It all comes down to tonight. Game Seven. Game Seven. Man oh man. Game Seven.
Monday, October 27, 2014
Friday, October 24, 2014
Thursday, October 23, 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
This is my 155th post of the year. I haven't posted this many blog posts since the first year I started Dave's Internet Lounge in the current format back in 2006. I'm still super busy, like everyone else in the world, but being able to blog via my phone has allowed me to keep blogging. Even if the posts are often super short. Happy 155th. Party like it's 2006.
Posted by Dave at 6:53 AM
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
So tonight's the night. The night I almost thought would never get here. The Kansas City Royals host the San Francisco Giants in the World Series. I, for one, will not take this for granted. Back in 1985, I assumed the Royals would compete for a spot in the Series year in and year out. That's how the success of the late 1970's and early 1980's conditioned Royals fans. Royals fans knew that 1985 was special. There had been a lot of heartbreak due to the freaking Yankees. And when the Yankee hex was finally broken in 1980, KC was beaten back down by the Phillies of all teams. I still hate Tim McGraw because he's the son of Tug McGraw who got the final out for the Phillies in the 1980 World Series against Kansas City.
We didn't expect to have to wait this long to get back. The popular narrative is that Royals fans have been suffering for nearly 30 years. Actually the Royals were competitive until 1994. That's when the strike hit and small markets got the shaft in the new economic reality. With the death of Ewing Kauffman and the retirement of George Brett, the franchise was rudderless for a long long time. But not as long as people make it out to be.
It was bad. It was really bad for a really long time. People just kind of laughed or smirked when I told them I was a Royals fan. They appreciated my loyalty to a team but looked at me with pity. But at least my team had a ring. There's a lot of teams that still have never won the trophy. Seattle and Washington/Montreal still have as yet to even make the World Series.
This year's Royals are the reason you should never jump on a bandwagon. Bandwagon fans never get to feel the great satisfaction of seeing their years of loyalty rewarded. Johnny come lately fans of the Heat, Lakers, Yankees etc... they'll never get it. They'll never have that feeling. They'll jump up and down and feel a temporary excitement when their newly adopted team wins but they won't feel the deep joy of a fan...who's rooted for a team for decades, through thick or thin, through the highs and lows...who sees their team win after an insufferable drought. That joy doesn't come when you shallow reasons for supporting a team.
I support the Royals because I grew up in Kansas City (Overland Park actually). I attended countless games at Royals (now Kauffman) Stadium with my family and my best friends. I painted a giant sign of the old Royals logo and put it in our picture window overlooking our street during the 85 playoffs. I attended game 5 of the 1985 playoffs with my Dad. I recorded all seven games of the Series on VHS cassette. I listened to hundreds of Royals games on a small transistor radio in my dark bedroom on muggy summer nights. I have worn visiting Royals gear into the Rangers Ballpark for 16 years to cheer for a mostly terrible team in a hostile stadium. I could go on.
These types of memories do not happen when you are merely a bandwagon fan of a team that you chose to associate with because they were winning at the time.
Yes, it's just sports. But these Royals also represent a tie to my childhood, my youth, my young adult years. These Royals are a nostalgic tie to connections with friends and family that span four decades. Win or lose, that can't be taken away from me.
photo: my little league George Brett Louisville Slugger bat that I used from 1983-1986.
Posted by Dave at 2:12 PM
Monday, October 20, 2014
Sunday, October 19, 2014
Saturday, October 18, 2014
I just read one of the best articles ever on John Coltrane. This is written by legendary music critic Nat Hentoff. I'm composing this on my iPad so I can't make a hyperlink, so direct your browser here:
Posted by Dave at 1:33 PM
Thursday, October 16, 2014
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
The Kansas City Royals are 27 outs away from winning the American League Championship.
9 innings away from home field advantage in the World Series.
They are undefeated in the postseason.
No one saw this coming.
Being a Royals fan since 1978 I fully expect Ebola to wipe out humanity before Game 7 of the World Series.
That would not surprise me one bit.
photo: Brooks Robinson wouldn't make that catch. Moose.
Posted by Dave at 2:25 PM
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Another storm Sunday night. Once again, our neighbor's trampoline blew over our fence. Just some minor damage to a trim board on our house. Yes, they had taken down the safety net after the last storm. No, they had not anchored it down. Morons. They are getting rid of it. I'm not so sad about that.
Saturday, October 11, 2014
Last year I put up this picture of Malala Yousafzai in my classroom along with other inspirational figures. Yesterday, Malala was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. She should have been awarded the prize last year. I'm glad the Nobel Committee made up for their omission.
Malala became an outspoken advocate for the rights of girls to be educated in Pakistan after her village was overrun by Taliban militants. At the age of eleven she began speaking and blogging about female education. Despite death threats she continued to encourage girls to go to school. On October 9th, 2012, on the way home from school, she was shot in the head by members of the Taliban. Fortunately the bullet did not enter the brain and after many surgeries she made an amazing recovery. She was fifteen.
She has continued to speak out for the rights of women despite continued threats to her life. She has spoken to the United Nations and venues all over the world. Keep in mind she is only seventeen years old. She is a true hero and another symbol of hope in this messed up world.
Posted by Dave at 5:30 AM
Friday, October 10, 2014
Thursday, October 09, 2014
You see, as bad as things get, I have hope in this world. Last week we went to the annual St. Martin's Fall Festival at St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church. We've been going for years...and here's the thing...no one even thinks about the fact that we are Protestants. We go, we fellowship, we have fun. And we take that for granted.
The only reason I even thought about Protestantism during the event is because my European History classes are currently studying the religious conflicts of the 16th Century. We've been examining terrible atrocities like the The Thirty Years War, The French Wars of Religion, Bloody Mary's reign in England, etc... All these conflicts involved Catholics and Protestants killing each other supposedly over religious affiliation.
For centuries, Catholics and Protestants could not live together peacefully. But today, most of us do not give much thought to whether someone is Catholic or Protestant. Most of us have friends, family or co-workers who are Catholic or Protestant and we don't think twice about it. Even when we have theological disagreements we don't come close to thinking we're going to shun or commit acts of violence against those who hold opposing viewpoints in religious matters.
Unfortunately, it took centuries and millions (yes, millions) killed to get this point. But the fact that we can live together as Protestants and Catholics gives me hope that someday we can live peacefully with Muslims. I have Muslim students who are fantastic people. I have known Muslims who are peace-loving, law-abiding folks who are as disgusted by the violence of extremism as any Christian.
I have faith that someday, humanity will find ways to co-exist and will look back on these days with wonder and amazement like I look back at the days of Protestant/Catholic violence.
Posted by Dave at 9:12 AM
Wednesday, October 08, 2014
Crazy week huh? The Royals in the playoffs. And a new Weezer album? And a blood moon with a partial eclipse? The Mayans predicted this.
So I was sitting in class last night at SMU. I was kind of bummed because it didn't look like I was going to be able to buy the new Weezer album on the day it dropped. But then it struck me...let's go digital. I never buy CDs anymore. I download all my music now from the interweb, mostly iTunes. But Weezer is different. Except for rare B sides, I always bought my Weezer albums in the once popular Compact Disc format. Hard copy. Tangible. I can hold it in my hands.
But then I thought, it's music. You can't hold music (excepting sheet music, etc...) in your hands. It's aural. So while my professor was off on a tangent about wall paintings in Pompeii, I pulled out my phone. I went to the iTunes store. I downloaded Everything Will Be Alright in the End. After class I went to my car. Pulled up iTunes radio on the phone and through the magic of Bluetooth (which we take so for granted these days) was able to blare the new Weezer on my car stereo on the way home.
So let's get this out of the way: it's not the Blue Album. Nothing ever will be. The Blue Album arrived in this world fully formed in musical perfection. And EWBAITE is not Pinkerton. But it is a lot better than the last couple of albums. Much better than Death to False Metal, Hurley or Raditude. I'd even put it up over the Red Album. I've only listened to it twice so I need time for it to marinade before truly giving it fair judgement. I'd put it above Make Believe and on par with The Green Album and Maladroit. Maybe even better than Maladroit.
Way too early rankings...
4.) Everything Will Be Alright in the End
7.) Make Believe
10.) Death to False Metal
Glad they brought back Rick Ocasek to produce. Some of the tracks really rock. My favorite at this point is the duet with Bethany Cosentino, from Best Coast. Best Coast is another great band and Go Away is very nicely done. Lots of guitar solos that harken back to Maladroit. I'm happy with it. Not a huge fan of Back to the Shack...the first single released. It's okay, but instead of singing about how you're going to play like it's 1994...just play like it's 1994...which they do on most of the tracks.
I came away happy after the first listen. The last couple of releases have some nice moments or two but I always came away meh. This one actually rocks. So yeah, I dig it. Nice comeback Weez.
Posted by Dave at 8:57 AM
Tuesday, October 07, 2014
Monday, October 06, 2014
No way. No way in my wildest dreams could I have predicted the Royals sweeping the team with the best record in baseball. No way could I have imagined the Royals playing in the ALCS this year.
I'm so glad Kansas City started hitting the ball far. And I'm so glad they won game three in only nine innings. I'm just so very glad.
Winning the Wildcard game was gravy. Now, everything is just surreal. I am enjoying every minute. Now I'm getting greedy. I want to beat Baltimore. And I want KC to win the Series. That would make 29 years worth it.
Posted by Dave at 3:45 PM
Sunday, October 05, 2014
Could it really happen? Could the Royals really sweep the team with the best record in baseball? Could it happen tonight at The K with the Royal's best pitcher on the mound? I don't care how they do it, I just hope they do it. Although, it would be nice to win in nine innings. Three games with free baseball at the end is wearing me out. I'm too old for extra innings. By the way, the Royals have not lost a playoff game since 1985.
Posted by Dave at 10:14 AM
Friday, October 03, 2014
Thursday, October 02, 2014
Here's another thing I remember: In 1984 the Royals won the American League West with only 84 wins. Detroit won the AL East with 104 wins. The Royals would have finished somewhere around 4th or 5th place in the East. People called the West the AL Worst.
The Royals had fallen on tough times after the 1980 World Series. The 1981 baseball strike and a big drug scandal in 1983 had hit Kansas City hard. Willie Wilson wins the batting title in '82 and then gets busted for cocaine in '83 (1982 batting avg: .332, 1983 avg: .276). That was the first time I had heard of cocaine. That story was the spark for the drug conversation with my parents. Big drug trial in Pittsburgh involving a lot of baseball players including a bunch of Royals. Wow. Crazy times.
1984. It had been THREE YEARS since the Royals had last been in the playoffs. That was considered a terrible drought in KC back then. THREE YEARS! Kansas City had been so good that three years without being in the postseason was unthinkable and completely unacceptable. And remember there were no wildcard teams back then. Only four teams made the playoffs. And yet, Kansas City fans could not BELIEVE it had been three years since the Royals had last made the postseason.
And we didn't call it the ALCS. We called it the playoffs. It was the American or National League Playoffs...then the World Series. Playoffs. No acronyms.
So the Royals beat out the Angels and A's (Texas and Seattle were always at the bottom of the division with the Sox and Twins somewhere in the middle) to win the West. 1984 was the last year of the best of five format for the playoffs (Not ALCS. Playoffs). And the Royals got swept. Got swept bad. Kirk Gibson, Alan Trammel, Sparky Anderson and that crew. It was inevitable. Tigers won the series that year and half the city was burned down in the celebrations. Seriously. They burned that sucker to the ground.
And I was depressed. Eleven years old and I was depressed. I remember after the game seeing Dick Howser leaning against the dugout wall as rain fell in Detroit. He watched the stupid Tigers celebrating in the rain in old Tiger Stadium and he looked so forlorn. I thought we can't get lower than this.
Of course things got better the next year and KC won the whole freaking thing.1985. Nineteen-EightyamazingFive.
And then it went away. The magic. TWENTY-NINE YEARS the magic stayed dead. Kauffman dies. Brett retires. Young stars like Beltran, Damon and Dye traded away for nothing. Small market realities sink in. Teams that most AAA teams could beat.
And to think, I remember when three years was considered a terrible playoff drought.
So EXCUSE ME if I over-celebrate a little bit. I think Kansas City fans have earned it.
Posted by Dave at 10:11 AM
Wednesday, October 01, 2014
That may have been the craziest thing I've seen in a long time. Three comebacks, 12 innings, sac bunts, stolen bases, a pitcher who four months ago was pitching in the college World Series, and more craziness. 9-8 Royals. Game over right before midnight. On to an actual series. On to Los Angeles. Go Royals.