Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Quit Hatin'

I am sick and tired of people bitching and moaning about Memphis.

This city is great. Sure, we're apparently violent and sedentary, but we've got lots of things going on. Here are my Top 5. There are more, but I'm starting to fall asleep.

1. Music. Where else in the world, in a period of just a few years can you see, among others, James Brown, Booker T and the MGs, Government Mule, Chicago, KRS-ONE, Blackalicious, Exodus, Megadeth, Testament, Amy LaVere, the Cowboy Junkies, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, 38 Special, Lord T & Eloise, High on Fire, and Nachtmystium? And I haven't even been trying that hard. I just recently missed Blondie and Nancy Wilson, simply because I was being lazy. Try and beat that. And when you can't, I'll meet you at Wild Bill's. Oh, wait a minute. You don't have Graceland, do you? Or Sun Studios, where they sort of invented rock and roll? Or Beale Street, where WC Handy sort of invented the Blues? Do your local Hip Hop legends have an Oscar? No? Then shut up, hater.

2. Fried food and BBQ. I don't give a damn what any of you other states say. I've eaten 'cue in Texas, North Cackalack, and Kansas City. Ours is better. And if you find a better fried chicken joint than Gus's, I'll buy. And then I'll take you out for some meatloaf, mac and cheese, greens, cornbread, and sweet tea. Maybe my friends will give us a ride in their 'lac, like we did this Sunday. Don't sweat the technique.

3. We've got all the stuff you have, but easier. Ballet, opera, symphony, I just saw that Wicked is playing here and, even better, so is 9 to 5. There's a brand new theater three blocks from my house, just a bit past the local brew pub, the southeastern Italian restaurant, the Cajun place, the movie theatre, the place where I get my haircut, and a fairly good massage spa. How far, you ask. Less than 10 minutes on foot. Beat that.

4. Sports. Sure, the Grizzlies suck and the Calipari era was crooked as a bent stick, but we got hoops all day. And two semipro football teams. And the Memphis Redbirds, who have swept three PCL AAA championship series. And roller derby. And those people who joust in the park on Sundays. And, the cherry on top of all of this is the Liberty Bowl, one of America's most beautiful football stadia. Google it. Never before have I seen such a beautiful, graceful profile of a football stadium. And I went to Notre Dame, so that's saying a lot. Blasphemy even. Hell, there's probably a jai alai team here that I just haven't heard of yet.

5. Memphis is cheap as a mother. For less than $100 more than we paid in Philly for a studio apartment with crap carpet and a view of a parking lot, we've now got a sunlit, 1920s-era three bedroom place literally across the street from a park, in which there is a museum, a bandshell which has free concerts during the summer, and the zoo. And I can walk five minutes from my house and get a Peroni on tap in a glass as big as my forearm for about $4. And the guys working there know us all by name, give out hugs if we've been away for more than a week, and will turn the tv on whatever game we want to watch. Best $4 ever.

So, if you don't like it here, go somewhere else. I ain't got time for your whining.

I'm the New Peter King

Not yet, maybe, but who says I can't dream big? If he can watch all the games and say things that get him on tv, why the hell can't I? All that separates the two of us is a big ass contract with Sports Illustrated, a half-time show, and millions of readers. Well, that and his connections, but I don't care. I watch just as much football as he does and see things with two eyes just the same.

So, here's my version.

1. Soft corners suck. Notre Dame, I'm talking to you. Press. I always vote that getting burned is more acceptable if the guy beats you fair and square. If you get jerked just waiting for the guy to run into your five yard cushion, you're a schmuck.

2. I hereby retract all bad things I've said recently about Vince Young. Until he screws up. But I was really impressed with ol' Vince's poise and presence in the pocket, like a 6' 5" wocket. Nice distribution, none of the typically stupid decisions he tends to make late in the game on third-and-longs. By the way, where the cow is Kenny Britt? One more week of this, and I'm dropping you off my fantasy team, sucker.

3. Albert Haynesworth is a punk. If you gave me that much money, I'd shut my fat face and play whatever position I was told. 4-3. 3-4. Get on the field and quit making grumpy face. If Tennessee spends a single cent or draft pick on this jackass, I'm going to drive to Nashville and give Bud Adams a piece of my mind. He's a overgrown, lazy whiner. And if you've got an issue with that, Fat Albert, bring it. I'll bet you $100 million that you'll kick my can, but I'll put in more effort. Sucker.

4. If Mark Sanchez throws one more check down, I'm so not going to the prom with him.

5. Those Philly throwback uniforms are the coolest. Best. Helmets. Ever. And Michael Vick just turned into the greatest moral dilemma this side of trading McNabb.

6. Speaking of which, nicely done #5. Don't hate. Congratulate.

7. Don't even talk to me about the Jets not being that great. Sure, their offense was dull as dishwater, but that defense gives me tingles where they don't belong. Did anyone else see that eight man blitz? That's what I'm talking about. All in, gentlemen. Sure, defense alone won't win championships, but it sure is a good start. It's only Week 1. If the Sanchize can get his act together, there's still much to be seen.

8. I'm not comfortable with the increasing use of the word "violent" to describe football. I'm not so naive to think that it isn't a violent game, but we need to reconsider. Football is also a game of finesse, whether it's the footwork of a pulling tackle or the touch of a ball dropped in between double coverage. It's just that I can't figure out how violence is a virtue. I love watching Ray Lewis drop some unsuspecting back as much as the next guy, but violence isn't the thing we should be concentrating on. Sure, F=MA, but what the hell ever happened to technique?

9. Legadu Naanee is a name you need to learn, and not just because it's fun to say. He's the newest member of my fantasy roster, mainly because I can't justifiably fantasize about Andre Johnson actually having a good week next week after all of that coverage.

10. Speaking of which, every player on the Chargers and Chiefs should be heralded far and wide. That MNF game in a downpour is one of the best things I've seen in a while. And I saw Slayer just over a month ago. I've never been to a game at Arrowhead, but those Chiefs fans look like a great bunch. I haven't seen that much red since May Day. Love it.

11. Dexter McCluster should never be allowed to rap again. His Cellular South commercial stinks more than a cow pie. That being said, at least someone is addressing all of these idiots who are texting and driving. Memphis, I'm talking to you. Guy driving past my apartment today, I'm talking to you.

12. Randy Moss needs to shut up and play ball. He's as bad as Haynesworth, just less expensive. If he doesn't quit this crap by the time I get famous, I'm not voting for him to go to Canton.

Baker's Dozen: That Calvin Johnson no catch call is malarkey. Especially because it cost them the game. And would someone please keep Matthew Stafford intact? He's getting paid too much to get broken like that again, for the third time. Speaking of which, Bob Sanders gets hurt so often that I actually can't remember if I think he's any good or not. Shame.


Seriously, what the hell is a Big Red?

Someone from Western Kentucky hit me up.