“Well, the weeks went by and spring turned to summer
And summer faded into fall
And it turns out he was a missing person
who nobody missed at all”
Listen, this has been really over since mid Wednesday morning. Am not sure how long The Arizona Republic has called this race, but pretty sure it has been at least a day or more. Even if the drama happy cable networks won’t acknowledge it.
But even MSNBC and CNN are chiming. So, it is really over. Goodbye Earl Trump!
Some good college football on today. ASU at USC starts it off. Houston at Cinci could be interesting. Best game could be Gators at the UGA. But the oxygen in the room goes to…..Clemson at The Golden Domers. Having Taylor Lawrence out puts a large dent in this, bet Clemson can still put up a fight.
I’ll be back in a bit with the pros.
The Chicks with Goodbye Earl.
Last Trash Talk Before The Election
Welp, we have almost made it to November 3. As I type this, there are less than 72 hours to the opening of the polls for Election Day. The long national nightmare will be very far from over, irrespective of which candidate wins. But, and this is important, the relentless onslaught of annoying campaign commercials, mailers in your mail box and robocalls calls and texts will be over, and that will be a huge relief. I don’t trust the polls, especially the national ones. State polls are a far better indicator, but even those are fraught these days, but they are far more important because the electoral college is what really matters, and that is state by state. Polling is hard now. The saw about cell phones skewing polling is really true. Some people, including me, won’t answer them for rando callers. It also skews more urban. So, who knows what the ground will look like on Wednesday November 4, we shall see!
There is one other bit of unfortunate news, Sir Sean Connery has passed. Here is a great obituary from the BBC. Everybody knows the various Bond movies, and they were all great in their own way. I’d like to focus on some of his many other notable roles. He won an Oscar for The Untouchables. But his work was every bit as spectacular in The Wind And The Lion and Hunt For Red October, not to mention as John Mason in The Rock (a fantastic flick). And let’s not forget his portrayal of William von Baskerville in The Name of The Rose, also spectacular. What are your favorite roles and lines, here is a list? RIP Mr. Connery.
On to the games. In the NCAA, there are not a ton of really promising matchups. Texas at Oklahoma State could be one. OSU is pretty solid, and has a very decent defense. Watch out for OSU this year. Most of the national focus is on Ohio State at Penn State. Clearly the Buckeyes have to be favored, but you never know against PSU at home. Boston College is at Death Valley to play Clemson, who will be without star QB Taylor Lawrence because of a positive Covid test. I will still take the Tigers, but no Lawrence is a big wrinkle.
In the Pros, all eyes are on Scribe’s Steelers at Baltimore, and that is a tossup. If they get any contain whatsoever on Jackson, which is not easy, I’d pick the Steelers. But that is a huge if with the reigning MVP. Saints at Bears looks pretty interesting, as does Niners at Squawks. The SNF game is Dallas at Eagles. Ugh. MNF has Tampa Bay at Giants. That also looks to be an ugh.
Lastly, F1. This weekend is the “Emilia Romagna Grand Prix”. No, I do not know exactly what “Emilia Romagna” is, that is new to me. It apparently is a region of Italy with Bologna as the capital. What I do know, however, is that this marks the return of F1 to the Imola Circuit, also known as the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, the home of the former San Marino Grand Prix. It has not hosted F1 since 2007, there have been many renovations and upgrades in the meantime. The circuit looked quite fast in qualifying, where Bottas nudged out Hamilton and Verstappen for pole. Pierre Gasly did a great job to place P4 on the grid. The two McLarens placed P9 and P10, continuing their resurgence. Should be fun.
Okay, that’s it for today. Kind of a traditional Presidential election thing around here, music is Elected by Alice. Go out and vote. Biden is not perfect, no candidate ever is, but he is light years better than Trump. Cast yer ballots, mine is already in!
Ten Days To Go Trash Talk
Yesterday was the Scaramucci point; i.e. eleven days to go. Now it is ten, and it all is getting to be overwhelming. A perfect time for some Trash, as Trash was always about giving a release from the daily drudgery. Off we go!
Am still of the opinion that trying to play college football during the pandemic was a bad idea. But playing they are. In that regard, let’s talk about Wisconsin, who put on a show last night. Once we discussed the new whiz kid on the Badgers’ block, and it was Russell Wilson. He turned out to be all that, at Wisconsin and then in the NFL. But last night was ridiculous. First time redshirt freshman starter Graham Mertz merely completed 20 of 21 passes for 248 yards and five touchdowns in the Badgers’ 45-7 win. That is pretty good.
In the pros, after a Covid announcement by the Raiders, the NFL and NBC suddenly flexed the SNF game to Seahawks at Cardinal, purporting it to be to address Covid concerns. That is a joke. If Covid were the meter, you would give the Raiders more time, even if hours to comply and play. Just hazarding a guess here, but maybe the NFL and NBC figured Russell Wilson versus Kyler Murray was a better game and draw, and did not have potential to be cancelled at the last minute. If so, that was pretty much a smart play.
The Bucs at Vegas is still a must watch if available to you. Steelers at Titans is still the real game of the day. I’d normally take the Steelers with Big Ben back to normal. Would not bet a cent on it though, the Titans, Vrabel and Tannehill, are on a fair roll, and then there is Derrick Henry. This will be a fun game. Look too to Bears at Rams. Seems kind of ho hum, but is an important game.
This weekend is also the Portuguese Grand Prix. Now it has been a while since there was a Portugese, but there is a real history. Of course the Mercs of Hamilton and Bootas have to be favored. It is kind of a crazy looking circuit for the new iteration of F1 though. Could be interesting!
Today’s music is by Bruce. When he says no surrender, he means it. Listen to him, think about the time old message, and GO VOTE to make sure the Trump Train leaves the station. Enjoy Bruce at his rocking best.
Tuscaloosa Gets The Birmingham Blues
Part of the lack of consistent Trash has been aversion to NCAA “opening”, knowing what would happen. The NFL pros had/have a shot, but even that has not been easy. Colleges? Anybody that has spent time on a college campus knew that would be a tough pull. So…..
Nick Saban is a Trumpian hero that magically slays the Covid and can coach the most important thing in the world, a belligerent SEC game. What a jerk. That said, UGA at Bama is close to a national championship game as you will get prior to any supposed BCS Championship.
As to the Pros, they are holding on. Barely. The Tennessee Titans has a huge COVID scare that seems to be slightly smaller than first advertised. The Titans are actually a pretty well run organization, so that is not surprising. But what a warning shot, along with Cam Newton and Gilmore in Boston. Playing football, with giant team roster numbers, and even bigger administrative staffs, was always going to be harder than the NBA, NHL or even MLB.
The AFC alone lost steals the day Sunday. I’ll take the Pats over the Donkos in Gillette, but that is not overly easy, Baker and the Brownies in Pittsburgh is the game to really watch. Green Bay at Tampa Bay is the other one to watch. Whether you are a fan or not, that is two of the best QBs ever tilting at each other.
Okay, a story about the Trash music attached hereto. Long ago, I went to a Charlie Daniels Band concert in Phoenix. It was really good. So, one of my first summers in Santa Monica, I was just kind of driving around. Drove by the Civic Center and saw that the CDB was playing. So found a place to park and bought a ticket. It was absolutely great, as the CDB was back then. Later, I had an opportunity to talk to Daniels via email. He was stunningly smart, even if we disagreed about most everything. His politics were not mine, but he was great. This was before even Twitter. RIP Mr. Daniels. The Birmingham Blues are close enough to Tuscaloosa. So is Caballo Diablo.
What A Week Trash Talk
Since the period where there was no sports to trash talk about, and this turned into a music blog, it has been hard to get back into the normal trash groove. Let’s try to get back to it, because everything else is botched up.
The NBA has actually been pretty good in their bubble, but not that many are watching as normally would. Ditto for the NHL and MLB. For all the clamor to get sports “open” from all kinds of preening politicians, maybe that is okay. Sports are great, but there is a problem going on in the world.
The NFL is also back, and initially without much drama. That worm has turned. The Tennessee Titans had a full on Trump White House like outbreak. The Saints had a scare that, so far, seems to have abated. But then, as they were preparing to make the already perilous trip to Arrowhead to meet the Chiefs, the Patriots’ Cam Newton has tested positive for Covid. That’s a problem, both for the Pats and the league. The first three weeks went quite well, but the inevitable has arrived. The Covid has arrived, and not just as to the Trump crew. King Roger (h/t Scribe) we have a problem. It is sad in a way, because Newton’s reclamation in New England was one of the really good stories in the NFL so far.
On a more somber note, Bob Gibson has passed. He was simply one of the best athletes in history. He did not just star in baseball, but was also a Harlem Globetrotter. If he had played in the NBA instead of MLB, he might have rivaled Elgin Baylor. He was that good. But MLB it was, and what a career. Read this great story.
Here is the Gibson stat line from just 1968. Keep in mind, this is just ONE season.
I mostly boycotted NCAA football yesterday, and got busy with an absolutely insane F1 race from Italy. It is the Tuscan Grand Prix, celebrating Ferrari’s 1000th F1 race. But is is a shit cookie cutter circuit, and the course is WAY too narrow. It is nuts, eight cars have already crashed out, and there has been safety cars out and two, TWO full red flag suspensions of the race.
Anyway, after the Chefs cooked and BBQ’d the Texans on Thursday, today brings a full slate of games.Brady and the Bucs have a very tough opener with the Saints. Probably can’t win it, but we will start to see how they are going to look. Cards are choking on the Santa Clara air to play the 49ers.
Eh, it is a new year for everybody. Discuss!
Dead Flowers On Kentucky Derby Day
Hi there Trash Talk fans and fannettes, we are back. Personally, I think opening up B1G and SEC football is a declaration of pandemic war on society, especially in some seriously at high risk areas without the ICU resources to cover in a mass problem. Led by Trump, however, this seems to be the clarion call dopes cannot refuse.
Is it the move of voices like Trump, the flailing NCAA athletic departments, or the craven interests of Insta Sports betting interests like Fan Duel and Draft Kings who are desperate to make money now because their precarious and sick corporate lives depend on it? Don’t sleep on the latter, and pay attention as to the ever increasing Insta Sports Betting commercials soak up ad time on ESPN (and their chief shill, Mike Greenberg) and other sports channels. It is a full on push, and they cannot wait for the pandemic to end if they are to take over the gaming world. ESPN is all in on this garbage. Why? Because it is big advertising bucks, and money is their business. It is that simple.
Okay, on to the actual sports. First, today is, improbably, Kentucky Derby Day. As my family originally came from Kentucky before the cactus patch, the Derby is something special. Always has been and always will be. The Derby in September, without the people and hats in the stands, seems wrong. But the horses deserve to run in their time, so okay. F1, and even Indy, have proved that closed circuit courses with fast action are still compelling on TV. Frankly, so too has the NBA and NHL “bubbles”. So, it will still be interesting to see the Kentucky Derby.
One of our early partners and contributors here at Emptywheel, and even before the formal formation of the Emptywheel blog, was Mary. Mary lives on in our recollections and history, and her family, but will be forever known as the one that put horses in our bailiwick. Something Emptywheel Roving Reporter took to ground. So, when horses are up, the memory of Mary is as well. Today is an improbable, and weird day, for the Derby. But let it be run, for the horses. From CBS:
Though the NFL and Kentucky Derby are never mentioned in the same sentence, 2020 has been anything but usual. Even though the 2020 Kentucky Derby will go off Saturday, Sept. 5 on the brink of Week 1 in the NFL, all eyes will be on Churchill Downs, where 16 of the top three-year-old horses will load up for the 146th Run for the Roses. Tiz the Law won the Belmont Stakes earlier this summer and is aiming to become just the 14th horse in history to win the Triple Crown and the first since Justify two years ago.
There is also the NBA, and the “embubblement” is working far better than thought possible. The games are great down the stretch.
NFL football, surprisingly, seems not far off. There is no more fascinating and competitive division than the NFC South. Couple of years ago that would have been shocking, now it is a fact. Bruce Arians, Brady and the Bucs are the most interesting story in the NFL this year. Can they really live up to that interest? I dunno about that. What a division to have to deal with, it is imposing. We shall see.
F1 is back again this weekend. Monza. There are a lot of famous historical races. Monza is very much at the top. This is not a normal year, and the front of the field has been more boring than ever in history by my eye. There is actually pretty decent racing behind the front markers and midfield. I will watch, but do not have much hopes for Monza being the nail biting theater it once was.
As summer starts to wane, today’s music will be by the Loving Spoonful. It was almost Donavan with images of the great Sue Lyon, but I think I already did that years ago. So, let’s have a good weekend folks. Rock on and chat about anything. Also, of course, Dead Flowers for Kentucky Derby Day, because there will be few Derby Days here without that.
The Chicks Are Owed An Apology
Once upon a time, back when the United States was under the leadership of another fairly incompetent Republican President (yes yes, Bush and Cheney look a little better now compared to Trump and Pence, but only because they were actually semi-competent in their evil, but they were still very evil), there was was sensationally good crossover country/pop group known as the Dixie Chicks.
They were country, but never of the “stars and bars” Dixie kind. It was simply an appellation. In fact, they were all pretty forward and progressive thinking and talking. And man did they get in trouble for it. I guess the new term of the day is “cancelled”, which is kind of an idiotic term, but the howlers really did try to obliterate Natalie Maines, Emily Strayer and Martie Maguire. From Wiki:
On March 10, 2003, nine days before the invasion of Iraq, the Dixie Chicks performed at the Shepherds Bush Empire theater in London, England. It was the first concert of their Top of the World tour in support of their sixth album, Home. Introducing their song “Travelin’ Soldier”, Maines told the audience the band they did not support the upcoming Allied invasion of Iraq and were “ashamed” that President George W. Bush was from Texas. Many American country music listeners supported the war, and Maines’s remark triggered a backlash in the United States. The Dixie Chicks were blacklisted by thousands of country radio stations, and the band members received death threats. Maines issued an apology, saying her remark had been disrespectful; in 2006 she rescinded the apology, saying she felt Bush deserved no respect. The backlash damaged sales of their music and sales of their next album and tour.
In a September 2003 interview, Maguire told the German magazine Der Spiegel: “We don’t feel a part of the country scene any longer, it can’t be our home anymore.” She noted a lack of support from country stars, and being shunned at the 2003 ACM Awards. “Instead, we won three Grammys against much stronger competition. So we now consider ourselves part of the big rock ‘n’ roll family.” Some fans were dismayed, but the group made no clear response.
If you have forgotten, which is awfully easy to do in these pandemic days of Trump, this was a huge deal at the time. The United States government under the Bush/Cheney regime, and the entire country music scene hated on them and ostracized them. It was one of those kind of fulcrum moments. It was not just the Iraq war, it was torture, the unitary executive, free speech, protest…..everything was wrapped up, in a cultural way, in the actions of the Dixie Chicks. It was symbolic of the divide.
But Natalie Maines, Emily Strayer and Martie Maguire were bad ass and stuck to their morals and thoughts. They got hammered at the time, but they hung in and are still here bigger and badder ass than ever. They are now just The Chicks, having dumped the Dixie part of their original name. The Chicks are owed a debt of gratitude and an apology for the idiocy and bigotry they faced from the howlers during the Bush/Cheney years, and they are here to let you know they are still on the good side of the cutting edge.
The Chicks have a new song and video out. “March March”, and it is truly awesome. A song for this time. I saw it last night at Atrios’ joint, and it is really superb. Take a look. Expand it and watch it full screen, it is worth it. This is the music of protest, and in the best way. Music was key in the 60’s and it is key now. It spreads far and wide what people feel, whether they are in the streets or at home. The “at home” part seems even more pertinent now in the time of unabated pandemic at the hands of yet another evil Administration. And that is our trash talk for this weekend, get on it!
Trash Talk: The NBA’s Insane Money Grab Scheme
I really don’t have a lot for this week, but there is this: The National Basketball Association is desperate to join the Grand Reopening. And boy is it a doozy. Via ESPN:
“the NBA’s board of governors overwhelmingly approved a proposal for 22 teams to return to play, starting July 31 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.
Before the NBA can come back, teams must reassemble in their home markets. That means bringing back players who left for their hometowns — or, in some cases, home countries — while the league sorted out its plans. Players who return from overseas are likely to be subject to a two-week quarantine upon arrival, under current federal rules.
Teams will continue to hold individual workouts in their facilities. A training camp will start June 30 and last a week. All teams will fly to Orlando on July 7, three weeks before the restart of the season. They will likely have to quarantine for some period; Florida law requires people flying in from some states, including New York, to quarantine for 14 days.”
Orlando you say? Yep, they are all going to DisneyWorld to live and play in a “bubble”! The 22 teams include six, including the Phoenix Suns, that were not in playoff contention when the season was stopped. Why, you ask? Well it is literally as simple as more teams equals more games to broadcast, and therefore more money to make for the plantation owners of the NBA. A group that is all white with the exception of Charlotte’s Michael Jordan, Sacramento Kings owner Vivek Ranadivé, who is Indian and Joseph Tsai of the Brooklyn Nets. The players they are summonsing to live and play in the bubble are, of course, about 75% black.
“In a string of tweets on Wednesday, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski outlined conversations that were taking place over the last couple of days including a large group of “several dozen” players who believe resuming play in Orlando is a bad idea.
According to Wojnarowski, because of the dissenting views, the NBA and NBPA are likely to agree on a provision in which players would not be required to join their respective teams for the restart of the season. The two sides are working toward an agreement that would not include disciplinary action for players who choose to stay home, though they would lose a portion of their salary for games missed.”
Yeah, while players want to play theoretically, who wants to live in a bubble far away from home, with limited, if any fun, friends and nightlife so the league can rake in some bucks off of TV revenue? And probably little to no family contact. There will, of course, be no fans and players and coaches will be Carona tested every day. Older coaches may not be allowed, which would be horrid, and, frankly, probably a violation of age discrimination protections.
There are a LOT more issues too, starting with how Covid secure will “the bubble” actually be? It might work. It might t not. There are a lot of moving parts on that. As to those parts and all the other problems, this article by Zach Lowe at ESPN is really good, and I urge you to take a read of it.
It will be really interesting to see how this plays out. Were I an NBA player, I think I’d take a pass on this harebrained scheme and say see you next year guys.
Well, that’s it. The Zach Lowe piece really is a worth a read to get the full picture. Today’s music is, of course, Roundball Rock, one of the best sports theme songs ever. Yeah, I know, it is John Tesh, but with a full big band, and it is pretty good. Hoop it up folks!
The Fabulous Emptywheel Music Blog: Country AND Western Edition!
Welp, it has been another glorious month week living the glorious life in Trump’s America. So let’s have a little fun and games.
I am pretty much normally a rock and roll person. Ed Walker’s opera and Zappa post was wonderful. So, let’s change it up a bit. Country and Western! Believe it or not, when I was younger, and before I had a drivers license, I went to a few C&W shows with some family friends. He was, seriously the principal of my grade school, and his wife the school nurse. Both simply fantastic people. And they loved C&W.
Pretty sure the first one was Johnny Cash and the Carter Family. I was not expecting much, I was just going because, well why not? And boy was I wrong. Fantastic. Oh, and I do believe the great Carl Perkins was on guitar for Cash at the time and did a truly rocking version of Blue Suede Shoes.
My recollection is that the second was Charlie Pride. Again truly fantastic.
What a presence. What a band. What a voice. Smooth and beautiful.
The third was Buck Owens and the Buckaroos. They had a huge following in Phoenix from very early on. In their early years they were serious regulars, if not kind of the erstwhile house band, at the original Phoenix Honky Tonk, Mr. Lucky’s.
Mr. Lucky’s was a place that regularly hosted some of the biggest names in country music – Glen Campbell, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Ray Price, Tom T. Hall, George Jones, Loretta Lynn, Waylon Jennings and pretty much everybody else. But Buck and the Buckaroos kind of owned the joint (literally for a while as I recall).
There is truly a lot of great country and Western out there, lets discuss it!
Normal Trash Talk rules apply, anything and everything flies.