January 13, 2005
Memo to Dan Monson: keep doing what you are doing. Never, ever again try to recruit any Minnesota players that want to use the Gopher's program as a stepping stone to the NBA. You have finally built a great team by doing what you do best: finding the diamonds in the rough and molding them into a team. Hustle, determination, tenacity, teamwork, and yes, finally some skill are all characteristics of this Gopher's team. They are a joy to watch. Ski-U-Mah, my friends, Ski-U-Mah.
Today I'll be listening to the Who's Tommy. If The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's created the genre of rock music as art, Tommy perfected it in the form of the "rock opera." What a beautiful album. Do you know the story? Tommy's father supposedly dies in the war and his mother re-marries. When Tommy's father comes home, he his killed by Tommy's new step-father. All of this is witnessed by Tommy who then goes into a near comatose state, as the Who says, "deaf, dumb, and blind." However, there is something going on in Tommy's head, anguish and pain. Eventually people discover that Tommy has a very unique skill for a blind person, he is a pinball wizard. He becomes famous and he is sent to a doctor that may finally be able to cure him. At the doctor's office he is told to go to the mirror and he finally sees himself, and by seeing himself something inside him snaps. For a short time afterward he simply stares at himself in the mirror until his mother can't take it anymore and she smashes the mirror. This breaks him out of his dumbfounded state and he develops a messianic complex. Due to his success at pinball he already has a large following who now practically worship him. His evil parents and family try to capitalize on his fame by creating "Tommy's Holiday Camp." However, his followers soon figure out that Tommy is really a nobody and they destroy the camp and leave Tommy all alone.
That's it in a nutshell, but, of course, there is obviously a whole lot more. A commentary on fame, religion, psychosis, and familial relationship, Tommy ranks up there as one of the greatest rock albums of all time.
Speaking of basketball, how about those Timberwolves? Stick and Ball Guy already writes a lot about the Wolves so I'll try to keep this short, but they are really painful to watch. I went to the Lakers game on Monday, and like I said, seeing Daunte at the game was the best part of the whole night. Well, actually, the bongo guy was pretty good too. Compared with the Gophers, the T-Wolves are not a very harmonious "team," they are a bunch of individuals trying to score points. The played inconsistently (absolutely tanking in the 4th) and they were crushed on the boards. Having said all that, I actually think they will figure all of this out. I seem to recall the Lakers being a 5th seed a couple of years back and going to the NBA Finals after a strong finish to the regular season. I predict a full turnaround for this team. They'll be all right.
We all know how Mr. Cheer or Die feels about Fox Sports and the hypocrisy surrounding Moss's moonshot, but it appears UThink has another Vikings' fan in the midst: Winter in the Cities. Laurene writes a good post suggesting that there [I need a grammar checker] is a tinge of racism in Joe Buck's comments about Moss and that she agrees with Red's demand to have him removed from the booth. I hadn't thought about it that way, but sadly I think she is right. For example, if Favre had done the same thing, Buck and Berman would have been praising his "competitive spirit." You know it is true. Sid writes a good column today highlighting a letter from St. Joe's praising Moss's charitable activity. I'm sure there is a lot about Moss we don't know.
Well, you won't be hearing from me again for a couple of days, unless I write something again today, as I'll be headed to the American Library Association midwinter conference in Boston tomorrow. I'll be giving another presentation on UThink. It seems that people all over the place are interested in this beast, and I couldn't be more thrilled with that. So, again, you probably won't hear from me again until after the Vikings game.
And speaking of the Vikings game this Sunday, hope has now completely taken over. I predict a Vikings victory! NFC Championship here we come!
Posted by snackeru at January 13, 2005 8:13 AM | Sports
Whereas I feel that Buck went overboard on his criticsm, no way was it racially motivated. I did not get that at all and do not see where people got it from.
Posted by: Cheesehead Craig at January 13, 2005 10:01 AM
There is that. However, I am 100% sure that Buck's comments came out of his dislike for Moss as a person. If Favre had done something like that Buck would have had an entirely different reaction.
Posted by: Shane at January 13, 2005 10:23 AM
Litmus test: If Jeremy Shockey had done this, would there have been an outcry? If not, then there's a racial undercurrent.
I will say one thing, though - it definitely seems to me that talented white jerks (Favre) tend to get the benefit of the doubt more than talented black jerks (Bonds, TO, Moss). When a white jerk doesn't get the benefit of the doubt (Shockey, Todd Bertuzzi), there's usually a suggestion that he's just not talented enough to deserve it.
Posted by: David Wintheiser at January 13, 2005 10:50 AM
Thanks for the shout-out, Shane! I'll just add here that I've seen a great analysis of football that suggests it is a continuation metaphor for the civil war. Two pieces of evidence for this analogy are that football really began as a sport right after the civil war (it's not a stretch to see it as a war on a battlefield) and many historical football rivalries are North/South. (It doesn't explain the Packers/Vikings, I know!)
Posted by: Laurene at January 14, 2005 9:34 AM