August 14, 2009

Rock on

I never said I was going to be PUNCTUAL with the new blog. Geez…just hold your horses, and I’ll get to stuff. Although it’s nice not to have the burdon of hatred toward a single group of people anymore (They amuse me more than infuriate me these days), it’s still tough to find something to write about in which I feel passionate about. That will come when the season starts, but to be frank…I’m tired of previews. Just kick off the damn ball already.

Some news and notes:

* The sports talk subject du jour is the Michael Vick signing with Philadelphia. Now, I understand it’s the NFL pre-season, and that sort of subject is going to saturate the media. I also understand that the Vick story goes across sports lines, and finds itself as one of those rare events that captures the attention of those who wouldn’t know a football from a tennis ball. However, a couple of things really jump out at me when people are discussing this story:

First, is it just me, or was Michael Vick really not that good even in his prime? Don’t get me wrong, the NFL is always in need of quarterbacks…any quarterback who can even remotely make plays. But dude only led the Falcons to one or two even remotely decent seasons, and even then had to be rescued by his defense time and time again. The guy was a fantastic college quarterback and led a quirky, yet semi-effective offense in the NFL. Is the hype really that justified? Hell, he may not even be 2nd string if he was still in Atlanta…why should I go apeshit for him landing a backup job in Philly?

But the second reason really grades me the wrong way….can people stop with the “This is America..he just made a mistake” crap? OK, dude did his time in prison, and if he has the right to work. Yes, more power to him. But DO NOT forget that this guy hung dogs from trees, hooked them up to jumper cables, and even drown some in his pool with his bare hands. This was not a momentary lapse of judgement, or simply “hanging out with the wrong crowd”. This is a bad guy. Period. There are lots of bad guys in the NFL, many of which have done some pretty horrible things. But the outpouring of love and admiration he is receiving today is unnecessary, and borderline sickening.

I’m not going to go picket a stadium anytime the Eagles come to town, but I certainly won’t be wishing him luck and a speedy recovery from the thug life. Try not to kill anybody or anything Michael…and hopefully I’ll forget you even play in the league.

* Speaking of people who get more respect than they deserve, I got into it with a buddy regarding Tiger Woods. Now do not get me wrong, I completely understand just how good of a golfer he is. He’s upstanding, he does charity work and oh yeah…he’s won 14 majors before he’s even remotely close to a mid-life crisis. Because of this, the guy should…and does…get all the attention he deserves.

But the thing that bothers me is the free ride he gets while basically acting like a spoiled jackass when things are going bad for him. Now, I’m not a hypocrite, and I’d be lying if I didn’t let a club fly a time or two after a sliced a 4 iron into the tall rough. But CONSTANTLY bitching and moaning about EVERYTHING from camera clicks, to reporters to clubs to whatever…is really starting to get on my nerves.

Tiger Woods has built up an image and an aura so large, that every single thing he does is magnified; hell he got almost as much coverage for not making the cut than Tom Watson did nearly pulling the USA-USSR type upset at the British Open last month. I get that…I understand that he brings lots of people to golf who really could care less otherwise. But stop giving the guy free passes in terms of the things that would get other golfers bashed to death in the media and public opinon polls. Dude needs to being a pansy about every little thing, and man up to become the face of golf, something that his talent alone has mandated he become.

* If you’ve been following my writings for a while, you’ll probably remember that my one true passion (asides from hating random college football teams) is music. Now, everybody loves music, and I’m sure my upbringing around it is not really different from anybody elses. But like everyone else, the thing I love about music the most is how an album…a song…or hell, even a note can take you instantly back in time.

In the early/mid-90’s, I was trying to find my way in life and found myself truly out on my own for the first time. I didn’t have the hardships that others have suffered with, but still suffered from a desolate vision of self-doubt and a real inability to see clearly through the perils of life. In other words…I had no idea what I wanted to do with myself.

One day in 1993, on the advice from my little brother, I decided to pop in a scratchy CD of some band from California that I had never heard of. As he often did (and still does), he told me to just shut up and listen, and I’d be blown away; not by the lyrics and not the pulse or rythem…but the sheer power of the chords ripping across the guitar. The album was 1039 by some punk band from Berkley named Green Day. The first song I played on my drive to school was track 11…a screeching and blistering anthem to adolescent angst….a song called Paper Lanterns. Every single lyric matched exactly to a T how I felt on that particular day...and pretty much that particular summer.

One of the great joys in life is that instant moment where things just kind of click in your mind. With the play of one CD, I had instantly found something that I could turn both when I was down on myself, or simply clowning around in a great mood. I listened to that CD until it literally started to fall apart. A few weeks later, I caught a concert version of the song, and I was completely hooked. I didn’t care about the image…I wasn’t on some mission to become a punk rock soldier. I didn’t cover myself in tats, start wearing black and began to visually create my own identity….I just instantly matched that music, to that time in my life where I desperately needed something to hold onto.

Last night at the Qwest Center, thanks to some wheeling and dealing by some mutual friends, I literally stood face to face and shook hands with the guys who created the sounds and the energy that wrote the soundtrack of my life.

Last night, it didn’t matter how I was going to get that big report done for work. It didn’t matter that I was standing amongst teenagers who wouldn’t know Longview from Pippy Longstocking. It didn’t matter that I was standing amongst middle aged people who not only knew every word of every song..but had brought along their teenage kids into the mosh pit to share the experience with them. No, what mattered was that I was celebrating the music that has taught me a very important lesson throughout my life. Never ever buy into a label placed by somebody else.

We too often get tied to labels…whether it’s from your friends…your relatives or your coworkers. Maybe you’re mocked because you're a token Republican? Maybe your fellow Husker fans make fun of you because you’re way too into scrapbooking? Maybe you love college football more than breathing? Maybe your buddies mock you because they found that N*Sync song on your iPod? Perhaps you’re the guy your friends always make fun of because you like to get naked when you drink...and not just when there are girls around. No, whatever you’re into….it really shouldn’t matter to anybody but you.

I’ve been with people who live their life caring what other people think. Hell, 99% of the blog posts I’ve ever written is based on other people telling me what I should think. But to be honest with you…I’m proud those words never bothered me. I’m proud of the fact that I went to a Green Day concert at age 37, and had possibly the most fun I’ve ever had. I’m proud of the fact that I can relate to a certain type of music with teenage kids and co workers who are nearly 15 years older than me. I’m proud of the fact that I’ve grown older, but hung onto the vitality of youth that people sometimes forget is there. I’m proud of the fact that labels don’t stick to me. I’m proud that I’ve lived a great life this far in.

In the end, you are who you know you are, and it really doesn’t matter what the hell anybody else thinks. And to me…I have the power of music to thank for that.




6 comments:

  1. Lame.

    Bring on the hate!

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  2. Missouri Husker FanAugust 14, 2009 at 9:13 PM

    Green who? Damn, I'm getting old.

    GBR
    MHF

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  3. As a KU fan, I'm convinced you're a slaver redneck river rat from Mizery. However, I was at the Green Day show in KC and it kicked ass.

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  4. Thanks Matt. We always get this really slow period right before the season, because there's nothing to talk about. Hang tight, and we'll get to it.

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  5. Tiger Woods' prissyness has always been an issue for me. Granted all golfers are generally boring, aloof people, but Tiger exudes a sense of self righteous entitlement more than most athletes in the major sports.

    I still have fond memories of waking up and blasting Longview in my dorm room and waking up the hallway. Them and Weezer have been the best and most consitant bands over the last 15 years.

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  6. Why does Vick even get a mention that is positive or negative? The punishment from the NFL should be that he not be allowed to speak to the media, be mentioned by the media, and his likeness not used in any way.

    Also while I get the idea that Vick did some despicable things to those dogs, what I don't get is the outpouring of hatred for him in comparison to those in the NFL who do despicable things to PEOPLE.

    Mike Vick deserved the punishement he recieved but the priorities seem so off.

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