Month: October 2013 (Page 1 of 2)

Holiday Mania

The girls are on high alert, as the holiday season officially begins this week. There is extra tension in the air this year, as the Indy area is expected to get hit with big storms tomorrow night, likely to include heavy rain, damaging winds, and lots of lightning. Several cities have already postponed trick-or-treating until Friday. Our city has not done so yet, but it would not surprise me if that changes in the next 24 hours. When I told the girls about other cities postponing yesterday, at first they were disappointed, but after a moment, they got really excited about it. Trick-or-treating on Friday, November 1?!?! It will be the most special Halloween ever!!!

In the meantime, there is nervousness over their costumes. They bought theirs three weeks ago and wore them around the house for several days after. Naturally, we’re missing accessories, tails need to be re-sewn, etc. In full Father Of The Year mode, I just keep saying, “I told you to be careful with them.” I have a feeling all the issues will get worked out before they leave to house to collect their treats.

Taking things to a whole other level was the arrival of the Target Christmas toy catalog on Monday. The girls have spent hours pouring through it, circling and putting their names next to items they want. It’s still early, but I think they will each ask for approximately 195 things this year. L. keeps yelling, “Guess what I’m getting for Christmas?!” which I quickly shoot down with, “You don’t know if you’re getting anything. You want to show my what you’re asking for for Christmas.” Already on my nerves.

The best request is that both L. and C. would like those little motorized cars that they can ride around in. One of L.’s buddies has two and each time she goes to his house, she spends most of the time driving his mini-Escalade around. Since she’s the expert, the sisters have decided that L. with “teach” C. how to drive one. I almost want to get them one so that I can see what L.’s driving instructions entail.

I was mildly annoyed when I saw Best Buy already running Christmas commercials over the weekend. That was alleviated a little by Will Arnett being the star of the first batch. Then Maya Rudolph showed up. Can Christina Applegate be far behind?

There are at least three Polar Express rides scattered across Indiana. One of them has been running ads on Disney Radio for three weeks now. We bought our tickets a month in advance last year, and had to struggle to find enough for our group of nine people. So I guess when there’s that kind of demand, you can justify advertising this early. Still, I’d prefer to see nothing about Christmas on TV until Halloween has passed.

Tip Time

It’s time. The Pacers kick off their regular season and KU plays their first exhibition game tonight. Two teams with huge expectations begin their journeys to hopefully joyful spring endings.

More about the Jayhawks next week, when their real season begins.

For now, the focus is on the Pacers.

I heard one national radio blowhard1 say he expected the Pacers to, far and away, have the best regular season record in the league this year. He thought they would be closer to 60 wins than 50. Which seems a little nutty to me. Sure, they made some strong moves to strengthen their anemic bench, you have to figure all the young cats will improve at least a little, and the experience of pushing Miami to seven games in the Eastern Conference Finals will help make the Pacers stronger than their streaky 2012-13 regular season version. In theory.

I want to believe. But I’m not sure I can see them as a team that threatens the 60-win plateau.

For starters, Derrick Rose is healthy, making Chicago arguably a more complete team than Indiana. The Bulls are a sexy pick to get out of the East. Brooklyn is stronger than a year ago. Strong enough to pass the Pacers? That I don’t know, but still it’s another top four team that will challenge the Pacers for wins in the regular season.

While all the bench moves appear to be good, you never know how players will adjust to new systems and different roles. Chris Copeland, Luis Scola, and C.J. Watson should be big improvements over Tyler Hansbrough, Gerald Green, and D.J. Augustin. But how many more wins that translates to is uncertain.

Everyone expects Danny Granger to provide some kind of boost to the team after missing almost all of last season with a variety of leg injuries. Some do worry, though, that the former gunner and unquestioned #1 option will have a hard time fitting into a rotation where Paul George is clearly the top dog, Lance Stephenson has earned starting minutes, and David West and Roy Hibbert demand touches as well. Even if Granger comes off the bench, will that sit well with him?

Like clockwork, all those questions were put on pause last week when Granger tweaked his calf. He will now miss the first three weeks of the season. It seems more likely that the question about Granger this year will be how often, if at all, can he play and how many minutes will he be good for when he can get on the court.

And, as much as I love Paul George’s game, is he really ready to ascend to superstar status? He played wonderfully in parts of the Miami series last June. But he also cratered in some big moments. Has he rounded out his game where he can be good for 25 every night, and 30 or more each time the Pacers need it as the Thunder can count on from Kevin Durant or the Heat from LeBron?

There are also questions at the point. I love local guy George Hill, but is he really the guy best suited to run the point for a title contender? And will Roy Hibbert be able to repeat his awesome performance from the Heat series? Can West keep age at bay for another year? Can Stephenson keep his head on straight and continue to improve without stepping on the toes of his teammates?

The Pacers had to work hard to win 49 games last year, and harder still to get by a decent but not great Knicks team in the second round of the playoffs. I think the truth of this year’s squad is closer to that than how they played against Miami in the conference finals. They are certainly a contender, perhaps the best suited in the East to knock off Miami because of their size and experience. But I see them as a very good, but not great, team.

The more I think about them, the more I think they’re a team more built for the post-season than the regular season. There will be struggles between now and April. I think 50-52 wins is the most likely regular season outcome. But it won’t be until the playoffs begin that we see the best of the Pacers. That is when we’ll see if the money spent building the bench, the work George and Hill and Stephenson and West and Hibbert did in the off-season is enough to get four wins against New York or Brooklyn or Chicago, and then four more against Miami.

The only sure thing about the franchise is that it is back after the dark, post-brawl years. They are fun and interesting to watch again. They matter when ranking the top teams in the league. They have one of the brightest young players in the game. Which means that on the nights when I’m not out covering a high school game, or when KU isn’t playing, I will look forward to there being a Pacers game scheduled so I can watch them develop.

  1. Colin Cowherd 

Fall Break Notes

Wrapping up our break of fall while watching Game Four of the World Series.

Lots of fun crammed into the past four days. We headed down to the LVS Thursday afternoon. It was cold, rainy1, and the LVS lacks cable and internet. This was our first time trying such an outing. I’ll admit, I was a little worried. But everything worked out pretty well. The girls played and read and watched movies and, yes, fought and annoyed us on occasion. But for the most part they were pretty good.

Friday we headed over to Bloomington, which despite being only about 20 miles away as the crow flies, ends up being an hour trip because of the hilly terrain of Brown County, Indiana. But if you have to drive through Brown County, this is the time of the year to do it. Lots of good fall to look at as we headed to B-town.

Surprisingly, this was the girls’ first trip to Bloomington. S. picked one of her favorite spots for lunch, which turned out to be the place I ate lunch two days after C. was born. That made her kind of happy. After lunch we walked over to campus and I tried to get the obligatory picture of the girls in front of the Sample Gates. They weren’t having it, so we headed into the main campus. S. led the way with C. and L. and I was just behind. I noticed M. wasn’t with me. I turned around and she was hanging back, and inching away from campus.

“M., what are you doing? Come on,” I yelled at her.

“Are we allowed in there?” she asked.

I laughed out loud and said, “Sure, anyone can walk in.” I loved that her understanding of schools is that strangers can’t just walk in, and she thought the same rules that apply to St. P’s applied to setting foot on a college campus.

We made a big circuit of campus, showing off some of the buildings where S. took classes, the home of the J-school where I took classes, and some of the other landmarks. We walked all the way to S.’s old sorority house and showed the girls the brick with S.’s name on it.

M.’s favorite building was the Union. She told us at least three times that she loved it because it was “a hallway, then it turned into a coffee shop, then there was a place to eat, then there was a toy store (the gift side of the bookstore), then it turned into a bookstore, then another hallway, then another coffee shop…” She will happily tell you this with a gleam in her eye like it’s the greatest thing in the world, cramming all this stuff into one building. And we didn’t show her the bowling alley, which might have made her head explode. She also didn’t understand how S. didn’t know who the principal of IU was when she was in school. There’s just no easy way to explain to a nine-year-old how 40,000 people attend one school.

It was a clear, crisp day, and, being a Friday afternoon, campus was kind of deserted. We had to explain why so many people were just walking around (“College isn’t like your school. You might have a class in the morning, a couple hours off, then another class after lunch.”) I liked the kid on a campus tour who was wearing a Louisville shirt. Nothing like trolling while checking out colleges.

Back to the LVS for a campfire, yard work, and putting the watercraft away for the winter.

Saturday we headed south to Louisville. We have friends who have a family member on the management team of a casino just on the Indiana side of the Ohio River. They brought their boys, so the kids used the pool, played games together, and otherwise had fun. It had been a long time since I had been to a casino, especially a Midwestern one. I forgot the joys of walking through rooms full of smokers and all the terrific people watching you can do in a casino. Man, there are some pieces of work down there.

My buddy is a Cardinals fan, so we retired to the bar after dinner to watch Game Three, which ended up being a great, crazy, nutjob of a game. It was fun to watch it with a nervous Cards fan. More fun was the idiot Sox fan a few empty chairs away from me who only got part of the final play of the game. “HOW CAN THEY CALL HIM SAFE? HE NEVER EVEN TOUCHED HOMEPLATE! THAT’S HOW THEY JUST ENDED A WORLD SERIES GAME!” she kept screaming to her friends. I kind of wanted to tell her why the runner was safe, but figured it was more fun to let her rant like a loon.

The big bummer of our time at the casino was that we missed ZZ Top by two nights! Apparently the concert hall was totally packed on Thursday night when they rolled through. Kind of a shame they’ve been reduced to the casino circuit, but I bet they’re appreciated by the crowds there.

Sunday we got up bright and early and hightailed it north to get home in time for soccer. This was supposed to be the last week of games, but all our rainouts mean we’ll play again next week. L., after being shut-out in the humiL.ting 857-1 loss last week, scored three quick goals and finished with five for the day, her second five-goal game of the season. C. played at the same time and also scored a goal as well. As L. and I walked over after our game finished, C. came running at me screaming that she had scored. M. again had the late game and played pretty solid, including a pretty nifty save while she was in goal. One more week and we’ll finally have our weeknights and Sundays back.

Man, another crazy end to a World Series game. This has been a super entertaining series. It’s a shame every game is ending at approximately midnight Eastern, which cuts the already small audience further. You really have to make a decision whether you’re going to stick with it and be miserable in the morning or just catch up on the craziness in the morning.

  1. We actually drove through mixed snow and rain on the way down. 

Get Away Day

M. and C. begin fall break today. Well, actually it began at 1:00 yesterday thanks to early dismissal. Now they get today, tomorrow, and Monday off. Catholic schools know how to do it!

So naturally we’re off to Florida again…


Two trips to Florida is enough for one year. We are getting out of town, though. We’re heading downtown, first, and making our annual trip to the Children’s Museum’s haunted house. From there we’ll head to the LVS for two nights, making a day trip down to Bloomington in there as well. I believe this will be the girls first trip to B-town. And then on Saturday we’re meeting some friends down near Louisville for a night of adult and kid fun. We’ll be back in time for soccer on Sunday.

Before we go, a few kid notes while watching this strangeness that is Game One of the World Series.

We had parent-teacher conferences at St. P’s this week. Both girls are doing well and got lots of praise from their teachers. M. showed a lot of self-awareness when she noted on her self-assessment that she needs to work harder on raising her hand before talking and then not talking too much. I loved the note her teacher put on her report card. Sometimes M. shares too many ideas without raising her hand. At least she’s consistent. That’s been what every teacher has said about her since she began school. She has A’s in all but one subject and barely missed an A in that one.

C. is really doing well. She’s beginning to take reading and spelling to another level, doing more on her own. And she’s really taking to math, too. What we thought was coolest, though, was that she got voted by her class to be their representative at a school-wide student board. It’s some offshoot of the seven habits of successful students thing they’re doing this year. But she wrote why she would be a good representative, all on her own, and they voted her in. So she gets to go to a special meeting with representatives of every other class in the school and talk about how they can be good leaders. Or something. I’m really not sure what goes on there.

Not all was perfect for C., though. Last Friday I was looking at her spelling test and noticed she was way off on her attempt at spelling bench. See #9 below.



I started laughing out loud, showed it to S., and she did the same. C. wanted to know why we were laughing. “Well, C., you accidentally spelled a bad word on your test.”

“What?” she had a look of confusion and shock on her face. I showed her the page, she covered her mouth, her eyes bugged out a little, and then she started laughing, too.

We told her it was ok, it was an accident, and we were sure her teacher probably laughed, too. Just don’t say it in class!

We had a sad moment Saturday. L.’s fish, Jake, who hadn’t been eating for awhile, was motionless on the bottom of his bowl when we came down for breakfast.

“Dad, why isn’t Jake moving?” asked L..

I tapped the glass, he kind of flopped over without moving any fins. “Well, sweetie, I think he died.”

Astute readers may recall C. bursting into tears and being inconsolable for some time after her first fish, Spike, died two years ago. L. just rolled with it.

“Can I get another fish?”
“OK! Can I flush Jake down the potty?”
“Of course.”

They’re very different, those two.

Rechecking The Numbers

Three weeks ago I picked the Red Sox to beat the Cardinals in six games in this year’s World Series. Look at what teams made it to the Series!

Still, I have to change my pick. The Cardinals pitching is too good. Wacha and Wainwright will stifle the Red Sox bats early in the series. Those two will pitch at least twice each should the series go seven games. The Sox have good pitching, but it’s not that good. And the St. Louis bullpen will not cave where the Detroit pen did.

Cardinals in six.

Party Time

House policy is that our girls get to have a big party, where friends are invited, for their birthday every fifth year. Which meant this was the year L. got to do something. Following in the footsteps of both of her big sisters, she selected Monkey Joe’s for two hours of jumping around. We waited until her school was on fall break so we could do it while M. and C. were in class, which meant yesterday was her big day. And she took advantage.

We rolled in about 15 minutes early and one girl was already there. So as soon as they had their wristbands on, they were off and running. Or off and bouncing I guess. We invited sixteen kids; all of her class and several of her buddies from last year that are in the 4’s class this fall. Every few minutes you’d see L. running full speed with a flock of seven or eight friends behind her. When it was time for cake, she and most of her friends were completely soaked.

The present part of the day was pretty funny. Some of the kids, and their parents, have known L. for a couple years. And a couple other moms asked me beforehand what she was in to. So let’s say half the attendees understood she prefers Super Heroes, Ninja Turtles, etc. I knew the combination of gifts was going to be interesting.

There was a pretty wide range of loot. She came home with a Leonardo Ninja Turtle action figure, a red Power Ranger (Which matches her Halloween costume), a Ninja Turtle game, a Captain America mask, a pile of Super Heroes books and coloring books. But she also got two Barbies, a Barbie swimming pool, and a My Little Pony castle. There was also some Play-Doh and a bunch of artsy stuff. Just like I expected, she loved it all. Although she did take the Power Ranger to bed with her last night.

It was funny talking to a few of the moms about L.. She seems to have palled up a little bit with one girl this year, but she still spends as much time with the boys. One mom told me her boys talk about L. all the time. Sure enough, any time I saw L. Monday, they were right behind her. It’s going to be funny how things go next year at St. P’s. Two of her best friends from St. E’s will be in her class, so I wonder if she’s going to be the leader from day one since some of her buddies will be there to follow her lead.

I think she had a great time. She’s been a little overwhelmed by all the gifts and quieter than normal since her party ended. This morning she wouldn’t even talk to me she was so busy playing before school. Hopefully all the fun and goodies will tide her over until her next party in five years. I think M. took about five seconds after she got home yesterday to remind us that next summer will be her 10th birthday, and thus time for her next party. And C. is already planning her 10th, which is 2 1/2 years off.

Pretty Big (For October)

Indy is a little bleary-eyed today. And for good reason.

Man, was that some game last night. From the Colts fan perspective, it had about all we could ask for. The brief, but appropriate, tribute to Peyton Manning before the game. The quick three-and-out by Denver to start the game. A vintage Manning drive after a couple punts that put an “Uh oh, here we go,” vibe in the stadium. The huge plays by the Colts defense to change the tide of the game (Four different times, no less!). Andrew Luck and the Colts offense getting rolling in the second and third quarters. The constant feeling that there weren’t enough points on the board and Peyton always had a chance to get back in it. The inevitable Broncos rally and tense final moments. And the joy of taking the final snap, kneeling, and walking out not only beating Peyton, not only giving Denver their first loss of the year, but also of winning a third game against one of the elite teams in the league.

The Colts likely aren’t a true elite team. I think a true running team will still give them fits. And they’re getting killed by injuries. But with the AFC South looking awful, they have a terrific shot of reclaiming the division title a year earlier than I expected. And, who knows, if the Chiefs can out-distance the Broncos in the AFC West, maybe Denver comes back to Indy in early January.

But that’s thinking far too out in the future.

More about last night’s game.

It was awfully angsty around Indy this week. Someone asked me if it was kind of like when KU played Roy Williams and North Carolina in the 2008 Final Four. There was a little of that feeling. But Roy spurned KU, and at that point, a lot of KU fans were still angry at him. We wanted to beat him badly and watch him cry afterwards. The Colts are the ones who turned their backs on Peyton. I think there was a minority of fans who thought that was a dumb decision, conveniently forgetting that the Colts success over the past two seasons hasn’t just been about Luck, but about rebuilding the entire roster, something they could not have done with Peyton’s contract on the books. But I don’t think anyone in Indy was really mad about letting Peyton go anymore. We were excited he was coming back and eager to give him a formal thanks for his years as a Colt. But there was also a nervousness about how well the Broncos had played through their first six games, and fear the Colts would be on the short end of another video game score. We wanted to beat Denver, but there was no ill will in it the way Jayhawks fans wanted to beat Roy. Also, I think there’s a huge difference in the pressures of a regular season game vs. that of a chance to play for your sport’s championship.

A saw a couple comments last night that the pre-game tribute to Peyton was too short. Dumb criticism. He’s going to get an awkward 15 minute tribute complete with highlights, testimonials, and long readings of all the records he set as a Colt after he retires. The night he came back as the QB of the opponent was not the occasion to make it a formal Peyton Manning Night.

I wondered if Al Michaels would mention the oddity of having the roof of Lucas Oil Stadium open. He did not disappoint. The rule has generally been the roof, and north window, are only open when it’s dry and the temperature is between 60 and 80. Which lots of people here have commented is a terribly dumb policy. Football is an outdoor sport, and playing in the dry chill of fall isn’t imposing too much on either the players or fans. In fact, as many taxpayers of central Indiana have pointed out, why spend the money on a roof that opens if you’re going to limit yourself to using it a couple times a year? Awfully interesting that the first time they diverted from standard procedure was the night Peyton came back. Gamesmanship can be fun.

Robert Mathis is an absolute beast. Watch him on the sidelines when he has his helmet off. He looks like he was created in a lab to torture quarterbacks, not born and brought up in Alabama. Dwight Freeney was an all-timer. But Mathis has been incredible for the last 4-5 seasons.

Since I adopted the Colts the year we moved here, I’ve loved several of their players. Bob Sanders. Edgerrin James. Jerraud Powers. Freeney and Mathis. But my favorite player has always been Reggie Wayne. When we first got here, I loved his youth and brashness, which were a perfect balance to Marvin Harrison’s experience and reticence. Still, I hated it when Reggie called out Peyton back in the ’03 or ’04 season, saying Manning needed to throw him the ball more. But, to everyone’s credit, Peyton told Reggie that he needed to work harder to earn his trust, Reggie did exactly that, and turned into the consummate pro. He’s never popped off since then, and turned into a warrior in practice, in games, and in the community. And all Colts fans loved him for spurning offers from the Broncos, among others, and choosing to stay in Indy to help with the rebuilding process. So I, like a lot of folks in Central Indiana, felt sick when his knee slipped last night and he writhed around in pain. Losing him for the season would be a huge hurdle for the Colts.

How the hell does Wes Welker make some of those catches?

I’m generally pro-offense when it comes to football rules. And the Broncos run their pick plays to perfection. As Cris Collinsworth noted, they run them in a way that they usually don’t make contact but still free up receivers. That said, I’m not sure how Welker got away with shoving a cornerback, in the back no less, right in front of an official while the ball was in the air and the CB was making a play on it. Fortunately for the Colts, there were two DBs in the area and the play ended up going for a loss.

Ironic that the Colts are so handsy on defense, given it was the Colts of a decade ago who complained loudly about Harrison and Wayne getting mugged by New England DBs and were the impetus for the rules changes that neutered NFL d-backs.

One final note on NFL passing rules. If a receiver complains, whines, or throws a fit about getting a pass interference call, the penalty should be halved. “Pass interference, number 39 on the defense. That is normally a ten-yard penalty, but number 88 on the offense whined like a little bitch, so we will only be marking off five yards. Second down.”

Vontae Davis’ Tom Brady misspeak after the game was an all-time great one. Who knows if it was deliberate, a slip of the tongue, or if he was so nervous to talk on NBC that he really had no idea what he was saying. But it was fantastic ending to the week, as was Bob Costas’ reaction. “Thanks to Andrew Luck, Robert Mathis, and especially Vontae Davis, who apparently had his own game plan for tonight, preparing for Tom Brady rather than Peyton Manning.”

Jim Irsay should shut his trap.

So a great night at Lucas Oil. The Colts are 5-2 after a tough first-half schedule, two games up in the division, three over Houston. They have a bye week coming up, then go to Houston. After that, they have the Rams, Titans twice, and Cardinals before a tough December stretch of at Cincinnati, Houston, and at Kansas City in three weeks. When I looked at the schedule at the beginning of the season, I kept ending up at eight wins. The Wayne injury makes the math tougher, but now I’m coming closer to 11 wins. We’ll see how it all works out.

Old = Good But Never Great. Pearl Jam Lightning Bolt Review

For some reason it’s been very hard to write up my thoughts about Pearl Jam’s Lightning Bolt. Not because I don’t like it; I do. Not because it follows the same basic formula the band has been using for nearly a decade; that is true but that doesn’t make it indistinguishable from the last two albums. Not because there’s nothing interesting about the album to put into words; there’s plenty. Not because I find myself agreeing with the theme of every positive review of the album I’ve read; I can always find something to write about my favorite band of our generation.

Rather, like so many ideas these days, it keeps turning into an essay about growing older and how that affects our likes/dislikes and whether comfort and happiness render it impossible to make great rock music. Why, for example, can I only think of two great albums created by artists over 40?1 What is it about reaching middle age that causes bands to make good, but not necessarily memorable, music?

So, anyway, I’ve written probably 2000 words in a couple drafts exploring these ideas and attempting to connect them to my thoughts about the album itself. But the end result kept coming up awkward and impossible to connect coherently. Thus, I’ll strip those thoughts down to a few bullet points and save myself more flailing for the right words.

  • Of the one million reasons older bands struggle to make classic, memorable music, I think comfort is the biggest factor. Young bands bump into each other, figuratively and literally, and those collisions create tension and excitement. Sometimes the process is messy, but it can also lead to brilliance. Older bands have found their comfort zones, ways to make space and opportunities for each other. The result is smoother and perhaps more consistent, but at the loss of an energy which could push a good song into a great one.
  • Eddie Vedder has changed the way he sings, and it’s a terrific change. There’s no mistaking that it’s him singing. But his voice sounds warmer, more engaged, and, I don’t know, maybe more careful. I’m sure there are some production tricks involved that isolate his voice in a different way than in the past. But it’s very interesting, and pleasing, to hear one of the most recognizable voices of the last 20 years transition into a (slightly) different style.
  • I hated “Just Breathe,” from their last album. This time around, I’m digging the super power ballad that will probably be played endlessly for the next six months, “Sirens.”
  • Favorite songs: “Swallowed Whole,” which finds them exploring a new angle of the classic The Who sound; the title track, which rocks nicely; and album opener “Getaway.”
  • There are a few songs I’m already skipping.
  • Bottom line, like every other band that has been hugely successful and survived into their late 40s, Pearl Jam has settled into a nice routine. Make an album every 3-4 years, which they know will sell a minimum of 500,000 copies. Tour for a year or so, selling out every night. And then take some time off to do other fun stuff, spend time with family, etc. The happiness that comes with that routine allows them to make some fine music, but keeps them from being angry/agitated/frustrated enough to make any truly great songs. The good news is there are plenty of fun songs to keep you occupied for a while. The bad is there are no great songs that will still be getting rock radio play in 20 years like “Jeremy,” “Alive,” “Corduroy,” etc.
  • My verdict: 3.5 stars.

  1. My definition of great is wide critical, commercial, and cultural success. I’m sure there are others, but U2’s All That You Can’t Leave Behind and Bruce Springsteen’s The Rising are the only two that came to mind. 

Run Lindsey!

Posnanski revisited his 32 Best Calls In Sports History to honor the 25th anniversary of Kirk Gibson’s home run in the 1988 World Series. Checking in at #10 is Larry Munson’s epic call of Lindsey Scott’s 92-yard catch-and-run that helped Georgia beat Florida in 1980. I remember watching the game live, and probably hearing some network announcer call it, and I’ve heard the central part of Munson’s call many times. But I had never heard the aftermath, which is absolutely incredible.

“Man is there going to be some property destroyed tonight!”

BTW, the rest of Posnanski’s piece is great, too. I spent about half an hour last night watching all the clips, then expanding to look up some of my other favorites. Good freaking times!

Rock God Math

My current favorite music writer, Steven Hyden, goes beyond the simple album review for the new Pearl Jam disk. Instead, he examines the band’s entire career, assesses what’s overrated, what’s underrated, and what’s been properly rated, and then does the final math.

Pearl Jam made some great records in the ’90s, some not-so-great records in the early ’00s, and some very solid records in the last several years. The band is always worth seeing live….Pearl Jam is not at its creative peak in 2013, but it is a dependable veteran that won’t ever embarrass itself. Overall, Pearl Jam is…

Overrated, Underrated, or Properly Rated: Pearl Jam
I have a long PJ post for later in the week, but this should get you warmed up. Oh, and after three, spins, there are three songs on the new album I really like, a couple I’m not terribly fond of, and the rest are all solid.


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