Sunday, December 6, 2009

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Truth

For virtually the first time in his life, Tiger woods is finding himself on the back page of newspapers around the world; this time, it's for all the wrong reasons. After a mysterious 2:30 a.m. crash outside his Orlando mansion Thanksgiving night, a cornucopia of allegations have come out over supposed infidelities in El Tigre's marriage with Swedish model Elin Nordegren. Woods has come out through his PR team with a very vague apology - something along the lines of "...I regret these transgressions with all my heart" and ..."my family deserves better." Really Tiger? This is the best they can come up with? If I have learned one thing following American sports all my life, it's that we are a forgiving society for those who can come forward and admit our mistakes.

Think about the whole steroids scandal in baseball. Guys like Barry Bonds, Rafael Palmeiro, and Mark McGwire have beat around the bush on their steroid use - and their images are forever tainted. As a result of this, they are unlikely to ever make it into the hall of fame. On the other hand, Andy Pettite and Jason Giambi were admitted what they took, why they took it, and for the most part they have been forgiven.

I understand that everyone has a right to privacy, but the reality is that Tiger Woods is the undisputed most popular, rich, successful, and accomplished athlete of our generation. He is also the world's first one billion dollar athlete. If he thinks this is going to go away by asking the media for privacy, he's gravely mistaken. Woods needs to put his face in front of a camera, admit what he did without getting into any vivid details, and then and only then will this go away. Everyone makes mistakes - Tiger screwed up, he deserves all this; and quite frankly he deserved to get chased down his driveway by his angry wife with a pitching wedge. He deserved to wreck his own Escalade as a result of that.

You know who doesn't deserve any of it though? His wife and kids. Only Tiger has the power to come forward and put this to a rest. He needs to put his face in front of a camera, man up, and put this behind him. If he cares about the sanity of his and his family's lives, he will do it. What are you waiting for Tiger? America is ready to forgive you. Will Elin?

Monday, November 30, 2009

Springsteen in Galway

Missing about 10 Springsteen concerts while I have been in Ireland has not been an easy pill to swallow. Last week this is the closest I got to it while over here....not too bad at all.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Come on ye boys in green

Tonight, France, with a one-goal lead, hosts Ireland in the crucial second leg of their World Cup Qualifier. Last Saturday at Croke Park in Dublin, the Irish played neck and neck with their superiorly talented opponents and were unlucky to come away with nothing from the match. Chelsea frontman Nicholas Anelka's deflected shot just got by Shay Given. Hopefully tonight the luck will be on the side of the Irish as they look to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 2002. If we can score first, the intensity will be at an all-time high and it should be great to watch. It is time for Robbie Keane to step up and prove his worth as the team leader and best finisher. If you're not in Ireland try or Fox Soccer Channel for the match....8 pm in Ireland, 3 pm on the East Coast.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

My Life of Music

It's been a while since proverbial pen has been put to paper on my blog, but a rare night in the confines of my apartment in Galway is leading to the renaissance of "Who Will Stop the Rain." Sometimes I just get in a zone where I want to listen to music and really get lost in it. This usually happens with Bruce Springsteen songs in particular, but is absolutely not limited to them. Tonight is one of these nights I know I am a nerd and a loser. Watching a 2003 live performance of "Into The Fire" from Barcelona is really firing me up. It can be seen here.

Growing up in middle school, I was surrounded by the culture of basketball almost year-round. Along with that, and thinking I was "the man", came a simultaneous upbringing in rap and hip-hop My grammar school team was very good, as we competed for the championship almost every year in the Suburban Catholic League in central New Jersey. I was usually picked to the all star team, all league team (whatever you want to call it), so I was immediately under the disillusion that, like Nelly, I was goin' right out of high school, straight into the pros - Pros meaning NBA, and yes I just quoted country grammar by Nelly. Naturally, I had to listen to all the latest rap to pump me up for all the big games. It started out with Big Willie Style, The Eminem Show and eventually, Get Rich or Die Tryin'. No one could hold me down.

As I moved into the high school game I slowly began to realize that I was never going to have the luxury of cashing a check from the New York Knicks, Chicago Bulls, or any other NBA team. I wasn't even going to get a college scholarship either. My dreams were crushed, and I slowly started to listen to "white man's music." The first band that started my transition was Hootie & The Blowfish - still one of my favorite bands today. I remember hearing Hannah Jane, Let Her Cry, H0ld my Hand, Only Wanna be With You, Time, Not Even the Trees, and Drowning all on one cd in about an hour's time and I was hooked right away. To this day it remains my favorite album of all time. I have been lucky enough to see them play live three times, and while their show is not on the level of a Springsteen show, it's still like a fun party with your drunk uncles. Springsteen live is a religious experience, Hootie live is a drunken family party. Two completely different types of fun.

As college rolled along I started listening to more and more white man's music. I listened to Tom Petty, Goo Goo Dolls, Matchbox 20, Creedence Clearwater Revival, U2, and so on. Don't get me wrong, I still have a good amount of hip hop on my Itunes; but it's mostly circa late 90s and early 2000s. Nevertheless, my present day favorite artist began to emerge - The Boss had entered my life. I don't remember what or how exactly I started to listen but once I did, there was no looking back. No one has challenged his position on my musical throne since then, and I am confident in saying that no one will. Maybe it is because Bruce is an American rock icon. Maybe it's because we both live in the best state in the USA. Maybe because his E Street Band is a set of motley characters ranging from Clarence "The Biggest Man You've Ever Seen" Clemons to his red-headed wife Patti Scialfi. Somewhere in between is Steve Van Zandt, a former actor on the Sopranos. Maybe it's because Springsteen has delivered top of the line rock albums for 4 straight decades. Maybe it's because he still puts on the best live show out there at age 60. Actually, it's the combination of all of these things an the fact that I am a borderline nerdy music addict. That's cool though, right? Moving on...

I'm surprised that people around me don't get sick of hearing too much Springsteen. Maybe they do, but they bottle it up because my charming personality balances it out. Anyway, for me, no one can compare to Bruce. He does not have the most memorable voice, but his mixture of tone and rasp make it completely unique. Bruce's singing is not his strength as a musicion, though, nor is his guitar-playing. There are plenty of other legends out there who have more natural talent on both the microphone and the guitar. Where Springsteen has everyone else beat in in the lyrics. He is one of the best poets and song-writers of our generation. Every song is a story from his life; and if something happens to you in yours and you need a song to relate to it, Bruce has it. Break-ups, family problems, songs of despair, of triumph, of jubilation, of struggle, of hope, of mischief, of scandal, of the best times, of the worst times, of summers on the Jersey shore, of Growing Up, and of looking back - the Boss has them all. Without further ado, here is my all time top 10, subject to frequent change.

1.) Jungleland (Born to Run): I don't think you can describe this 9 minute masterpiece as anything other than triumphant and epic.

2.) Badlands (Darkness on the Edge of Town): Fires me up for day-to-day life. Sometimes we are at a low point or rough patch in our life, but it's always temporary and no one is ever stuck in the badlands.

3.) Growin' Up (Greetings from Asbury Park): This song takes you on a 3 minute and 6 second ride through your past. It has significant nostalgic value every time you listen to it.

4.) I'm Goin' Down (Born in the U.S.A.): Everyone has had that significant other that they were crazy about, but it was always doomed from the start. This is an anthem for guys (girls too I guess) falling out of a relationship looking for an outlet.

5.) Thunder Road (Born to Run): Similar to Jungleland, this song is an all-time rock classic and has stood the test of time to continue living up to its top-billing.

6.) The Promised Land (Darkness on the Edge of Town): I see some parallels here with Badlands. The promise of a better tomorrow is the main theme.

7.) Into the Fire (The Rising): This song about the brave who risked their life to save others during the 9/11 attacks in New York City speaks for itself.

8.) Long Walk Home (Magic): Anyone coming out of a relationship with a loved one knows all about the proverbial "long walk home." This song is incredible live, with Little Stevie going wild at the end with a solo.

9.) Rosalita (The Wild, The Innocent, and The E Street Shuffle): Bruce probably tried to court 1000 Rosie's in his day, but her parents were very wary of him

10.) Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out (Born to Run): Another classic of Born to Run about the early formings of the E Street Band. It's hard to top this as a concert opener.

Top 5 Bands as of today:
1.) Springsteen
2.) Hootie
3.) CCR
4.) Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
5.) Pearl Jam

Monday, October 12, 2009

Ireland 2 - Italy 2

The atmosphere was upbeat from the time we got into Fagan's in Drumcondra. Ireland had a chance to make a statement against the 4th ranked team in the world, Italy. We were 4 hours from kickoff but the locals were ready to go. Fagan's is the nicest pub I have been to in Ireland; situated 10 minutes on foot from Croke Park, it is undoubtedly one of the main hubs to get some hydration going before the big soccer (football) match. Italy sat 4 points ahead, but an unlikely Irish victory would pull the boys in green to 1 point behind with one game to go for each squad. By 6:00 it was getting increasingly difficult to move around.

The aura at Croke Park confirmed how much this game meant to the Irish. A sea of white and green was evident as we sat behind one of the goals, with the entire main stands right in front of us. The Irish came out like a house on fire, going up 1-0 after 8 minutes on a set piece from Liam Lawrence to midfielder Glenn Whelan. A cautious optimism began to grow on all sides of us. The Italians passed the ball around well in the midfield but didn't seriously threaten through the first 20 minutes. Timely stops by stalwarts Richard Dunne and John O'Shea quickly became a familiar site. But the Italians broke through on the 26th minute off the head of Argentinian-born Mauro Camorenesi. The rest of the first half was largely uneventful.

The second half began much like the first ended, with the ball staying mostly in the midfield. Chances were scarce; Ireland made a few substitutions. The crowd began to grow more and more restless as shots went by the wayside. A 1-1 draw seemed more and more likely until substitute Stephen Hunt created a free-kick opportunity from just outside the left end of the box. The crowd grew eerily quiet as he lined it up. Hunt delivered a beautiful bending ball to the far side and it met the head of a diving Sean St. Ledger. Pandemonium the top of my head it is one of the top 3 moments of my career as a sport spectator.

All we had to do was hold off the Italians for 4 more minutes. It all happened so errant pass and the Azzurri were coming at our goal faster than Rex Ryan to Mickey D's after a Jets game. And the unthinkable yet somewhat expected happened; the Italians put on in the back of the net. It was substitute Alberto Gilardino. A draw was still a good result for the Irish against the powerhouse nation,but the way it went down was heartbreaking.

Next up for the Irish will be the final group qualifier against hapless Montenegro. With second place in the group already secured, the game does not have all that much meaning. Next month the Irish will be paired in a playoff with the likes of France, Russia or Greece in a home and home matchup. The winner on aggregate goals will head to the World Cup in South Africa in June. More on this as it develops.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Thank You 2009 Mets!

Thank you Mets on behalf of your fans for a terrific 2009 season! There's no better way than a 70-92 record with the 2nd highest payrool in baseball to open up beautiful CitiField. Thank you for having a surplus of Brooklyn Dodgers dedications (all well and good), but a lack of monuments and tributes to the current team. Refusing to retire Piazza's number? His homer on 09/21/2001 (youtube it) should be worth it enough. Thank you for handing Omar Minaya the power to sign Oliver Perez to a 3 year, $36 million contract. I know hindsight is always 20/20, but my pet bird Boris could have seen that one coming. I don't even have a bird. Thanks also to Omar for further embarrassing the organization with a personal attack on the integrity of esteemed Mets team beat writer Adam Rubin. The parade of thanks to Omar continues with his propensity to stick with his buddy Tony Bernazard. Our former VP of player development had such a good rapport with the minor leaguers that he took his shirt off and threatened to fight the entire AA Binghamton Mets after a loss in the team locker room. Finally, a particularly whole-hearted thank you to the training and medical staff. Your blatant ineptitude and mistreatment of injuries to the likes of Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran, and John Maine killed any postseason hopes shortly after the season began. The season is now over and Reyes is now just having surgery. Truly an unforgettable season for all involved. I'm glad ticket prices rose exponentially in a down economy as well. Fantastic work. R.I.P. 2009 Mets.

(Editor's note:) At least we got Jeff Francouer for the listless and injury-prone Ryan Church. Frenchy is a good fit for the 2010 Mets and beyond. Love that guy.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Spitfire Thoughts (10/04)

  • The Cliffs of Moher are a real solid place to spend 1-2 hours of your life at. We went in the midst of 40 mph wind gusts and all managed to not take the 650 foot dive down, which was nice. Great spot for pictures and all that good stuff.

  • I have just obtained a ticket to the Ireland-Italy world cup qualifier match next Saturday in Dublin. To say I'm excited would be a gross understatement. Not really even sure what to expect in terms of atmosphere and whatnot, but I know there will be 82,000 Irish fans pushing for the boys in green to pick up a World Cup berth for South Africa this coming summer. More on this after it happens

  • The New York Knickerbockers broke training camp yesterday and are currently opening up their preseason schedule this minute against the Nets. I'll be the first person to say that I usually get excited over the start of a Knicks season for no apparent reason, but I think there is a little light at the end of the tunnel . Danilo "The Rooster" Gallinari seems to be over his lingering back troubles that limited his rookie year. Al Harrington has emerged as the veteran leader we have missed the past few years. Darko Milicic finally gives us someone who will block a shot. Jordan Hill and Toney "Ghostface" Douglas bring an infusion of youth and energy that should help the whole team improve. What does all this mean? Probably minimal improvement, since so many teams in the East improved as well. A run at a playoff berth might be what it takes to convince Lebron or DWade to make their move to the world's most famous arena next summer. We really need to dump Fat Eddy's contract too. Dumping Fat Eddy's contract is like fighting a dinosaur. It's very hard.

  • Watching NFL games on Gamecast on my laptop is really lame.

  • Getting great reports on the Springsteen concerts back home at Giants Stadium is very bittersweet. I would love to be there but am very happy to hear my friends and family having a great time. There's no show like the Boss in Jersey. Rumors circulating of 15 shows next summer to open up the new stadium in the Meadowlands. I'm in for a minimum of 5.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Congratulations to Fairfield Stags runners Ben Heslin and Steve Flanagan on both being named MAAC runner of the week so far this season. GO STAGS.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Belgium and Luxembourg

A better title for this article would probably be "Delirium Cafe", but I'll get to that in a bit. My first journey outside of the Emerald Isle began at 3 a.m. early Friday, as I got up in the middle of the night to walk across Galway to the bus station. I refuse to pay 8 euros for a 4 minute drive. Thursday night was the 250th anniversary of Guinness, so needless to say it was a jubilant night in the streets of Galway. I left around 11 pm to go home and pack and get a couple hours of sleep. When I made my unheralded (and sober) return to Shop Street around 3:15 on my way to catch the bus, the party was still in full-bloom. I love Irish people, not only do they live up to their reputation of constant drinking, they may actually surpass it.

My flight was at 8 a.m. Friday morning from Dublin to Brussels. This was my first trip on RyanAir, Europe's top low-cost airline. They devliered a solid and on-time flight and when I touched down I was taking my first career steps on Belgian soil. Cheers erupted at the site of this from all around. That is a lie. Anyway, I met up with my high school buddy Andy and his friend Matt and we got on the train to Bruges. Ever since I saw "In Bruges" with Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleason, I knew this was a place that I had to visit at least once in my life. By the way, if anyone is looking for a solid movie to watch, go for that one. Spectacular...and Mad-Eye Moody is in it. Bruges definitely lived up to my expectations, except for the fact that there were no American midgets filming a movie as there were when I watched the movie. I realize that was a confusing sentence but I swear it made sense. Bruges was a very cool medieval city and the two highlights were climbing the 366 foot Belfry and having an amazing Belgian waffle with melted chocolate on it. As my friend Drew Colon says about a certain daily chore, it was life affirming to say the least. That night we went back to Leuven where Andy was staying at enjoyed some fine Belgian brews at a few cool spots.

Saturday was an early start as we set out for Luxembourg City, one of the richest cities in the world. I really didn't know what to expect because I had never heard of anyone going there, and I was a little apprehensive at the thought of a 6-hour round trip to get there. As the day went on, however, I became increasingly happy that I made the trip. Luxembourg has a lot of military history and has some great panoramic views. A history museum may or may not sound lame, but it was very cool to see some of the trials and tribulations Luxembourg had as a fledgling city. I got some very nice pictures and on the way out grabbed my first fast-food meal in Europe at the Quick U. Saturday night I was lucky enough to try out some more Belgian beers and even more lucky to sleep in the following morning.

Sunday was my last day in Belgium before my 10 pm flight that night. We got a late start and headed into Brussels to see the E.U. buildings. They were futuristic looking, but cool nonetheless. Imposing is another word. After this we made moves toward the city centre and state house which was very similar to the one in Leuven. Thinking about how these buildings were constructed really blows my mind. I got some Belgian frites which were delicious. I was a happy man at this point....little did I know that my life would be reaffirmed at my last stop in Belgium before I headed back to Ireland.

This place deserves it's own paragraph, if not more. The name of the bar was Cafe Delirium, and it was hidden at the end of this very narrow streeet lined with numerous restaurants and a few bars. Andy and Matt had been building this place up in my mind all weekend, so I was hoping it would live up to the big expectations I had in my head. To say it exceeded them would be a gross understatement. It would be similar to saying George Clooney has beautiful facial hair, Bruce Springsteen is a god, and Jennifer Aniston is attractive. I'm fired up just writing about it and I want anyone who reads this and enjoys beer to find a way to get there once in your life. The upstairs had 49 different taps of beer, which under ordinary circumstances would be fantastic. But compare it with the rustic-looking, dimly lit basement and it fails to inspire. Andy went to get the menu for us, and it turned out to be a 70-page booklet featuring the bar's 2004 beers to choose from. Each had a picture and a paragraph description. Combine that with an American vibe and Creedence Clearwater Revival being played twice in my hour there over the stereo and I believe what you get is heaven on earth. It won't be the last time I grace my life with a visit to Cafe Delirium, and moreover - Belgium.

For any beer connosseurs, these are the 9 new ones I tried over the weekend. (in no particular order)

2.)Satan Gold
3.) Hopus
4.) Westmalle Tripel - favorite
5.) Tripel Karmeliet
6.) Brugge Tripel
7.) Rochefort 10
8.) St. Bernardus Tripel
9.) Lucifer

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

My First Created Sporcle Quiz

Check out my first ever created Sporcle Quiz....Bruce Springsteen Studio Songs

Baseball? What is baseball?

Now that I have been all away across the pont for 3 1/2 weeks, I can regrettably say that I have fallen out of touch with baseball. Much of this is due to the fact that my New York Mets have been out of the playoff picture for a solid month. When I was thinking about how I would follow the game from afar, I wasn't sure what to do. I could buy for the month of september, but I didn't want to pay to watch meaningless Mets games, especially when at times the lineups they put out on the field would struggle to be in a AAA playoff race. I turned my hopes to the countless pubs in Galway, only to realize that all the games would be starting around midnight. Besides, I have only found one pub so far to show American sports. (Garvey's, in Eyre Square for any of you who may travel here in the future.)

It was at this time that I realized my interaction with the 2009 MLB season would be coming to an end on August 31st when I boarded the plane. Now a good portion of this is because of the two reasons I just discussed, but I think there may be more to it than just those two. Right now there is only one real race going on, and that is in the AL Central, where the Tigers are up by a few games on the Twins. Neither Wild-Card race is particular close, and most of the divisions are already comfortably wrapped up. There aren't any individual feats worth checking in on each day, either. How I miss the days of steroids, where the whole country would check in on Sosa and McGwire each day, regardless of whether they were a fan or not. (Side note: I'm really unsure whether I am kidding or not with that last sentence.)

Anyway, Peter Gammons recently brought up an interesting thought on whether to add an extra wild-card team from each league. Yes, it waters down the post-season race and potentially adds a very mediocre team undeserving of a spot in the playoffs. However, it keeps fans' hopes alive a little longer, gives them a little more incentive to go to the games and spend their money. In the economic situation America is in, wouldn't this be a good thing for all parties involved? I'm not saying I know for sure, but it is something worth discussing. One thing I am sure of is that this will be the first October I am not particularly interested in what happens in the MLB playoffs. To be honest, I'm actually pulling for the Yankees because my best friend just scored an internship with them this past season and I think it would be cool if they won while he worked there. That is a scary thought, I'm actually a little hesitant to put it down in writing. Screw it.

For the hell of it, my picks:

World Series: Yankees over Dodgers
AL MVP: Mark Teixeira
NL MVP: Albert Pujols
AL CY Young: Zach Greinke
NL CY Young: Adam Wainwright

Heading off to Belgium and Luxembourg this weekend, expect an update on that sometime next week........

Monday, September 14, 2009

Dublin cont'd (Pictures)

View from the Clubhouse looking out on the 18th at St. Margaret's.

Some badass car outside the hotel.

9th hole looking toward the clubhouse at Luttrellstown Castle Resort.

Another one.

Weekend in Dublin

Spent the last weekend in the Dublin area playing some golf and hanging out with some extended family. Friday we teed it up at St. Margaret's near the Dublin Airport ( and then Saturday we played at this beautiful course called Luttrellstown Castle (

- Both courses were very nice, but Luttrellstown in particular blew me away. It plays 7,300 yards from the tips and was in pristine condition. The fairways were cut beautifully, the greens were firm and had some insane tiers and slopes. I couldn't begin to estimate the amount of bunkers guarding the greens and while they may not have been St. Andrew's style pot bunkers in Scotland, they were usually several feet deep. The resort we stayed at was called Castlenock and tickled my fancies as far as accomodations go. I met some great people (most notably Yankees outfielder Nick Swisher's cousin, Dan.) and it was a weekend that I will not soon forget. Thank you to my uncle John Keenan for having me.

Here are a few pictures:

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Pictures from Galway

Just a few pictures from the first week in Ireland.


Sorry for the delay in between my last post and this one, I have been busy settling into a new country and (attempting) putting my life together on the fly. Ireland is a fantastic place, especially the small city of Galway. The air smells fresh, everyone greets you with a smile, and no one honks at me when I cross the street at the most inopportune times. The food is a lot better than I was expecting and there is always something to do.

The weather is ridiculous though - when I say it changes 20-30 times a day, I mean it changes more like 10-12 times a day - which is still a lot. One minute it will be sunny and then a cloud will pass by and bring down a heavy rain for about 3-5 minutes. This process repeats itself throughout the day, meaning if you ever leave your place without a rain jacket you will inevitably be screwed by mother nature at some point throughout your day.

The pubs are all great, especially the one's with live music. There are so many that I don't even know if I will be able to fulfill my goal of stopping in every one at least once this semester. All of the bands have been very good and played a lot of American music as well. Some that I remember are like a rolling stone (bob dylan), american girl (tom petty), save tonight (eagle eye cherry), and galway girl (steve earle). One band did an excellent rendition of buffalo soldier too.

Tonight is the crucial world cup qualifier for Ireland at Cyprus and I plan on posting up at Monroe's and enjoying the full game and the buzzing atmosphere.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Sporcle Quiz of the Day (8/31)

This one is fantastic...

Spitfire Thoughts (8/31)

  • Good luck to my sister Jeannie as she starts up at Rutgers.

  • I'm leaving in a few hours for Galway, Ireland until December 20th. I will be looking to update this regularly and hope those of you who have read the blog will come back and check it out again

---Was at the Barclays final round at Liberty National yesterday and it was phenomenal. Great day, lots of the big names in golf in contention until the final hole. Harrington, Woods, Els, Stricker - and out of nowhere Heath Slocum drains a 21 footer for par on the 72nd hole to win. It was a bit of a let down but is probably good for the sport of golf to get some variation going. It would have been fantastic to see a golf with all those names just mentioned - I'll be looking for Paddy on driving ranges in Ireland trying to fine tune his game. It will be interesting to see how Tiger comes out for the next few playoff events and also the majors next year; his swagger seems to be a little less prominent since his loss to Y.E. Yang at the PGA championship in Minnesota. Next week they will be teeing it up in Boston for the Deutsche Bank championship.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Music Today

Is it just me or is a lot of today's music absolute garbage? I feel like as I have gotten older I have started to appreciate music from before my time a lot more. Maybe this is a natural thing, I do not know; but when I put on a contemporary radio station these days it usually goes off pretty quickly. Everything today is synthesized; this is most evident in hip hop. While my love is mostly for classic rock, I can still really appreciate good rap (I like to think so at least). Stuff like Notorious B.I.G., 2pac, Jay-Z, Wu-Tang Clan, Gangstarr and the old Eminem albums I could listen to any day of the week and be satisfied.

But today nothing of that quality comes out, especially in rap. Everything is generated by computers, including the voices. T-Pain and Akon sound like they are stuffed with helium - but somehow this stuff sells. And the topics that these guys rap about today are becoming more and more ridiculous - I heard a song called "hit me up on twitter" about a week ago. Gone are the days where a simple beat can be laid down and guys can just rhyme about stuff that actually matters. I should note that Lupe Fiasco is one exception to this - his lyrics, flow and content are all phenomenal.

Rock is a little bit different in that the things that are being sung about are all more or less the same as old times but for me the quality is not there. When I think about the experiences I have had at the 9 Springsteen shows I have seen I sit and realize that there is no one who is a relatively new band that could come anywhere close to what I get with the boss. CCR, Tom Petty, the Rolling Stones are all timeless acts - what bands of today's era are we going to be able to say that about 10 or 20 years from now? If anyone has something to prove me wrong here let me know because I'm always looking to expand my music library. Just make sure that whoever it is has nothing about twitter or myspace in their songs.

Sporcle Quiz of the Day (8/23)

This one is a dandy for sure.

Live from Citi Field

Ollie gives up 6 in the first followed by angel pagan inside the park homer.

Francouer with an rbi triple. I love that man

After 2 more philly runs pagan homers again to make it 8-3. Pedro got a short standing ovation in the first inning.

Pedro has gotten through 6 innings so far giving up 4 runs. Settled in for the past few innings. Fastball has hit 91

Somehow the game ended ended on an unassisted triple play by Eric Bluntlett with the winning run on first. 9-7 phils final.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Arsenal Update

Arsenal continue to cruise in the Premier League, with a 4-1 victory over lowly Portsmouth. A double from Abou Diaby followed by goals from Frenchman William Gallas and reserve Aaron Ramsey. Arsenal now sit atop the standings with Chelsea and Tottenham.

YouTube Video of the Day (8/22)

Friday, August 21, 2009

Sporcle Quiz of the Day (8/21)

Just a ridiculous geography quiz. Good luck.

Spitfire Thoughts (8/21)

  • I never thought I would say this on August 21st, but I really don't want to see David Wright, Jose Reyes, or Carlos Beltran in a Met uniform again this season. It's been a lost season for a while, ever since the latter two of the aforementioned three went down with injuries. These injuries were completely mishandled by the training staff and were probably only made worse in the long run. I'm glad these guys have one job and one job only and can't get it done. I don't see a reason to rush back these core ouf the team for a season that is already lost. Time to let some of the younger players and prospects get on the field and get a sample of what we will see in the years to come.

  • I know everyone is tired of hearing about Brett Favre, but there is no denying that he makes the Vikings a better team. Tarvaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels are really both career backups. Brett Favre should have about the same role on the Vikings this year as he did with his outstanding cameo in "There's Something about Mary", very little. If they can keep defenses honest with a well-timed vertical passing game, we may see a 2,000 yard rushing season for Adrian Peterson and a deep playoff run for the Vikes. Time will tell.

  • For such an uneventful and long summer, I always sit here in late August and wonder where it went. I feel like just yesterday it was the 4th of July. Reality has set in that in 10 days I will be out of the country for 3 1/2 straight months, and I couldn't be more excited about that. Seeing people leave for school has really spurred on that feeling more so in recent days.

  • Usain Bolt is a once-in-a-smoker's lifetime (copyright Drew Colon) athlete. He has broken 5 world records in the past year, and did it in both the 100 and 200 meter races at this week's World Championships in Berlin. He just turned 23 years old today and is thought to have not reached his peak. That thought is scary - can he challenge 9.00 in the 100 and 19.00 in the 200?

  • Will the Knicks please sign Ramon Sessions already? I'm done with Nate, ship him off to one of those franchises who only care about selling tickets than they do about winning (LA Clips, Sacramento). Sessions is our point guard of the future, it's time to get this done.

YouTube Video of the Day (8/21)

One of the best versions of one of the Boss' best songs...check out Clarence in the white sleeveless suit.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Sporcle Quiz of the Day (8/19)

Time to brush up on your Spanish skills...

Leaving for College

Last night I was the unfortunate witness of a catastrophe in my own house. It was the sight of 5 girls on one of their last nights together before leaving for college. When I had first returned from work my first guess was that either the Real Housewives series was cancelled, or someone had lost their favorite pocket book. I soon realized, however, that this was their send- off party for the first two to leave. It was a solemn night full of cries and forced laughs in an attempt to counteract said crying. The night culminated in a trip to the grammar school they all met up at many years ago. The place where it all began.

Don't get me wrong, leaving for college is not an easy thing to do. Leaving your comfort zone for completely new surroundings is by no means a walk in the park. I wanted to say something to try to lighten up the mood last night but I remembered that you need those last couple nights of crying and pure fear of leaving your friends to remind yourself how lucky you are to have them in the first place. If you don't go through a night like that, then I feel sorry for you. Whether it's with your friends, boy/girlfriend, or family - or all of them - the despair of leaving everyone behind is inevitable and there is just no way in the world to avoid it.

The hard thing to realize on those nights is that you are heading off to a place that you will learn to call home for the next four years. The supposed best four years of your life. After the goodbyes are said the new feeling is one of anxiety and great anticipation. The friendship you have spent years and years building up is going nowhere, other than a different place. The only thing that sucks is that everyone on facebook has to watch those brutal video messages where girls feel necessary to tell each other they're not doing their homework (as always), and they just have to talk because there is sooo much to catch up on (roommates!, boy!, parties!, class!). Yeah, you know the messages i'm talking about. God awful.

Anyway, the world is not going to end, Real Houswives will still be on at its normal time, and you just left your pocketbook in the passenger seat of the car of the boy who drove you home from the last party of the summer. That's something you'll have to worry about over Thanksgiving break - or you could just cut your losses and continue on with your life as is.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

YouTube Video of the Day (8/18)

Watch as Tommy 'the sloth' Polise skies over this bush effortlessly...

Monday, August 17, 2009

Sunday, August 16, 2009

YouTube Video of the Day (8/16)

The best version of one of the boss's greatest...

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Ode to Lamar

This article is one I have been able to put a lot of thought into over the past 2 weeks of my seemingly eventless and meaningless summer. It was a nice Saturday morning (August 1st), and my buddy Anthony and I were up around 6:45 to make a trek to our mecca of golf, Apple Mountain. After some brief dialogue we decided that the vehicle of choice would be Lamar. For those of you do not know, Lamar was my 1990 Volvo 760 turbo series ex-car. Waking up that Saturday morning, I had no clue that this day would be my last with my friend and car, Lamar.

It was a nice day of golf and a free pitcher of Yuengling at Apple Mountain. Lamar was smooth as always for the trip, the absolute epitome of a "big trip-car". This is similar to Curt Schilling being labeled as a "big-game pitcher." The trip home was very smooth and I soon retreated to the couch in my living room to relax for a little while before going out to party for the night. And when I say party, I mean play Fifa 09' in my living room with my laptop next to me for the night. In any event, I digress. My father came home with some shocking news; we were going to get a new car in the Cash for Clunkers program, and I should immediately start to clean out Lamar, and bring him to the dealership within the hour. Panic set off in my head; I knew this day would come, but everything happened so fast. After a lengthy clean-out and brief photoshoot, it was me just me and Lamar on the 15 minute drive to the Maxon Hyundai-Mazda dealership on route 22. There was no sound to distract either of us, no Air Conditioning (it never worked once over the 3 years we spent together), no radio (same as A/C). It was a very awkward situation, but I think he understood. I could sense it in the way his engine purred along without one last stall on the way there. It was his mature understanding of the situation, and how I really had no choice but to cash in on this program.

Throughout our eventful 3 years together, there were inevitably many ups and downs along with several near-death experiences as well. There was the non-functional air conditioning and radio, the stalling of the engine at the most inopportune intersections. Along with the stalling came the embarrassment of having to hurriedly start up my car while countless impatient gibronis leaned on their horns behind me. Lamar didn't give me much luxury or flash, but what he gave day in and day out was true grit and heart. He got me to and from Fairfield all year long, with trips to Providence, Boston and Pennsylvania mixed in as well. Everytime a big trip was on tap, he showed up on game day and performed flawlessly. We had the best of times, and the worst of times. One man's pain is now some random junkyard's pleasure. Rest in Peace.

Arsenal FC

For those of you who do not know, my favorite soccer team is Arsenal of the English Premier League. For those of you who do not follow this or do not care, I will tell you the score of the first game of the season. It was a 6-1 victory over a solid Everton side. This is noteworthy for two reasons; first, Everton is a legitimate EPL team, and second; after Emmanuel Adebayor's offseason departure to Manchester City, the attack was seen as a major question mark for this year's team. For one match at least, those questions were put to a halt.

- Goals came from Denilson, newly signed Thomas Vermaelen from Belgium, William Gallas, Eduardo, and a double from superstar Cesc Fabregas.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Chronicle, part 2

Just came across part 2 of the Creedence Clearwater Revival greatest hits. Almost as good as the first, I would recommend it to anyone. What I would give to see these guys get back together and play some shows. Top 3 - Cotton Fields, Midnight Special, Born on the Bayou. These guys are so badass.

Sporcle Quiz of the Day (8/8)

Here is today's Sporcle quiz of the day...

Can you name all of the divison-1 college football programs in the country?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Countries Quiz Completed

After several months, I along with the help of Jason Waks, have finally finished the Countries of the World Quiz. Yes, this is my summer...

Monday, August 3, 2009

YouTube Video of the Day (8/3)

Today's YouTube video of the day...

Enjoy these beauts.

Sporcle Quiz of the Day (8/3)

Today's "Who Will Stop the Rain" sporcle quiz of the day....

Music Recommendation

I know this has been out for a few months now, but I have recently started to listen to the "Viva la Hova" mixtape with Jay-Z and Coldplay. I can't think of anything else out there like it and I think its very cool to have two artists each at the top of their genre come together and make some original and unique music. Give it a shot if you are looking for some new music.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

YouTube Video of the Day (8/2)

Here is today's "Who Will Stop the Rain" Youtube video of the day....

Sporcle Quiz of the Day (8/2)

Today's "Who Will Stop the Rain" sporcle quiz of the day:

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

YouTube Video of the Day (7/29)

This is how Phil Mickelson has developed his short game...

Sporcle Quiz of the Day (7/29)

In honor of the late, and great infomercial king...

Vick's Situation

I am not one of the many Michael Vick haters out there. Vick was recently released from prison after an 18 month sentence for federal dogfighting charges. He did his time and let's hope he has learned his lesson. I'm happy that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has decided to give him a conditional reinstatement meaning Vick will be eligible to play as early as week 6 of this upcoming season. My opinion is that while Vick's actions were clearly not right, they were not done out of malice or hatred toward animals. His ignorance and false sense of invincibility probably were the propellor's that kept his high stakes dogfighting ring running for however long it did. He was just tryin' to get his bills. Does this make it right? Not at all - But he deserves a chance to put a positive spin on all of this and turn his life around.
From a football perpspective, let's not forget that Vick was one of the most electrifying players in the entire league. The first overall selection in the 2001 NFL draft, Vick is one of the three best dual threat quarterbacks in the history of the league. His 1,039 rushing yard and 8.4 yards per carry in the 2006 season are both records for quarterbacks that will not fall anytime soon. I hope an owner of a team sees the fact that people make mistakes and gives Vick a chance. Yes, there will be a somewhat considerable PR fallout upon the signing; but the fact remains that Vick is a game-changer and a ticket seller. The latter is an invaluable commodity in this day and age. Anyone who is rooting against this guy turning it around must have never made a mistake in their life. He paid the price, now let's hope an owner steps up and gives this guy a chance to ressurect his life and career.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

YouTube Video of the Day (7/28)

Here is the "Who'll Stop the Rain" YouTube video of the day...

and congratulations to Joe Mauro for being my first follower, he just won a hug

Hermione Granger is very smart...

Just came across this story about Emma Watson (Hermione in the Harry Potter series) heading off to Brown University in the fall...,,20292428,00.html

Sporcle Quiz of the Day (7/28)

This one's a little short and more doable....

Hermione Granger is smart in real life, too

Just saw this report that Emma Watson (Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter series)

Monday, July 27, 2009

YouTube Video of the Day (7/27)

YouTube Video of the Day (7/27)

Sporcle Quiz of the Day (7/27)

Possibly my favorite of all time......enjoy.

New York Metropolitans

It's been a long, and sadly, predictable season for my Mets. Where does one even start? The injuries that have piled up at a rate similar to Rob Coloney using the word "unprecedented" in everyday vernacular have been crippling to say the least. I think Jerry Manuel has done a pretty damn good job given the cards he has been dealt. My problem lies with the front office: the Wilpons and the indescribable Omar Minaya. It seems that the Wilpon's unconditional sense of loyalty to Omar has led to a domino effect of continuous public relations disasters. It all started last year when Omar fired then-manager Willie Randolph on a road trip in California at 3 a.m. at the team's hotel after giving Willie a vote of confidence just days before. Don't get me wrong, I was not a huge fan of the way Willie managed the Mets either, but the way that went down was absolutely classless.
Unfortunately, the trend of clueless leadership has spilt over into this season with no signs of a let up. Omar's insane buddy Tony Bernazard has been wreaking havoc within the organization soon after his arrival in December of 2004. Bernazard was finally fired today, but not before challenging the entire Double A team in Binghamton to a brawl with his shirt off. It appeared that this day would bring a positive end to an unfortunate situation until Omar threw the nastiest curveball we had seen at Citi Field all season, right at the head of New York Daily News Mets beat writer Adam Rubin. Minaya's bold accusations of Rubin purposely writing incendiary reports (which have all been proven to be 100% true) about his best buddy Bernazard in order to secure his own job within the Mets front office were the absolute epitome of classlessness. Regardless of whether Rubin wants to get a job in baseball, all he did was his job, and very effectively for that matter. Hopefully this was the last straw for Minaya, and we can begin to repair this organization's tarnished reputation in the eyes of many around baseball and the sports world.
Fortunately, the product on the field is showing signs of improvement. After 3 straight wins, the Amazins are a mere 6.5 back of the wild card. Hey a guy can dream right? Here's to hoping I will have to purchase the package while studying in Galway, Ireland to watch meaningful Mets games in the month of September.