to see.




Sunday Musings #153
Category: User Showcase
Tags: SportsIllustrated WNBA NBA CollegeBaseball BostonRedSox WarehamGatemen VanderbiltUniversityMensBaseball NewYorkLiberty


While gushing over the bevy of new music that was previewed online over the past week...


This past week, Sports Illustrated's website got a redesign that reportedly was supposed to make it more compatible with smartphones and the like. Well I don't know if it accomplished that goal or not, but it did manage to make the site utterly unworkable on a PC that is for sure.

The redesign looks like someone with a technical background vomited on the screen. And things don't work. The site is massively slower, things don't work properly and you can't find things that were available with the previous version of the website. You know, the one that wasn't broken.

While I did read various news stories, my main focus on my multiple daily visits was to check out the daily columns offered by the site's bevy of writers. I've tried searching through the new site for that option but the only thing available is a list of writers. This would mean you'd have to click on each individual name in that list to see if they'd written something new on a particular day. Talk about unwieldy.

I checked out Sports Illustrated's Facebook page to see if anyone else had commented about the redesign and lo and behold, complaints about this epic fail of a redesign make up the majority of the posts to the page by users. And yet, thus far there hasn't been a single word from the powers that be to address the concerns of users who are promising to flock to other websites if things aren't fixed or reset back to the previous design of the website.

And I'm one of those people. This new design is atrocious and whomever approved it should be immediately fired. The only times I've been to the main site since they launched the new site is to check and see if they've gotten rid of it. Luckily, the subsite for is still workable and I have that saved as a separate bookmark. But I'll have to go to Yahoo! Sports and for sports news if something isn't done soon.


The New York Liberty broke their losing streak early last week when they knocked off the Atlanta Dream 85-78. But they didn't build off that win when they ended up losing on Friday night to the Chicago Sky 73-69.

The loss to the Sky has to be particularly galling when you consider the Sky were without the services of their star player (and one of the faces of the WNBA) Elena Delle Donne. She's out indefinitely to deal with the effects of Lyme Disease. It isn't like she's the whole team, as proven by Epiphanny Prince scoring 30 points. But the news was only announced on Friday so you might've thought the team would've been affected. Kudos to them for not allowing it to affect their play though.

As for the Liberty they are now 4-11 on the season.

As for the WNBA's Pride program, things don't seem to be going along as smoothly as the league could've hoped for. One report had the league trying to make all the players wear Pride shooting shirts in warmups. When players objected to being forced to wear them, the league relented and made them optional. And a big game on ESPN that was touted as having a big Pride aspect to it, turned out to have about as minimal a presence on the broadcast as possible without ignoring it altogether.

Jayda Evans of the Seattle Times (she covers the Seattle Storm) had a piece this week that took the league/ESPN to task for the perceived failures in this official outreach to the LGBT portion of the league's fanbase that you can read HERE.

While some on the Rebkell women's basketball message board took issue with what she wrote, I thought it was a compelling piece even if you don't agree with everything she had to say.


I woke up this morning to find the news that Jason Kidd had once again provided proof that he's a gigantic pantload of a scumbag loser. You can read why I say that HERE.


Boston Herald beat writer John Tomase wrote an article this past Wednesday that called on Red Sox GM Ben Cherington to make changes to the team now. He said that they've had half a season to show they can compete and haven't done the job, then goes on to list the failures of certain players and what might be done to replace them.

I'm sure the article won't make him any friends (not that is his job anyway) in the team's locker room, but the article pretty much sums up everything that has unfortunately gone wrong with the team this year. You can check out the full article here.


A big congratulations goes out to the Vanderbilt University baseball team who beat out Virginia to win the College World Series.

In college summer ball, the Cape Cod Baseball league team in my town is the Wareham Gatemen. They are off to another bad start this season. After losing to the Orleans Firebirds 7-3 last night they are 4-11 on the season.


The NBA Draft saw the Celtics take Oklahoma State's Marcus Smart with the 6th pick and James Young from Kentucky with the 17th pick. And maybe it is the pessimist in me, but I don't see how these two guys are going to help improve the Celtics from 25-57.

This is in light of the fact that the selection of both players gave rise to the notion that both Rajon Rondo and/or Avery Bradley wouldn't return next season. By no means is that a guarantee but since there was no player in this year's draft that was seen as an heir apparent to the throne of Jordan or James, how can anyone expect more than what we saw last year with the additions of Smart (pictured below 1st) and Young (pictured 2nd)?

Look, I'm not saying they can't be good additions to the team, but nothing I've read says they are going to markedly change the fortunes of the Celtics either. I don't think ready to play necessarily means effectively play.

In other draft news, the NBA did something that was PR smart and just a nice humanitarian type gesture. Baylor's Isaiah Austin was expected to be drafted this year after a pretty darn good career in college. But his NBA dreams crashed and died when he was diagnosed with Marfan Syndrome. It is a genetic disease that affects the body's connective tissue. It meant that his basketball playing days were over.

But Adam Silver made a point to recognize Austin and gave him his draft moment. You can see it below.


Hilarious Video of the Week - Check out this video called "First Moon Party". It is disturbingly funny.

Books - A bit of twist this week as I bought and then finished reading a book in the same day. The book in question was Takedown Twenty.  It is the latest Stephanie Plum adventure by Janet Evanovich. The light-hearted series is always entertaining as Stephanie bungles her way through her job as a bounty hunter in Trenton, New Jersey.

Also, it was announced the author Kyle Mills has been selected to take over the Mitch Rapp series that was written by author Vince Flynn. Flynn passed away from cancer before finishing the book he was currently working on called The Survivor. Mills will then write two more books featuring Rapp.

It is always hard to accept a new author writing someone else's character/characters. I'm still not completely sold on the notion of Robert B. Parker's Spenser character being written by Ace Atkins despite having read the novels. Something will always feel JUST a little bit off.

But I've read some of the books that Mills has written in the past, particularly his series on FBI agent Mark Beamon, and he's a damn fine writer. So I'll definitely be looking to check out how he handles the writing duties with Mitch Rapp.

Comics - The Wizard World Philadelphia convention was held last weekend and the website covered it. You can check out the site proper for a variety of articles, but I thought I'd link the "final thoughts" article by my buddy J.D. HERE.

TV -  Well, I just destroyed some brain cells last night. I watched the pilot episode of that Girl Meets World show spun off from the old ABC sitcom Boy Meets World. And I have to say that any parent letting their kid watch this absolute piece of garbage show should be brought up on child endangerment charges.

It is so soul-sucking bad, I don't know how even what passes for the low standards of an idiotic network like the Disney Channel were met.

The goodwill engendered by Boy Meets World being a fondly remembered piece of nostalgia (aired 21 years ago) is annihilated by about as poorly conceived a concept with bad acting and writing as I've ever seen. Good Gawd! Homeboys in Outer Space was better than this.

Everyone involved with this show should issue a public apology and resign from public life forever.


I'm happy to say that my copy of the Shout! Factory DVD release of NYPD Blue Season 6 arrived in the mail yesterday and I'm in the midst of a binge watch this weekend. The show is one of my favorites of all time and I'm certainly glad that Shout! Factory is getting around to releasing the seasons on DVD. The original DVD release of the show stalled after four seasons but the company picked up the ball and have release the next two season with plans for season 7 to be out at the end of September.

And for my recap of the kick ass 9th episode of 24: Live Another Day, you can click here:

Music - It was a big week in music for those of us who like to get previews of upcoming new releases. There were four bits of music that caught my ear this week and you can check them out below.

The first was an audio clip of the new Overkill song "Armorist". It is from their July 22nd release White Devil Armory. Unfortunately for me, I didn't really care much for this song.

Next up is the Robert Plant track "Rainbow" from his September 9th CD Lullaby and...the Ceaseless Roar.

Kix is one of the 80's metal bands that really struck a chord with listeners for their infectious upbeat music and spirited double entendres. The band has reunited for a few years to do concerts, but until now there hadn't been any new music. But August 5th will see the release of Rock Your Face Off. You can hear "Love Me With Your Top Down" below.

And probably the most anticipated album for me this summer is Accept's Blind Rage, due out August 15th. The band released the official video for the song "Stampede" and it is epically awesome.

I Still Can't Believe He is Gone.....
Category: User Showcase
Tags: Tony Gwynn MLB Padres

It has taken me a week to come up with the words to describe the feelings I have towards the loss of "Mr. Padre" Tony Gwynn, but now I think I can share my feelings....

Unless you were born or growing up during this era, you really don't know about this era of baseball. There were many legendary players still lacing up their cleats and roaming the dugouts from Pete Rose who was winding up his career with a variety of teams, hell I seen him play for Montreal, Philadelphia and then return home to his beloved Reds all in the span of a year. Gary Carter came to San Diego on one of the most memorable Home Run hitting streaks that baseball had ever witnessed. Nolan Ryan and the Niekro brothers came to town, and yes I even seen a young Ryne Sandberg at the beginning of his career. Goose Gossage was the closer, man if you sat down the baselines and the Padres were winning, you could tell who was warming up by the popping of the catcher's mitt in the bully. Those were the days.......

Sure the Padres were an up and coming team full of rookies and veterans who were finishing their careers in a place were it was considered the end of most professional careers, San Diego. A city that really hadn't tasted winning until this young group of players came through the city, outside of Tony Gwynn, can any of you name players from the 84' World Series team? The Padres that year had even gave up on a future star of the game and traded a young Ozzie Smith to the Cardinals for Garry Templeton. Not a bad trade, both were equal in talent at the time. But who knew Ozzie would have the career that he had, not many at the time did in San Diego, but I never heard anyone complain...

I was heading on a North Pole run in July onboard the USS Pintado, that did not return to port until just before Thanksgiving of 84', so I missed the magical run the Padres went on that year. When we left, they were dead in the water, found out when we returned to port because everyone in San Diego were still talking about the unheard of trip to the World Series.....

Tony Gwynn and his young Padres, Bruce Bochy was a catcher on this team went on an impossible run. Dumped the Cubbies, when the Cubbies had them dead in the water. The Cubs should have been facing the Tigers that year, not that it would have mattered much, because that Tiger team was that good.......

My greatest memory of Tony wasn't the winning seasons, because there weren't many. But the fact that he like Alan Trammell only played for one team. No matter how bad the teams were, you never heard of either wanting to leave. They were honored to wear their uniforms, and both represented their cities well....

Tony's death was a wakeup call for me, as I used smokeless tobacco for quite a while. I guess the only thing I have to say about it, is it woke me up, and I have completely quit using it. I guess it took the death of someone I had great respect for in order for it to happen, but I am glad I did..

I am not standing on a pedistol or preaching to the choir, or even pretending that I am better than others. It just scared the hell out of me, and I didn't use Redman or Skoal, I just decided enough was enough, Thank You Tony for opening my eyes!

You will be missed greatly by your family and friends, and those who really didn't get to know you, but had great respect for you because of who you were. Mr. Padre, save a seat for me brother next to Jerry and Ernie, because you have the best view of the game my friend, 

I still can't believe you are gone......


Sunday Musings #152
Category: User Showcase
Tags: SanDiegoPadres WNBA NewYorkLiberty NFL NewEnglandPatriots TonyGwynn WashingtonRedskins ClevelandBrowns



While looking forward to a couple of premieres on TV tonight...

And you can follow me on Twitter: @TheOneTrueJay


San Diego Padres - Like many others here on YouGabSports and in the sports media at large, I was stunned and saddened when I learned of the passing of Tony Gwynn this week. He was the greatest Padre ever and one of the best hitters in the history of baseball.

Tom Verducci on Sports Illustrated's website had a nice appreciation of Gwynn's career. You can check that out here:

I also get a sense of frustration over his death because the salivary cancer that killed him was due to his habit of using chewing tobacco. As one who has lost someone (my dad) to tobacco related cancer, I'm left with the screaming in my head that sounds something like this: "WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO GET BALLPLAYERS TO WAKE UP!"

Of course that applies to anyone using tobacco in any form, but really now, short of the warnings on the packaging saying "USING THIS WILL FUCKING KILL YOU!", what does it take to get people to realize tobacco will kill you?

I realize the irony of my anti-tobacco rant given my screen avatar of the smoking skull, but my avatar is just a picture AND the skull should drive home my point as well.

I'm not one to become any sort of activist or anything, but I would have no problem with tobacco being outlawed entirely. Of course, that won't happen since the government is both on the take from the tobacco industry and busy on other such "important" topics like the Redskins (see more on that below).


New York Liberty - The Liberty lost three games this week and fell to 3-10 on the regular season. They started with a 76-72 loss to the Connecticut Sun, then lost in OT to the Chicago Sky 105-100. But Friday night's game against the Atlanta Dream saw New York just get hammered 85-64.

I hate being a Negative Nelly here, but with their record the way it is, you have to wonder if their season isn't technically over already. It is starting to get ugly as hell out there.

Pride Campaign - The WNBA's first official marketing campaign aimed at the LGBT community is examined by ESPN's Mechelle Voepel here:


New England Patriots - I've been making a concerted effort to read the various stories being published about the team and individual players during the latest round of minicamp for the Patriots. It's been relatively painless, but sometimes you just wonder if they are filling space because a lot of the stuff being written falls into the category of "Who gives a good goddamn?"

Cleveland Browns - Mike Pettine is the new coach of the Browns and he was in the news this week after comments he made about the Patriots having a Jets playbook got blown up into a big news story. You can check out this profile of the new coach in which he makes the comments:

Washington Redskins - With the news that the US Patent & Trademark Office had canceled some of the trademarks the team had based on the fact the "Redskins" term is disparaging (something laws take into account), the pressure on Redskins owner Daniel Snyder to change the team's name is growing stronger and stronger. The team immediately appealed, so for now the trademarks stay in place. But everyone that is openly against the team name spent a few days last week crowing like they'd found the cure for cancer.

I realize that as a white guy my opinion is automatically discounted but I've never really seen the name as offensive. When I heard the term "Redskins", I thought of the football team in Washington that used to be damn good back in the 1980s. I think of Joe Gibbs, Joe Theismann, John Riggins, Art Monk, Dexter Manley and others. I didn't think negative thoughts about American Indians.

And yes, I own a Redskins jacket from the days of my youth. What really chaps my ass is how this is such a big political bone for some of the Washington politicians. Criminal jag-offs like Harry Reid announced how they wouldn't attend a game until the name was changed. As if that was going to stop other people from going to games. Frankly, if I was Daniel Snyder, regardless of changing the name or not, I'd ban assholes like Reid from my team's games in perpetuity.

And then there is the people suing the team over the name. I asked on some forums I participate in whether or not simply changing the name would be enough to satisfy some people. Because it seems that there are two groups of people involved here.

The first group is those who want the term "Redskins" dropped period. And when the world's dictionaries defines "Redskins" as a racial slur, they certainly have an argument to make. But then there are those in the second group who want any and all terms that have been associated with American Indians in the past to be banned from use. Names like "Braves", Chiefs", "Sachems", "Warriors" and more.

This despite the fact that some of those words can be used for a variety of other people than just American Indians. Sure, I can see the notion of dropping the Indian logos as a compromise, but this group is hell bent on no compromises.

So the question becomes if the Redskins changed their name to Warriors or some other name but dropped any Indian logos/mascots, would that satisfy people? If not, be prepared for a huge battle over team names because if they browbeat Daniel Snyder into changing his name, every high school team with an Indian name or iconography will be getting harassed next.

By the way, just so it is on the record, I don't think the name should be changed. I don't see it as a slur regardless of how the dictionary defines the term. But regardless of how I feel and think about the subject, I acknowledge others feel differently and will attack Daniel Snyder relentlessly until he gives in. After all, they have the corrupt federal government on their side now.

I also don't like how certain media outlets and individual writers are refusing to use "Redskins" in their writing now. These same media types got bent out of shape when Bobby Knight refused to say "Kentucky" and substituted "That school in Lexington" because he had a problem with John Calipari. But their hypocrisy doesn't seem obvious to them when they say "The team from Washington". If for no other reason, it makes them seem addled as if they can't remember the name of the team. And accuracy also seems in question when the name isn't used.


TV - The season finale of Game of Thrones was underwhelming in some spots and fantastic in others. It set up some characters on new journeys and saw the passing of other relatively important characters too. The fourth season was excellent overall, though I was disappointed in the last two episodes more than usual.

Tonight on TNT, two shows premiere. It is the series premiere for The Last Ship. It is an apocalyptic drama where 80% of the world's population has been wiped out by a virus. The ship in question is tasked with trying to find a cure for said virus.

You can check out the series trailer below.

Meanwhile, the fourth season premiere of Falling Skies follows The Last Ship. TNT put the season premiere on On Demand early, so I've already watched it. It was interesting how they changed things up a bit on the heroes. Their circumstances change and a number of characters have changed in their attitudes as well. It was a very good premiere and I'll be looking forward to seeing what comes next.

My recap of 24: Live Another Day Episode 8 can be seen here:

Books - I finished reading the latest installment of Faye Kellerman's Decker/Lazarus mystery series entitled The Beast. Decent read as always and sets up some rather big changes in the lives of the main characters.

Movies - They released another new trailer for the UK for the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy movie. There's a lot of new footage and dialogue and you can view it below.

Music - Tesla's new album is called Simplicity. I've got it and there will be a review at some point. For now, you can check out the video for the song "So Divine".

The new Ronny Munroe CD Electric Wake is due out on Tuesday June 24th. However, I received it in the mail this past Friday. A review will be coming for this disc as well. You can check out the video for the song "Pray" below. 

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