Floyd Mayweather Jr. says record payday will provide too much to spend

Floyd Mayweather Jr. says record payday will provide too much to spend

http://www.latimes.com/sports/sportsnow/la-sp-sn-mayweather-says-record-payday-will-be-too-much-to-spend-20150429-story.html

When a boxer is making 200 million dollars for one fight, and people are paying $100,000 for tickets, something is wrong.  There is no kind of free market justification for that kind of gross excess.  Everyone only has one life.  When some starve while others drop $100,000 for a sporting event, it seems like it is time to take a hard look at the economic system we all live in.  This current one is absurd and grotesque.  

Tim Tebow and the Eagles: The Philadelphia Experiment

The Philadelphia Experiment

Above is a Rolling Stone article about the Philadelphia Eagles recent pickup of Tim Tebow.  It also talks about Eagles coach Chip Kelly.  I’ve never liked Tebow, but if he somehow helps the Eagles win, I’ll start praising Jesus too! (I’m a longtime Philadelphia sports fan.)

The ’85 Bears and the Consequences of Football

Last weekend while in a hotel I caught a segment on HBO’s Real Sports about the ’85 Chicago Bears.  The segment was about how football injuries prematurely turned a group of strong and charismatic men into shells of their former selves.  Even coach Mike Ditka said he would no longer tell kids to play football knowing what he knows now.  (Which is strange given that Ditka still humps it for the NFL doing game analysis.)

I grew up playing football and have always been a football fan.  I also am aware that no matter what you do in life, it takes some kind of physical or mental toll.  Life eventually makes monkeys of us all.  If I know nothing else, I know that.  However, I think this segment,  better than anything else I have seen, demonstrates the moral uneasiness surrounding modern football.  Is it possibly more like a match held in the Roman Colosseum than we previously wanted to believe? 

As the Super Bowl approaches, I can’t help but wonder about this.  I have always know that football is absurd, and in fact that is partly what I love about it, especially at the professional level.  As George Carlin once observed,  “There is nothing better than watching 300 lb millionaires kick the shit out of each other.”  I think if nothing else though, having at least a conversation about the consequences of the game is probably a good idea. 

Soccer Player Kung fu and Southpaw Grammar

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Eric Cantonas Infamous Kung Fu Kick Inspires South Paw Grammer

I realized I just posted an article about the Smiths yesterday.  However, while lionizing the Smiths is commonplace in the press, the same cannot always be said about journalists attitude towards the Morrissey album Southpaw Grammar.  It is not only one of my favorite Morrissey albums, but one of my favorite guitar albums of all-time.  The duo of Boz Boorer and Alain Whyte not only create many memorable hooks, but also create a beautifully menacing atmosphere with the help of producer Steve Lillywhite.  It is the loud distorted cousin to Morrissey’s Vauxhall and I, my favorite album and also this albums predecessor.  While Vauxhall and I was largely reflective, this album looks outwards, often examining working class violence in England.  Yet despite these albums being opposites in many regards, there is a kind of dark reverb drenched atmosphere in the production of both albums that makes them complimentary to each other.

Somehow I never knew about Eric Cantonas and his Kung fu kick and its inspiration to Morrissey, or if so I forgot.  I found that piece of the article highly entertaining.  A great read about an excellent album.

Listening to the Cowboys/Eagles Game

While I was in Australia I listened to the Thanksgiving Cowboys/Eagles game online.  I obviously couldn’t get it on TV so it was my only option.  My dad is from Philadelphia and I’m originally from Pennsylvania, so I’m a huge Eagles fan.  Tonight I’m exhausted after four gigs in a row and a day in the studio.  It’s rainy in Austin, and I enjoyed listening to the game in Australia, so I thought I would listen to the game on the radio tonight.  I’m amazed at how much I enjoy listening to the games on the radio.  Watching them on TV is better, but I have to say that listening to them is better than watching them on TV without sound.  I can’t stand it when I go to a bar and my game is on, but it is not the one with sound on. At least for me I’ve realized that the sound of a game is just as important, if not more important than the visual side of it.

When you are listening to something, whether it is music or sports, the imagination takes over.  Radio really is “theater of the mind”.   It’s amazing how the human brain, if you are reading or you are listening to something, can create a whole visual world with simply sound or letters on a page.

Postscript:  It’s amazing how much swearing mere sound can incite.  

Thanksgiving in Australia

It is already Friday here, but they don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in Australia,  so Thanksgiving is only really happening at home.  At least that is my reasoning why I am celebrating today.  I spent all morning listening to the Eagles destroy the Cowboys.  I come from Pennsylvania and my Dad is from Philly, so I was quite happy about that.  Still it is quite surreal listening to a football game at 7:30am.  

There is so much we take for granted that would be totally different if we were born somewhere else.  In the states we think of November as the end of fall and the beginning of winter, but here in Australia it is actually the end of spring and the beginning of summer.  Christmas happens in the summer.  They drive on the left side of the road, which even weirder seems to make people walk on the left side of the sidewalk.  For over half the day I am also in the future as Brisbane is 14 hours ahead of Austin. 

So well someone back home is celebrating Thanksgiving, with winter coming down, walking on the right hand of the street on Thursday, I am in increasingly warm weather, walking down the left hand side of the street on Friday, with no sign of Thanksgiving at all. 

How much do these differences change one’s perception of the world?  These are obvious differences, but so much of what we assume to be normal is an accident of birth.  It’s a strange world. 

However, the Eagles beating the Cowboys is definitely real.  There is much to be thankful for! 

Boxing’s Oldest and Most Cunning Champion

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Bernard Hopkins, Boxings Oldest – and Most Cunning Champion

This was a fun read this morning.  The article is about Bernard Hopkins, who is a light-heavyweight boxing champion at age…49!  He also talks a great game and is a highly entertaining character.  I don’t even follow boxing and I found myself reading the whole article.  A sample:

“‘We gotta discredit him.  Do he drink?  He don’t drink.  Do he run with whores?  He don’t.  He lives clean.  He don’t party.  He don’t use drugs.  Who cooks his food?  He cooks his own food?  He stands in line at Whole Foods with everybody else.’  So they try to find guys to beat me, and I beat them, and I get rich.  They become part of my discipline.”  Then he was off on another of his regular topics:  the conspiratorial failure of Whole Foods, Nike and other corporations to make a “poster boy” of him, a bad boy who became a good citizen and the most potently healthy-living middle-aged man imaginable.  How come the marketers, who ate up George Foreman’s fuzzy-bunny routine and Lance Armstrong’s lies, aren’t lining up to pay for the celebrity-pitchman services of an outspoken Sunni ex-con who abjures alcohol, caffeine, refined sugar, processed grains, tap water, performance-enhancing drugs, weakness and just about everything else other than winning fights and making money?  This grievance is part of the eternal dram of Bernard Hopkins, a renewable energy source that helps keep him going strong in and out of the ring.