Air Guitar

Punk Rock, Evolving Music Trends and My Experience With The Inevitable “Sell-Out”

Last night, as I watched a YouTube video from the 70’s of a live rendition of Edgar Winter’s “Frankenstien” with Rick Derringer on guitar, wearing quite a smashing little gold lamé jump suit number I might add, I couldn’t help but be a bit disgusted at the overt display of LOOK AT ME in the performance… the likes of which I never seemed to connect with at the time!

Rick Derringer

Now this was one of my favorite tunes of my early teen years growing up… and it’s just now that this occurs to me… why is that? I mean, sure, I get it – that’s what the business… er – I mean ART FORM was all about then right? Rock like a mother fucker with manly chops dressed like a girl. What’s not to like? But the difference between Kiss’ “look at me” and the Edgar Winter’s “look at me” is that Kiss NEVER took themselves so seriously.

Kiss

Though at times, this ‘glitter’ era of rock n’ roll was less musical and more theatrical, it was a necessary step that pushed us forward out of the doo-wop, bee-bop phase that hung on to mainstream music despite the 60’s influence, and well into the ‘MC5 Kick Out The Jams’ attitude that eventually lead to punk rock.

The MC5

Music fans eventually got sick of the hairspray and spandex and over-self-indulgence and began to ask the question aloud, “what happened to rock n’ roll” and “when did we become so bloody androgenous? This widened the gap between what WAS a musical and artistic innovation, and the musical PRODUCT it had become. And in that gap, PUNK ROCK was born, a musical genre that NEVER took itself seriously… or DID it?!

Something Old, Something Borrowed, Something New

David Bowie

When punk came along in the mid to late 70’s, even though I was heavily into the the chops, glitter & theatrics of bands like T-Rex, David Bowie, Alice Cooper and Yes, I was relieved that there was ‘something more’ than dressing up in women’s clothes and ‘vogueing’ while you HAPPEN to be playing music.

T Rex

So I morphed into a punk with Zeppelin roots, Beatles sensibilities and a Bowie fashion sense – “and just how’s THAT working’ out for ya’ Mike?!”

Alice Cooper Band

Actually, it worked fine for a while as I was enjoying the newness of my new found punk rock attitude and all the seeming ‘freedom’ it brought with it.

Yes

Clothes, unimportant. Hair, unimportant. Job, education, social standing… all VERY unimportant – this was a “Made For Mike Shannon” movement! Note Exhibit A below (no it’s not named Exhibit A, I just typed it for effect). This was 1980, in my first year at Carlton U. in Ottawa playing in a band called “Syph Hillis and the Nocturnal Emissions”. Yes, I was proudly an Emission! But considering the name of the band, and the year, and the fact that we were playing “Someone’s Going To Get Their Head Kicked In Tonight” by the Rezillos… the drummer clearly did not get the memo regarding the shifting trends where hair style was concerned. If I sucked at the drums, the hair most assuredly would have been an issue. But as it turns out… I ROCKED!

cropped-the-nocturnal-emissions.jpg

But the message, the protest… THOSE where what was important! “COOL… that seems like a pretty good cause”, I thought! So I latched on to the mantra that embodied punk rock… “Don’t do what THEY say you should do!” and I was ALL IN! Until, I realized, over time, that what they were ACTUALLY saying was “don’t do what THEY say you should do… do what WE say you should do!”

And It Starts

This startling revelation came out in living technicolor when I stood on stage between sets in a punk club in Ottawa in 1981 and proclaimed into the mic, “I don’t care what you fuckers think, Led Zeppelin ROCKS and the Beatles are BRILLIANT”… cricket, cricket, cricket.

Led Zeppelin

I was practically ostracized from ‘the scene’ for that remark. But only the punkiest of punks commended me saying, “that was one of the most punk rock things you could possibly do.” And I realized that they were, in fact, correct by the purest definition of ‘punk’. It was all about be yourself, make no apologies, no filtering, no censoring. Well this endorsement from the scene’s most ardent punks kept me afloat, but it was clear that MOST of everyone didn’t get that at ALL and I was labeled as a glitter rock infiltrator of their punk rock ranks, a pretender, and (the worst insult of all) a SELL OUT! Looking back, perhaps I should have cut my hair. But I said it, and I’m sure it cost me a couple of drum gigs at the time, but I was glad I stuck to my guns because the truth of the matter is that Zeppelin really DOES rock god damn it and the Beatles ARE fucking brilliant! And no movement in the world can refute those 2 facts.

The Beatles

So as time would tell, it was my detractors that were exposed as the posers and are probably, just now in their advanced years, ready to admit that the Led Zeppelin that they grew up with, but eschewed for their new found punk rock attitude – or more accurately – succumbing to peer pressure, are actually really fucking good! But for 30 years, they forced themselves to not like them just to be excepted into a club that has long since lost it’s relevance. Dying trend followers can be quite stubborn at times… and very amusing.

The Dreaded Sell-Out Monker!

So in musical styles and trends and fads… we come full circle in public attitude and perception – right back where we started… making virtually no dent, over time, in the public vernacular as we so loftily hoped we would. This leaves us with only with a marked influence on fashion and the actual style of music played during that time, which tends to change religiously every 10 years no matter HOW punk rock you are. But for the HOLD OUT punks of the 80’s with your hair spiked up and Macy’s safety pin & zipper motorcycle jackets, at least you’ve got the wives of Coral Springs, Florida to blend in with fashion wise.

Punk Clothes

But hey, it’s inevitable! Those in the game long enough almost ALWAYS sell out. No?… is the suggestion here that Siouxie and the Banshees envisioned the “Kiss Them For Me” MTV video when Syd Vicious was playing drums for them in the early days and Sioux couldn’t carry a tune on an oil tanker? How about Elvis Costello, the “angry young man” of the late 70’s who was banned from SNL for a couple of decades because he sung Radio Radio on the air despite their emphatic instructions not to. Perhaps he never saw his collaboration with Burt Bacharach coming 30 years later.

Elvis & Burt

Maybe Lou Reed never envisioned sharing the stage with Luciano Pavarotti to sing Perfect Day in 2001, 29 years after it’s release.

Lou Reed Pavaroti

How about Led Zeppelin being honored IN the White House in 2012? I’m surprised they didn’t throw a TV out of the window to see if they could breach the bullet proof glass. And Paul McCartney?… ok, that’s a bad example.

Except for the very, very few who staunchly hold on to their early punk rock sensibilities, we all eventually sell out so we can latch on to the next big thing and then call people, who were just like we were a month ago, “POSERS”. And those old war horses like Johnny Rotten and Iggy Pop and the Ramones become caricatures of themselves, holding the torch for a time long forgotten, or at the least, shrouded in the present – which is as it should be from where I stand. Guys like that have no choice but to drift quietly off into punk lore insignificance with the inevitable march of time, except in the hearts and minds of those of us who were fortunate enough to be there at the time, during our most formative years.

It is we former punks who look fondly back and tip our hats with respect, admiration and thanks. But that’s where the thanks end for those salty war horses that don’t or WON’T sell out. Sadly, those thanks are often not enough for a 60-something former-rocker who just wants to settle down and live comfortably for the next few decades. It’s unavoidable, eventually, REAL life gets ahold of you.

What Have We Learned?

Through all the stomping, screaming, rocking, dancing, writing, playing, gigging, jamming and protesting… money still drives the bus. The fact is that WE must all eventually make a living, which usually means that we pass the pioneering torch to the younger crowd and move on to earning a living. Out with the old and in with new. It’s only the precious few that can maintain their core ideals and keep the gravy train rolling throughout a life time without becoming a joke. Though we felt our influence was profound, it was really only the sound of the music and the clothes that changed things… while every other seemingly ‘meaningful thing’ that revolved around the Movement-de-Jour was just business as usual.

So as I played Frankenstein, far too loud to be audibly healthy (some things will never change), it awakened my 1970’s glitter rock nostalgia and the reality of what I just expounded upon came crashing down on me. I took a moment then to fast forward my musical vernacular 10 years from that moment to my punk rock years in the 80’s. And sadly, the same equation holds true. Backward to the 60’s… hhmmm. Gurnge in the 90’s? Hip Hop? Country Western? Even classical music is wrapped up and packaged like Pez. After 3 distinct movements over 3 full decades, it became clear to me that NOTHING IS SAFE FROM SELLING OUT!

Trends come and go and at the time, they are “EXACTLY WHAT I’M LOOKING FOR”. But the fact was that you really had no idea what you were looking for. But you DID crave DIFFERENT. And Punk Rock was, for me, that thing! But eventually, like with everything, the freshness wears off, the cracks are exposed, the innovators grow up and move on, the posers take over, the money creeps in and the magic of it all creeps out into the universe only to seep back into the next “different thing”. By the mid 80’s, what was left of the punk movement was only a packaged product to sell to the masses, devoid of any innovation or protest themselves, but armed with a no limit credit card for that $280 Macy’s safety pin and zipper motorcycle jacket and some retro-issue $200 Doc Martins that they can show off at the next ‘fund raiser’ to give off the impression that they’re “with it”… 15-20 years after the fact.

With this, I lowered my head in equal parts of sadness, shame and embarrassment. Sadness for a time long since passed. Shame that I unwittingly took part in this process despite my protesting. And embarrassed that I couldn’t see it at the time despite the fact that I was SURE I knew EVERYTHING! But even with this reality smacking me in the face, killing my buzz, making me sad, I still couldn’t help but crack a smile. I turned off YouTube and fired up my iTunes and cued up The Bad Brains’ “Sailin’ On”. While the tune thrashed around about in my head, distorting all sense of time and reality as that tune always does for me, before the 2 opening bars were finished… the feelings came flooding back into me again, just like music of all genres, all times, styles and cultures does to the people who were ‘there at the time’. I could not help but thrash my head back and forth with the blistering speed of the drums, distortion of the guitars, and barely discernible vocals in this wonderfully substandard recording. And while the angry protest in this thrash reached down and grabbed my balls, it pulled me out of my seat while squeezing out dormant aggression through my 52 year old pours. It was then that I just could not help myself as I assumed the position, and thrashed out the last 2 verses on air-guitar… and I was AWESOME!

Air Guitar

Trends, styles, fads, fashions, cultures and genres – all of them in their hey day were fresh and new and controversial. But they all come, and they all go – and ALL of them eventually succumb to the corporate sell-out machine, leaving behind them a wake of ‘best-of’ records, ‘remember-when’ videos, faded and t-shirts, Johnny-come-lately pretenders and a dying fashion trend that is shown the door only after spending a couple of shameful, demeaning months on the clearance rack. But for this 60’s-70’s rocker… this 70’s-80’s punker… and this 80’s-90’s grunger… each era was resplendent with Led Zeppelin roots, Beatles sensibilities and a Bowie fashion sense… whether I liked it or not. And those formative years were indeed, a magical time.

 

 

#11 Mike Wallace / #17 Ryan Tennehill / #71 Brandon Albert / #40 Zac Shannon

Mike Shannon’s Unsolicited Miami Dolphins 2014 Kick-Off Report

Before I get to the report, I know it has nothing to do with scoring
points or winning games, but I just love this shit…

#11 Mike Wallace / #17 Ryan Tennehill / #71 Brandon Albert / #40 Zac Shannon

#11 Mike Wallace / #17 Ryan Tennehill / #71 Brandon Albert / #40 Zac Shannon

Mercifully, the pre-season is behind us and next up,
we have the stinkin’ Pats at home with live bullets!

My Observations…

Tenny: Looks good! It’s hard to believe he threw 24 TDs last year from his back, so it all hinges on the o-line giving him time consistently. If that happens, and with the weapons we have, I see him having a banner year. It might also be noted that we might have one of the best back ups in the league in Moore. I always liked that guy, but I hope we don’t need him!

O-Line: Who the hell knows. What I DO know is that this team’s success this season hinges entirely on this unit getting back to respectability. Doing so means we can run, which means we can pass, which means we can score, which means the defense gets better, which means more wins. Are we seeing a pattern yet? FA Albert (that’s Free Agent… not Fat) appears to be the real deal, Pouncy anchoring center after his suspension, and J’wan James seems to be impressing also. I couldn’t even name the guards. I hope I can before mid season, which means they’re still playing.

The Defense: Picking up right where they left off… great at rushing the passer… bad a tackling the rusher. And through this pre-season, their nasty habit of pounding offenses into submission on 1st & 2nd down is offset by giving up big plays on 3rd. I don’t want to hear this is a “great defense but…” thing again. If they don’t DOMINATE this season… then I’m just flat out perplexed.

Thigpen: The addition and promise of Landry at WR and Moreno at RB plus his abysmal pre-season game 4 might get him cut… but his special teams play might save him as long as he doesn’t muff punts, and then turn around and kick it 18 yards backwards.

Daniel Thomas: Played well in the last game as usual… but not great as usual… always injured as usual…. no special teams value as usual. He’s a hold-over Ireland project, so… al la Egnew… see ya’ later bye!

Studs: Don’t look now but we got ‘em! Here’s my list… Wake-Wake & Wake, Vernon, Grimes, Albert, Pouncy, Clay, Hartline…

Could Be Studs: Moreno / Miller (see offensive line), Tenny, Landry…

Wallace: Doesn’t fit the ‘stud’ moniker but is already a critical cog in the machine, even WITH the ballyhooed missed-deep-connections. The new offense will make him even a bigger piece of the puzzle. And even if he never catches anything longer than 20 yards.. the defense still has to respect his speed, which he’s got an abundance of.

Free Agents: Albert, Delmas, Finnigan, Moreno… all signs are good as of this moment. Don’t know enough about the fat guy in the middle that replaced Solia to have an opinion, but if our linebackers are making tackles on the edges, then he’s officially elevated to “Stud” status, and I’ll have to learn his name.

Diamonds In The Rough: It very much looks like the Fins struck gold in the 2nd round with Landry. And also AFTER the draft with LB McCain & RB Damien Williams.

Uniforms: We have, by far, the sweetest looking home-white uni’s in the NFL! SU-PER-BOWL!

Is it an ominous sign that I've selected a cut player for this picture?

Is it an ominous sign that I’ve selected a cut player for this picture?

Coach Philbin: Still looks like Stan Laurel. Papi said that he looks more like a ref than coach.

OC Lazor: Ask me in 3 weeks. VERY much looking forward to watching that unfold as we’ve not seen half of that offense yet.

GM Hickey: Ask me in 3 years. If I don’t respond, that probably means that I’ve killed myself… so there’s your answer.

Questions: If Misi can’t handle the Mike LB position, what then? If the O-line sucks again (or still), what then? Why does John Luce act like that?

Early Season Strategy: “Survive Until Week Five” Pouncy is a punk who I wish would just stop talking, but a great center… Jordan is another typical Fins ‘reach’ (and apparently very stupid) but has the physique and has shown flashes of greatness… Pro Bowler Rashad Jones… all coming back in week 5. If we’re .500 at that point, that will be a hell of a personnel upgrade right at the bye week.

Season Prediction: If I even tried to wager a guess here, as my friend, I would want you to come here and shoot me in the face with a bazooka, just for being willfully and persistently stupid.

~ Bonus Trivia Question ~

Who was the QB/WR combo that hooked up for the overtime TD in week 15 of the dreaded 2007 season that got is the win and averted yet, another perfect record?

Now step away from Google… the answer is below. If you got it wrong, you should move to and root for Buffalo. If you got it right, you win an afternoon with Gary Penca at his favorite nude beach.

And these were the most flattering pics I could find!

Gary Penca: the Man, the Myth, the Legend – these shots are from Gary’s modeling days.

 

Game On Baby ~ GO FINS!

 

by Mike Shannon, Who is AWESOME!

This is me during my modeling days.

This is me during MY modeling days.

ShannonGraphics@mac.com
Costa Rica Toll Free: 954.727.3128
Costa Rica Cell: 506.6181.4656
Skype: ShanyDawg

 

~ Bonus Trivia Question Answer ~

Cleo Lemon to Greg Camerillo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8nYGdoYOdjQ

 

 

It’s Not GAY Rights – It’s HUMAN Rights!

This is result of an interesting email I received from my son,
his initial views and his subsequent request for mine.

Division II Champs

ZAC: Oh and how much you want to bet that the Dolphins draft Michael Sam haha. Not this it matters and not that I care but it would be very Dolphin’s like and it sure would suck to have to listen to people talk about it 24/7. I love how he says “I don’t want to be looked at as Michael Sam the gay football player, rather Michael Sam the football player”. If that was the case you probably shouldn’t have came out publicly.

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Before I get into the question you’ve posed – let me say that the Dolphins are dead to me except for  a) 2 days after the draft – and for only 24 hours – and b) 1 week before our 1st pre-season game. Until then, the combine, draft, free agency – NONE of it matters because it’s all a crap shoot. Plus – I have no desire to know about the Martin saga (the first openly gay player in the NFL is you ask me – did you?)
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ZAC: Of course people will always think of you as the gay football player. I have absolutely nothing against gay people as you know but it’s different in football. Because I know as a guy, if I see a naked girl in the shower im 100% looking her up and down lol. I’m assuming it is the same for gay people which makes it awkward for his teammates regardless of their stance on sexuality. Think it was the dumbest thing he could do was come out publicly. Thoughts?
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First – you need to educate yourself with first hand knowledge here and the best way is to talk to gay people… ask them straight up what their experience is. What ever it is, you can draw your own conclusions and then you’ll have an opinion you can be sure of. Patrick works in and around athletics… what a wonderful source for such insight!
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Secondly – Harvey Milk was the FIRST openly gay legislator in the San Francisco in the 70s during a time when people like governor Jerry Brown and Anita Bryan were pushing for FEDERAL LEGISLATION to openly and legally discriminate against the gay community. These are the people that believe that you can TEACH someone to be gay – and you can also UNTEACH them and breed it out of them, back to straight again. They also believe, with 100% certainty, that gayness leads to pedophilia and that eventually bestiality – it’s only logical right? The misinformation and flagrant LIES they based their beliefs around were staggering (and mostly Bible based – SURPRISE!) and designed to scare people (=votes) and it’s all designed so they didn’t have to be inconvenienced in any way for the lifestyle of people they don’t know, will never know or understand – and that scares their tiny minds. THIS is how you justify discrimination at the state and federal level. Read up on “Proposition 6 in the 70’s”. Oh… and what happened to Harvey Milk you ask?… he was assassinated of course – shot dead in the City Hall along with the Mayor of San Francisco, 1 of the few elected officials that stood by his side and supported his cause – not because the mayor was gay (he was not) – but because constitutionally, it was the right thing to do. So don’t under estimate what this football player is doing by being the FIRST to come out. It is indeed a grand, difficult, lonely, selfless and scary thing to do. Like Harvey Milk, HE is doing the bravest thing a man could possibly do. HE is the one breaking the stereo types – HE is the one enduring the public scrutiny and ridicule and constant threat of physical harm – HE is the one paving the way for others to follow – but in a CIVILIZED manner. And only after the many that will inevitably follow – only THEN will he/they be considered just a “football player” because by then, people are use to it and they’re not afraid of it because they are now familiar with it an have a better understanding of it – ergo, no need to bully, stereo type or discriminate.
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Another great examples of “First Steppers”… read up on the Suffragette movement in the 1920’s – ish. At one point, MEN were “uncomfortable” with women VOTING! These women sacrifice EVERYTHING to protest this egregious affront to the constitution. They were socially ostracized, divorced, abandoned, ridiculed and eventually jailed and beaten regularly just to shut them up. And to continue having their voices heard, they went on a hunger strike in jail to continue to apply pressure until finally, someone said, “what’s the big deal? – they’re Americans – they should vote”. It only took a couple of years and a LOT of beatings and hardship… but a woman in a voting both these days is just a “person” voting… not a “woman” voting – thanks to the Suffragettes – the FIRST ones! In the sports vernacular… Jesse Owens, Jackie Robinson, Jack Johnson… what those guys had to endure just for being black and being FIRST at what ever it is that they do – it was unbelievable. And those were just athletes. Imagine the first black man to run for any kind of office? Or tried to graduate Harvard? Or tried to be a stock broker on Wall Street. The discrimination we’re talking about here is only the discrimination that we can SEE because it’s sports on TV. But those guys took one for the figurative team and stuck their necks out and became the FIRST! It’s the hardest thing to do – and whether you agree with this player’s lifestyle or not – he should be revered and respected for this selfless stand he’s taking for the benefit of all Americans that follow him and the ideals that make America what it is… “with liberty and justice FOR ALL!” The fact is, there’s few people in the country acting more American than he is right now.
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What most (bible) thumpers and conservatives (one in the same really) want to forget is that gay people are American citizens just like themselves, just like you and me. Would you be ok if society told YOU “ummm.. Zac, you can be jewish, but just keep it to yourself” – “WHY” you would ask. “well, because we are not Jews and we represent about 95% of the population – and all your crazy talk and nutty clothes and slicing off foreskins and such – well, it just makes us uncomfortable – so don’t say anything about it and just PRETEND your not Jewish. It makes us feel better about ourselves. OK? Oh, and I hope you don’t mind, about 70% of private sector employment is not available to you, nor do you enjoy any tax benefits for civil unions like us Christians.” “WHY”? you might persist. “Well, it’s because you’re JEWISH and that just makes us uncomfortable.” and they continue, “and I have to warn you, if you persist in publicizing your lifestyle in any way we don’t see fit, we are going to publicly mock you and look the other way when people beat you in the streets.”
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Well if I know you well enough to know that you’d have 1 big “FUCK YOU” for those fucking fascists – just as your grand father did to Hitler when he exactly as I described above! Because you’re American – you are ALLOWED and ENCOURAGED to be who you are as long as it does not hurt others or break laws. THAT is the greatest of all reasons American should be considered a world leader. But here we are, in 2014, over 50 years after the equal rights amendment… and we are asking this guy to cover, conceal and fake his way through life just so we “normal people” are never uncomfortable. This is starting to sound like Somalia or Sudan or Nazi Germany or all the above.
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Now think about this… If you consider that 3-5% of everyone is gay (at least those that admit it anyway), add bi-sexuals in there and it’s a greater number to be sure… and there are presently 1,700 players in the NFL – add in coaches and support staff and you’re up past 2,000. With that math, that means that, conservatively guessing (pun intended), there is already ONE HUNDRED gay people showering with straight people in the NFL RIGHT NOW, and they have been since the 30’s! Dude… I’m guessing that YOU have showered with a dozen gay guys by now – LOL!!! The only difference between them and Mr. Sam is that those people have resigned themselves to life of servitude, conformity and secrecy. SERIOUSLY? IN AMERICA? This ain’t no fuckin’ RUSSIA where they beat people in the street for just being SUSPECTED of being gay and jail young girls for TWO YEARS just for staging an anti government protest in a church! But Mr. Sam, he has not resigned himself to such an existence. He’s taking a stand. He is standing up as a MAN and a FREE AMERICAN and saying – “this is who I am, this is what I do, this is the job I want, and if I’m qualified – which I am, I should have that job – and I should not have to change my identity or your perception of me to get it, just like every other American Citizen.” So Dawg, in my view, he’s being more manly than you and me combined. Perhaps the lesson take here – or at lest a tidy catch-phrase…
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It’s not up to him to SHUT the fuck up…
It’s up to US to GROW the fuck up!
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Just like it was up to Crackers to come to terms with blacks voting and having executive positions and playing baseball and being doctors and lawyers and the POTUS fer christ sake! The fact is that the crackers never did except it and they now pass their time masquerading as Tea Party members, pining for the 1950’s when it was good to be an American (as in – white, straight, christian & male… everyone else… not so much). But alas we are mortal and those crusty old crackers are finally drying up and DYING while kind tolerant humans like YOU are forming the new generation of intelligent, forward thinkers. This is why a black man can now be elected president by a majority democratic vote, and gay people can play in the NBA and NFL, and a movie like Brokeback Mountain isn’t considered a ‘gay movie’… but just ‘a great movie’… but I’m not gonna lie – it’s tough watching that scene in the tent LOL. Zac, it’s up to US to evolve as a human sub-species… not continually gravitate toward that which is most comfortable for ME-ME-ME! I can assure you, that is the LAST thing on Mr. Sam’s mind because the next few years of his life are going to be anything BUT comfortable for him.
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You might consider a heart to heart convo with your uncles about just what it took for them to come out just to their families – never mind the team you would play for and shower with, the industry that you want to be employed by, and the people who will be your customers. You should REALLY go after that conversation. I know they would welcome the question and give you a full, honest, and very revealing answer. I have my own experience with David’s coming out, and it does NOT paint the family in any kind of favorable light – even slightly. As it turns out, I was very instrumental in SHAMING the family into CONSIDERING excepting ALL of David back into their hearts. But you have probably noticed he never did move back to Florida, did he? I will be happy to share that with you – you need only ask.
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Always keep a vigilant eye on the big picture… KNOW the country who’s flag you waive… understand how you fit into the world immediately around you, and how your actions, words and beliefs effect that world, be-it negatively or positively – and then make decisions as to how you want to live – the person you want to be. If you find yourself constantly wondering “why me” or “what’s this guy’s problem” or “I don’t get it”… yet do nothing to actually find the answer to those questions… then my son, you are a republican. But if you take steps to ANSWER those questions (like you did with this email!), and you can live your life based on sound decisions obtained from first hand findings – then you’ll be an honorable, well informed, kind and tolerant American human – regardless of your sex, age, race, sexual orientation, marital status, income level, political persuasion or religion – just as it should be. And THAT, my son, IS what this country is built on! U-S-A… U-S-A!

Canes Hold On – Prevail… Somehow

THE SWAGGER ISN’T BACK… IT NEVER LEFT…

The Canes game proved to be a nail biter and my elation for their victory was eclipsed by my son, Zac’s, hysteria. He’s pretty sure they’re going to win the National Championship AND the Stanley Cup this year! Though it was an ugly game, the right team won and I’m very happy that our Canes are back in the national conversation… for now. But my favorite part of the game, and pretty much the only reason for this post, was this moment…

Canes & Gators

On top of the CONSTANT jawing throughout the game, as the final seconds of the first half were ticking off the clock, players from both teams were squaring off at the line of scrimmage, neither willing to back down. It took a picket fence of referees to keep them separated and eventually, they trickled into the half time locker rooms with no incident. But it shows that no matter how good, or how bad the team… Canes will ALWAYS have swagger. When elite talent meets that swagger… look out!

C-A-N-E-S-CANES!

US @ Costa Rica Soccer Match 11/6/13

A RETRACTION

Before the game last night, I made the proclamation that if the US won that World Cup qualifying soccer game against Costa Rica, I’d be happy. But if Costa Rica won, I wouldn’t care either way. But after being in the mouth of the lion last night – in a typically local Tico bar in San Antonio de Belen, to watch the game, the eruptions after the first and second goals were earth shaking. I have not heard a sound like that since the Fins played in the Orange Bowl. I could not help but admire the unbridled passion these people have for their team and their country. And though I was only a bit disappointed that the US were in a hole early, I was clearly caught up in the rapture of hysteria.

Costa Rican Midfeilder

WHERE DOES THE PASSION COME FROM?

With players like above… who can blame them. And we thought we had something with Lingerie Football! In America, we have 4 sports, in CR, they have 1. I remember 1 weekend when the Cans, and Dolphins won – and the Marlins won twice… in CR you get 1 game every few weeks or so. So every game is like the super bowl to them and they were celebrating as such. But when the US scored on a penalty kick late in the 1st to draw within 1, and then applied copious pressure in the 2nd half… I found myself actually rooting for CR – if only to avert being witness to a mass suicide should the US come back and tie or god forbid win. But they did not. The Ticos scored on another spectacular goal to salt it away and all was well in Central America. If every you were going to try to make a case for soccer, this would be a game you would point to. Pura Vida!

Weekend Sports Lineup 11/6/13

FRIDAY @ 8PM
SOCCER
USA at COSTA RICA

No – I don’t really pay attention to soccer, I mean football, I mean – what ever… but this one is noteworthy for the following up close and personal experience…

Today, Costa Rica tries to avenge the 1-nill loss to the US a couple months ago in a world cup qualifier. This was particularly memorable to me because A) the US was playing Costa Rica, and B) the game was played in Colorado – and it SNOWED… and I mean BIG TIME snowed…. like – you couldn’t see the field – snowed.

US CR Soccer Banner

But as the pictures above attest, the American mentality is “cool!… both teams have to play in it… so let’s have some fun and see who can over come the elements”. But NOT Ticos! These people break out sweaters, comforters and space heaters when it dips down below 71. I was up at the watering hole watching this game and the locals were just going BANANAS that the refs didn’t call the game or schedule for a do-over. Every time someone fell down they just lost their minds. But they pretty much do that all game long anyway. I have found that the amount of enjoyment one derives from watching a soccer match is predicated on how many times something ALMOST happens. But the public melt down reach a boiling point when the Americans scored. I thought they were going to burn the bar down! From that point on in the evening, I was Canadian again.

CR Game

In the days that followed the match, the Costa Rican team brass actually protested the game and demanded that FIFA order a replay. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?! This complaining started ONLY after the American’s scored the first and (typically) the only goal. Since then, I have tried asking every Tico I know this 1, singular, yes-or-no question…

“If Costa Rica won, would you still demand to replay the game?”

Of the 20 or so people I’ve asked… NOT A SINGLE ONE OF THEM has come close to TRYING to give an answer. Instead, they ALL launched into a diatribe about how “you can’t play in the snow, the footing and slipping and it’s MUY FRIO!!!” – you know… whiny, cry-baby, soccer, faggot shit! I let them have their say, pretend to be listening and actually AGREEING with them, but when they’re between breaths… I ask again, “so yes or no… would you want to replay the game if Costa Rica won?”… and it’s like someone hit the “rewind-play” buttons and all the same pre-programed swill comes tumbling out. I was 0-20 on getting a yes-or-no answer. It’s not their fault though. I just think they’re genetically predisposed to whine and cry like little sissy faggot balls when something doesn’t go their way – just like the PLAYERS do! And they say the NBA has a flopping problem. If the US wins tonight… I will NOT be doing any kind of Pro-US posturing at Charlie’s La Deportiva but will certainly be having a good giggle to myself. If Costa Rica wins, I honestly won’t give a flying crap.

SATURDAY @ 10am
COLLEGE FOOTBALL
(The Stinkin’) GATORS at HURRICANES

Duke Johnson

To me… this is as close to Jets-Dolphins hatred as you can get in College. A GREAT game and a real test for the Canes. This is the game that could vault them, and Duke Johnson into the national conversation. But it’s probably more likely the game that puts them in the typical early season hole never to peak up past the top 25 slot until around this time next year. I’m hoping for the former.

SUNDAY @ 11am
NFL “REAL” FOOTBALL (yeah I SAID it!)
DOLPHINS at BROWNS

First off… how much am I loving the 11am start? Wake up, drop some acid, rub one out, slam a 6 pack… and before I know it… it’s GAME TIME BABY!

Fins Game 1 Banner

Fins have lost their last 4 against the crappy Browns. Not this time. Between ESPN and NFL Network analysts – 10 out of 11 ‘SPURTS picked the Browns in this game… which means put all you’ve got on the Dolphins to win!

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And this is the last time I’ll complain about that dirty fucking pre-season hit with helmet directly to the knees of Dustin Keller by Fuck-Jerk Swearinger for the Texans. That injury hurt because this was the first time we’ve had a proper tight end since… um, anyone? AND because it was completely avoidable. His excuse that he was trying to avoid a helmet to helmet his tells me that this jerk off skipped his biology class when they learned that it’s long way from head to knee on a 6 1/2 foot man. My feeling is that if Keller sits for the year… so should he. When Keller gets back on the field, THAT is when butt-munch serves an additional 3 game suspension for that dirty play.

I love the new all-white uni’s so much, I’m going to keep stats on how often they win.

Full report to follow the game… the season is upon us and the blogger is back. Now, let’s see if some of you dullards can actually form a coherent sentence and respond with something a bit more substantive than John Luce’s “I know you’re gay and I’m OK with it”. I know you are Johnny… I know you are ;-).

Here’s a picture of the new Dolphins logo…

Fins Cheerleader

GO FINS!

Fins Report: Game -4 A Little “Feel Good” For The Masses

Well, game -4 is in the books and who can argue with a 27-3 final… I CAN! No… the Grumpy Blogger is not back, but in the spirit of “I’m not going to let the score faze me”… a few things need to be discussed here.

HOPE HE’S NOT READING HIS OWN PRESS!

Tanny at the Line

Tanny continues to not impress in his limited action this pre-season. No, the sky is not falling. But I’m countering the national and local media’s knee jerk, by the numbers, assessment of individual performances. I’ve read in 3 places how Tannehill looked “sharp” in that game… and before anyone could think about it… they whip out numbers like 5 for 9 for 75 yards, 1 TD and no picks. Impressive right?… well let me douse that flame with a little piss…

OK, I’M SHAMELESSLY NAME DROPPING NOW…

I once had a brief business relationship with Oronde Gasden (ask me how that ended up some time), and he told me, “did you ever notice that I never made those amazing catches when Marino was throwing the ball?”

Keller’s TD catch was amazing – but that’s because it HAD to be. Had Tanny lofted it up into the corner, it would have been easy. But that pass was misplaced by at least 15 years by my count. I guess that Tanny felt it was wise to ‘back shoulder’ a deep post route when Keller’s defender was clearly beaten. And on 2 occasions, he threw while on the run (formerly referred to as his ‘strength’) to players on the sideline that were CLEARLY covered – once when he needed only 5 yards for a 1st down and nothing but grass in front of him. On the first few snaps, he was tentative at best, but everyone wants to blame the line for that. A review of those plays will show you he had plenty of time to throw but seemed almost afraid to.

So if not for Keller ridiculous catch in the end zone, and the 2 DBs for the Jags that both looked like Sean Smith, that stat line could have easily read… 4-8 for 40 yards, no TDs, 2 sacks and 2 interceptions. Hardly headline grabbing material. But I have faith in our boy. He’s going to have to stink for more than 18 plays for me to jump ship on him. I’m just keeping it real people.

OTHER NOTABLES…

This Grey kid at RB is getting more reps than – well – ANYone! And doing something with it! The Fins’ brass is clearly giving him every chance to win a roster spot after a heart breaking knee injury last pre season. And does ANYone run a comeback route better than Brian Hartline? That’s 8-12 yards ANY time we need it. Except when it’s 3rd and 9 or course.

Brian Hartline

But what’s most encouraging so far is that ALL the young and new guys are making an impact…. Dion Jordan in the mix (a guy can wish can’t he?!?); Will Davis makin’ plays; Ellerby & Wheeler (who I hope become the Fins’ ‘Lebron & Wade’ combo);

Pillip Wheeler

Lamar Miller STILL looks VERY fast;

Lemar Miller

Caleb Sturgis (now THATs a name for a kicker) may have won the job with a combination of going 3 for 3 – that tiny little ‘no doubt about it’ 58 yarder – and the disparity in payroll between him and Carpenter; Keller with his reDUNKulous grab which was 1 of 2 that were BOTH over the middle. Now we just need Tannehill, Pouncey, Wake, Jones, Clemons, Starks & Solia to improve on last year, take all that new talent an RUN with it!

AND THE QUESTION IS…

Are we catching up to the Patriots? And my answer is no. Sorry, but I call’s ‘em as I see’s em.

NEXT UP…

The fins play next Saturday against the French Lick Rotary Club’s Flag Football League All Stars in Indiana. Rumor has it that Larry Bird will be taking reps at free safety. My prediction… Tanny catches fire, Wallace catches a ball, and Bird catches the crabs. It’s close until the 4th, but the Fins win 126 to 3 in a squeaker.

GO FINS!