Thursday, September 14, 2006

Things I don't Remember: How the Hell'd We Get Here?!

The Artist Formerly Known as "NBB" and before that "TBK" (now given an 82 out of 100, by Dr. Benjamin Cooper.)

Yet another name change, folks. Just to review, this is now the third title for this blog, and I guess with each name-change, I have shifted focus a little bit, so why make this any different. TBK (or The Bees Knees--which this site remains, in concept) was something of an extension from the myspace blog...a way for me to share the blog with people who didn't y'know, have fashion mullets, read Kierkegaard, and listen to Depeche Mode. People like my parents. Anyway, the idea there was to talk about everything "culture" from books to sports to politics to music. Then I realized that I wasn't talking so much about, well, ANYTHING, except sports. So I got a little one-track-minded, shifted the name to "Namath's Booze Breath" to honor my favorite child-hood hero turned drunken slob, turned national embarassment. I guess my goal is to mesh the two a little better. That is, to still discuss sports but perhaps in a more relevant way, and to (however incongruous it may be) discuss whatever else is going on: what I am reading, a little voyeurism into my own life, midterm elections, TV, movies, music. A virtual bar discussion. Or "bar monologue" as it may be (hence the name, harkening back to the old German Beer Halls...and thanks to Tim for the suggestion.) Hopefully the result will be more palatable for more people...something more along the lines of what I had going on in the first incarnation of my blog, at the previous site. They say "You can never go home again," but we'll see. To start off on the right foot: a little football, followed by some voyeurism, and some closing thoughts on a few CDs. Thanks for the patience as Darwinism does its thing to my site.

Like Deja Vu All Over Again

"The Patriots front office doesn't miss a trick." -- This statement comes from Don Banks' Sports Illustrated write-up from week one. Like almost everything the mainstream media says about the Patriots, I found it hard to actually take-in. (I was too busy plugging my nose from the scent of Kraft-excrement on Banks' breath.) Banks makes this gushing exclamation as an introduction to what, I can only assume, Banks thinks is a cute little story: Last month as the Pats prepared for their season-opener against the Bills, the team went out and signed on a former Bills receiver who was under the impression that he would be on the starting day roster. For the next three weeks they grilled him for every bit of info he had on the Bills defense. Then they cut him. Banks, of course, finds this sooo clever. Nevermind the fact that Jonathan Smith (the ex-Bills receiver in question) was probably looking forward to being a member of an NFL team, and taking home a paycheck to feed his family. Nobody cares about the replacement-level receivers here, people. The story, here, is how SMART that Foxboro front office is! Wing-ding-diddly-doo, how brilliant they are!! And little anecdotes like this are the reason I am truly starting to believe I hate the Patriots more than I despise their baseball doppelgangers from the Bronx. The thing about the Yankees is they go about their business (that is to say "winning") the right way. Say what you will about the pay-roll. It sucks, and it bores me to tears that teams can, and do, buy rings, but that's the nature of the league as it is currently constituted. The best teams are the ones who can afford the best players. Just ask my '04 Sox (second highest payroll in the league.) Outside of this (admittedly significant) abberation, the Yankees are one of the "classiest" organizations in sports. It sickens me to hear their fans talk about this quality, but in alot of ways it is true. Witness the events of the past few weeks. Following the comments Ortiz made about Jeter, "The Captain" responded brilliantly and with the kind of leadership, and team-player attitude that Papi should be showing in this awful stretch, something along the lines of: "we don't worry about individual awards, here. We are playing for a championship." After John Lester was diagnosed with Lymphoma, there was a giant boquet of flowers sent to his locker within 24 hours. The sender? The New York Yankees. See? Class. And at every opportunity the sports media has, they try to paint the Yanks as a villified franchise. But the Pats? Nah, the Pats breaking some guys heart and punching out his last breath of hope at staying in the NFL? Well that's just smart work by the suits in Foxboro. Disgusting. (I need a few minutes to wash my face after that Yankees brown-nosing.)

We're back. Y'know, I can't remember the most recent time the Jets beat the Pats? That's not Hyperbole. That's a fact. Some research tells me it was week 16, 2002. I really can't remember where I was, then. Logic tells me I must have been at Lehigh. But I wasn't 21, so I wasn't at a bar... The point of this? I remember Jets games. Particularly important ones. For instance, I rememer week 17 of that same year very distinctly: a W over Green Bay to eek into the playoffs. I was in Meg's parents' attic. I remember a week 16 game against the Patriots at the end of a very unspectacular 2003. A certain sideline incident lent its name to the second incarnation of this blog. And perhaps that moment is very telling as to why I can't remember the last time the Jets beat the Pat-men: it epitomized what a painfully, excrutiatingly embarassing stretch the last three years of this rivalry has been. It's been one-sided. It's been what the Sox-Yanks was from the mid-90's to 2004. And perhaps that's why this rivalry is consuming me in ways that the Yankees one no longer can: because, as much as Sox fans hated to admit it, what kept that rivalry thriving was the sense of entitlement the fans from the Bronx had, and the vitriol that cockiness stoked in the hearts of a fan-base with a painful inferiority complex. Nobody likes to root for a constant loser. And when they have to they get angry, and they get brash (and often drunk) and the results are often mayhem. For all the media-hype about the Sox-Yanks rivalry, you just don't see that much anger, anymore. Tim and I went to a game, where he wore a Yankees T-shirt in the belachers, in the middle of a five-game embarassment at the hands of the Sox "daunted rivals." He barely heard peep. That wouldn't have happened 5 years ago. No doubt about it. There is an understanding there. For the time-being the Sox fans have a tenuous choke-hold on the Yanks fans. And noone really knows how to act. I have a feeling that the folks who plan on wearing their Tom Brady jerseys to the meadowlands on Sunday are not going to be received with as much acceptance as Tm saw in Fenway last month. Dr. Z, in fact, thinks the scene is going to be so insane that its going to tilt the odds in the Jets favor. Dr. Z predicts an upset special in this weeks forecast. Dr. Z is an idiot.

Pats 27-Jets 13

Feeling Voyeuristic Today? (feels good to say that again)

"That was the day man became his god, man became his devil. Man became his good, man became his evil. Tomorrow will be the 22nd Century." -- Nina Simone

I know I am late to the table on this one, but given the fact that Monday was the five-year anniversary of 9/11, I wanted to share a really nice tribute piece that Tim forwarded me, written by a "friend-of-a-friend." The reason I share the piece is two-fold. First, because it was the most appropriate thing I read on Monday. It wasn't cynical, and it wasn't bogged down by rah-rah, "kill-'em-all for doing this to us," righteousness. It was just a great tribute, and one young guy's personal story. The second reason I share it is admittedly a little narcissistic. If that's problematic for you, stop reading. Blogs are nothing if not a tool of narcissism. While my own recollection of September 5 years ago is nowhere near as tragic or personal as Billy's, he brings up a point that I really connected with, an issue that has been at the forefront of my conscience lately: and that is the elasticity of time, and how over a stretch of time (and for me, the stretch of time in question is the same 5 years, as the time that Billy discusses. I use this period for reasonns totally unrelated to what happened that day.) But over any certain stretch of time things can change so utterly, while so many things do not change at all. In the past 5 years we have seen the explosion of technologies that brought us the main-stream usage of the I-Pod, Hybrid Cars, "blogs", phones that film videos, and on and on. Highways have been expanded, cities have gone through renaissances, or depressions, and the world has changed. And yet, we still debate issues of abortion, religion, taxes, wars.

In my own life I have graduated college. I have gotten a promotion. I have been to weddings. I have had my own wedding. I have most recently bought a condo and added a young, furry, family member to my life. And yet, I can still think of few things better than a canoe-ride on an overcast morning in Maine; or a cold beer and a good book; or a Friday night spent shooting-the-shit with buddies at a quiet bar or Madamme Claude; or Sunday Afternoons wasted watching the Jets while my dad nervously paces and sweeps the kitchen floors. Life changes, and moves on. And so they say, "the more things change, the more they stay the same."

I know I promised to talk CDs but I don't have it in me right now. I'm not a hipster from Chicago, so perhaps my opinion means nothing. But if you're looking for good mellow music, check these out: Band of Horses; M Ward. Plans for this weekend: I feel like I haven't seen some old friends in a while. Perhaps a trip to Brooklyn is in order. Sunday, I'll be with Pete, hoping against hope that this will be a Sunday to remember: the most recent time the Jets beat the Patriots.


At 11:11 AM, Blogger jake said...

Jets valiant in defeat. I don't think they're that bad this year actually. I could see them going 9-7 and competing for the last playoff spot.


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