Friday, February 27, 2009

Friday Diversion

I like to think that sprinkled into the mindless YouTube clips and seemingly endless anecdotes from the world of Guyland, this site provides the occassional piece of writing that either enlightens or informs. I take particular pride in providing the dedicated readers, on Friday mornings, with an array of well-written articles that they might have otherwise never come across - intellectual diamonds in the rough, aimed to stimulate the mind, body, and soul.

Rest assured, there are no such scholarly jewels in the mix today. These are diversions in the truest sense. You might as well be playing Tetris and eating Cheetos. Go in knowing that you will be dumber for having participated.

As always, these are... Well, this is some of the stuff I've come across over the course of the past week.



Andy Kaufman, Joaquin Phoenix, and the Two Lettermans
By Jim Windolf

An interesting breakdown of Joaquin Phoenix's (contrived) appearance on Letterman last week, comparing the performance to one of Andy Kaufman's legendary monologues given back when Letterman was hosting a morning show.

Thanks to Richie for the article.



True or False, Rickey?

Video evidence of Rickey Henderson's appearance on Mike and Mike In The Morning, where the dueling Mikes reveal that it is in fact true that Rickey Henderson once framed a $1 million cheque instead of cashing it.

Thanks to Flats for the heads-up



Greg Rutter's Definitive List of The 99 Things You Should Have Already Experienced On The Internet Unless You're A Loser or Old or Something

Pretty self-explanatory title, if you ask me.

Thanks to Flats for the link.



The Greatest Band in the World This Week:

King Khan & The Shrines. Check you their MySpace page. And then check them out at The Phoenix Concert Theatre May 12.



The YouTube Clip of the Week come courtesy of the inimitable Mickey Rourke. His acceptance speech at Saturday's Film Independent's Spirit Awards is now officially the watermark by which all future acceptance speeches will be judged. This is sheer, unadulterated, gut-wrenching, from-the-heart brilliance, with a smattering of NSFW language... A speech that could only be delivered by Mickey Rourke.

Thanks to Deeve for the tip.




Unfortunately, that's all I've got. Now go read Thomas Pynchon's "Gravity's Rainbow" so you can say you've learned something today.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Softball Guy's Winter Training Regimen



The Alfredo Griffins are officially on notice. The opposition in the TCSSC co-ed non-competitive softball league is obviously playing for keeps. 5th Place isn't just going to win itself this year.

To read Josh Bacott's Ode to the Professional Softball Player, click HERE.


Thanks to the guys at Joe Sports Fan for putting this piece of cinematic artistry together.

Monday, February 23, 2009

2009 Oscars Obscure Pop Culture Reference Showdown

Will Smith - "Boom Goes The Dynamite"



Vs.

Robert De Niro - "Jeff Spicoli"



Is this just another excuse to show the "Boom Goes the Dynamite" clip? Absolutely. But I'm telling you, that cover-up by Will Smith was brilliant. From this day forward, whenever I'm asked to make a wedding speech and I begin fumbling (read: slurring) my words, there's no doubt I'll be pulling out the "Dynamite" reference to smooth things over. Because really, it will be a marked improvement over my customary: "I'm sorry... I'm drunk... And the only single bridesmaid just told me to go die in a fire..."

Also, I think it's fantastic that Jeff Spicoli has finally come around to accepting people of all orientations. Equal rights for everyone... It's never too late to see the light.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Friday Diversion

A little something to get you through to the weekend. As always, here is some of the best reading I've come across over the course of the past 7 days.



The No-Stats All-Star
By Michael Lewis

This is essentially basketball's version of Moneyball. At the centre of this new philosophy is the Houston Rockets, and the man who was once hailed as the future-first-African-American-President-of-the-United-States: Shane Battier.

I like to think of my hardwood skill-set as being that of a poor man's Shane Battier. And if you think about it, all of the similarities are there:

Battier’s weaknesses arise from physical limitations. Or, as Morey puts it, “He can’t dribble, he’s slow and hasn’t got much body control.”

So I'm definitely down with the physical limitations. But I guess we get a bit of a disconnect when you factor in Battier's ability to make his teams and his teammates infinitely better, his knack for always making the right decision, and how he plays lock-down D against the opposition's best player night-in and night-out... So when you get right down to it, my game doesn't resemble Shane Battier's in the least.

By the way, this piece should be required reading for any members of the now 0-5 CITY All-Stars...



RealGM NBA Player Rankings
By RealGM.com

This might go a long way in explaining why The Raps are currently holding down 14th place in the Eastern Conference. If they somehow decide that trading Chris Bosh is a good idea, may God have mercy on their souls.



Handicapping American Idol 2009
By El Presidente

Let the record show that I do not watch American Idol. In fact, I loathe everything about the show and everything it represents. It is basically the lowest form of entertainment on the planet, and a sure sign that the apacolypse is nigh.

But with that being said, I look forward to this piece every year more than just about anything I can think of. I have no idea how he does it, but for 6 of the past 7 years, Barstool's own El Presidente has been able to pick the show's winner prior to the first elimination show. It was what he was put on the earth to do. And despite the fact that this year's breakdown lacks some of the dazzle and comedic genius that last year's piece contained, this year's edition still manages to offend and educate in just the right ways.



F*** My Life
By Fmylife.com

The site description reads: "My life sucks but I don't give a fuck"...How the hell didn't I think of this first? Absolutely brilliant.

Thanks to Flats for the link



Barack Obama's Facebook Page

I'm not sure why, but I found this pretty interesting. Love the fact that you can have access to so much personal information about the most powerful man in the world.




The YouTube clip of the week was inspired by the Michael Lewis piece, which dedicates a paragraph to breaking down Dikembe Mutombo's glorious finger wag. And believe me, any excuse to post a compilation of Deek's famous finger wags will fly here at seanmccallum.com. Honestly, if I could spend a day with any NBA player, Mutombo would be the all-time no brainer pick. I'd literally just let him block my layups all afternoon so I could watch him do that magnificent figer wag until it was time to get drunk and then hit up the 7-11 for Taquitos.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Top-10 Ways to Avoid The Trappings of Middle Age


(If the above photograph isn't the world's greatest metaphor for every birthday after the age of 28, I clearly have no idea what I'm talking about)


“Well, birthdays are merely symbolic of how another year has gone by and how little we've grown. No matter how desperate we are that someday a better self will emerge, with each flicker of the candles on the cake, we know it's not to be; that for the rest of our sad, wretched, pathetic lives, this is who we are to the bitter end. Inevitably, irrevocably... Happy birthday? No such thing.”

- Jerry Seinfeld


Getting older sucks. There's really no two ways about it.

When I told my buddy Rosco that I didn't really feel like celebrating the fact that I was officially tip-toeing into the realm of middle age, he came back with the following consolation: "Hey, it's not really middle age... You're hoping to live past 60, aren't you?"

Ummm... I guess so.

And I guess there's also consolation in the fact that even though I'm supposed to be acting like someone in their 30's, I clearly avoid doing so at all costs. So it is with the mindset of endlessly deferring adulthood that I give you:


The Top-10 Ways to Avoid The Trappings of Middle Age


10 - Don't ever turn down the opportunity to take a hit from a beer bong whilst in a moving vehicle in a foreign country.


9 - Avoid following the careers of those deemed to be "young prodigies" in the fields that you yourself would have liked to have once been considered a "young prodigy" in... DAMN YOU JONATHAN SAFRAN FOER!!!


8 - Try to make a habit of getting kicked out of a bar in the wee hours of a Monday morning in a foreign city at least twice every calendar year.


7 - Alter your diet so as to allow you to continue feeling young, despite the painful reality of your advancing years. What was once the McDonald's Dollar menu, Poutine at three o'clock in the morning, Steeler Lager on a weekday afternoon, and Jim Beam stolen from your parents' liquor cabinet should now be the Subway 6-Grams-of-Fat-or-Less menu, high-fibre, beer without additives and preservatives, and expensive scotch (it is no longer OK to steal it from your parents liquor cabinet, for the record).

You really need to be thinking more along the lines of Crash Davis by this stage of the game. Consider it the Guyland equivalent to the Purina One plan.


6 - If you do keg stands of PBR, nobody will ever believe you're 31. Trust me.


5 - Don't ever bring up Joe Carter's home run if there exists even the slightest possibility of the other party being too young to remember exactly where they were when it happened, as doing so will result in a strong yearning to leap in front of a commuter train.


4 - Exfoliate. I hear it does wonders for your complexion.


3 - Play in a hockey league where the average player age is 46. If you're fortunate enough to have the same players returning every year, you'll be considered "young legs" for as long as you live. You might even crack the top-10 in scoring one year.


2 - Make a conscious decision to date girls who might be considered "creepily young" by some of your less-than-enlightened friends. This strategy is known in some circles as the Wooderson Corollary.


1 - Remove the "Year" from the "Birthday" section in a certain social networking website, so that when you tell people you're 29, they have no way of busting you the next morning when they add you as a friend... Not that this has ever happened to me... I'm just saying.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Family Day Festivities

I spent this past Family Day long weekend up in the wilds of Dornoch, eating a ridiculous amount of my mom's home cooking, drinking copious amounts of alcohol, playing Kings, and rocking out to Springsteen bootlegs and my dad's special brand of eclectic DJing (The Swingin' Medallions, The Electric Prunes, CCR, R.L. Burnside...) until the wee hours of the morning. It was everything that Family Day was meant to be; a fitting homage to the long and storied Family Day traditions that have been handed down from generation to generation, marking the passage of time...

(editor's note: Family Day was first recognized in Ontario in 2008, A.D.)

But the undisputed highlight of the weekend came when my dad broke down the 2009 NBA Slam Dunk Competition for us. It should be noted that my dad's knowledge of basketball is less than stellar. In fact, we once famously asked him to name 5 NBA players, past or present, and his list went as follows:

- Michael Jordan
- Magic Johnon
- That guy with the Bentley (aka Allen Iverson)
- Joe Carter
- Blank

In any event, after seeing Nate Robinson pull a Chip Douglas on Dwight Howard:



My Dad's assessment of the dunk went as follows:

Hey! He just teabagged that guy!


Happy Family Day indeed.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Kathleen Edwards - Trinity Church



The summer months left me alone
But the fall rolled in on the back of a storm
In the night you and I drove
Have you ever seen lightning and snow?

All these weeks without a note
It's like a ticking clock
Every time that you phone
I've run aground truth be told
And when it comes to me
I'll let you know

Don't be like that

Just my luck an Irish rose
In a drinking hole
I'd played a thousand one shows
What you need is to just go home
And when it comes to you
Don't leave it alone

Don't be like that

Up ahead the roads were closed
And the Gennys ran most of Buffalo
The customs man at border control
Said yes you can go
But you won't make it home

Don't be like that...


Kathleen Edwards opened tonight's show with "Buffalo", and things just got better from there.

To call it a magical evening would be an understatement.

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Matrix to Toronto?



From ESPN.com:

The Toronto Raptors have agreed to send Jermaine O'Neal and Jamario Moon to the Miami Heat in exchange for Shawn Marion and Marcus Banks, league sources told ESPN The Magazine's Ric Bucher.

The deal is pending league approval, according to sources, and if approved, would be announced later Friday afternoon.

The Raptors had acquired O'Neal in the offseason, along with the rights to Nathan Jawai, from the Indiana Pacers, who got T.J. Ford, Rasho Nesterovic, Maceo Baston and a draft pick.

Marion was part of the
Phoenix Suns deal in February 2008 that sent him and Banks to Miami for Shaquille O'Neal.

Marion is in the last year of a deal that will pay him $17.8 million.

Banks still has two years left on his contract, worth $4.75 million a season.

Jermaine O'Neal has one more season on his contract, worth nearly $23 million.



Call me crazy, but I like this deal. And I know that Marion is slightly overrated and overpaid at this point, but Marion could very well be the athletic 3 the Raps have been so desperately lacking. His D is solid, and most importantly, this opens up the 5 for Bargnani to play full-time.

It probably isn't enough to salvage a playoff spot, but if they can extend Marion, it's a pretty solid starting 5 moving foward. Worst case scenario is The Raps continue their implosion and wind up with a high lottery pick and some cap space.

So I'm down with The Matrix.

Friday Diversion

A little something to kill the time as we ramp up for the big VD/Family Day long weekend. Quick and dirty. Let's get to it.



Super Bowl Journal
By Bruce Springsteen

An inside look at why the Boss finally decided to play to the biggest audience in the history of rock and roll, and what he was feeling as he did so.

Thanks to Deeve for the tip



Pittsburgh Proves It: Franchise QB = Long-Term Success
By Nick Bakay

I remember the 2004 NFL draft like it was yesterday. The Bills were sitting there with the 13th pick, and I vividly recall hoping and praying that Big Ben would still be on the board... Then they cut to coach Cowher talking to Roethlisberger on the phone, asking him if he would welcome the opportunity to play in Pittsburgh. Ugh... The Steelers ended up winning 2 Superbowls in 4 years, and the Bills ended up selecting J.P. Losman. Kill me.

Thanks to DJ Smitty for the link



Taking Apart the $819 billion Stimulus Package
The Washington Post

A Coles-notes version of where the money in Barack Obama's stimulus package is headed, and when.

On a side note, I loved Obama's presser Monday night. Especially when he cut off Helen Thomas for trying to go 2-for-1 on him. And when the hour was over, I literally sat back and thought to myself: "Barack is turning the U.S. into Canada... Sweet."

Thanks to Llibs for the piece.



Announcing: Gorilla vs. Booze III
By Gorilla vs. Bear.net

You see? This is why SxSW is on my ultimate list of things to do before I die. Not only is one of my favourite music blogs hosting a night at The Peacock, featuring White Denim, Girls, and Harlem (among others), but they're doing so with the added bonus of providing FREE BEER!!! And Red Stripe, at that.

With God as my witness, I will be heading to Austin in March one of these years...



The YouTube clip of the week comes courtesy of David Letterman, Joaquin Phoenix, and the former leader of the World's Most Dangerous Band, whose maniacal laughter was the crowning moment in this virtuoso performance. I don't know if it was a result of drugs, alcohol, or a brilliantly played part, but I just couldn't take my eyes off of this.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day Break-Up Song Showdown

Ahhhh, nothing says "Happy Valentine's Day!" quite like a slew of ugly, unexpected, spirit-crushing break-ups. In fact, according to a recent study conducted by Yahoo Personals, couples are more than twice as likely to break up between Christmas and VD, with the study going so far as to label this time of year "National Break-Up Season".

As we all know, break-ups are never fun (for exhibit A, check out This American Life's brilliant episode from August 15, 2008, entitled: Break-Up). There's the crying. There's the doubt. There's the guilt. There's the questioning of self-worth. There's the throwing of fragile family heirlooms. There's the going out and getting wrecklessly drunk and regretfully hooking up with the first member of the opposite sex who happens to give you the time of night...

Generally speaking, not a lot of good comes from breaking up. One of the few exceptions to this rule, however, is the music that winds up being created from the wreckage of the aforementioned torment and agony. Where would we be without the misery and inspiration that love's loss so often instills? Nowhere I'd like to find myself, that's for sure.

(Feel free to check out Eric G. Wilson's Against Happiness for another take on the benefits of melancholia.)


So a happy break-up season to one and all. Here's hoping that this year's anguish and heartache can produce a fresh new crop of beautifully despondent tracks in time for next year's showdown.



"Asking For Flowers" - Kathleen Edwards


Lines to put a lump in your throat:

Every time I poured my heart out
Every threat you made to move out
Every cruel word you let just slip out
Every cruel word you let just slip out...



"It's Okay" - Land of Talk


Lines that make you want to kill yourself with guilt:

But it's okay, we all feel left out
sometimes growing up, it can get you down.

I give you some thing that no one's going to give you
my sleepin' skin and my heart deep down in you...



"We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed" - Los Campesinos!


Lines that angry-break-up-guy gets a kick out of screaming:

Oh, WE KID OURSELVES THERE'S FUTURE IN THE FUCKING,
BUT THERE IS NO FUCKING FUTURE

I cannot emphasise enough that my body
Is a badly designed, poorly put together vessel,
Harbouring these diminishing, so-called 'vital organs'
Hope my heart goes first,
I HOPE MY HEART GOES FIRST!



"Your Ex-Lover Is Dead" - Stars


A consolingly grown-up way of looking at things:

You were what I wanted
I gave what I gave
I'm not sorry I met you
I'm not sorry it's over
I'm not sorry there's nothing to save



"Skinny Love" - Bon Iver


Lines that reveal the truth of it all:

I told you to be patient
I told you to be fine
I told you to be balanced
I told you to be kind
Now all your love is wasted?
Then who the hell was I?



One more VD note:

If there are any dotcomrades out there who know of a single girl who happens to have been born on February the 14th, my buddy Skeeter is extremely interested in setting up a rendezvous. It has been his lifelong goal to meet such a girl, and then marry her on Valentine's Day, thereby banging out the heretofore unprecedented 3-for-1 windfall romance special.

Personally, I think this is the guy-equivalent to girls who hold out for the mythical manicorn, so needless to say, he hasn't had much luck thus far. Any leads would be much appreciated.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

John Updike meets Ted Williams


You know what? I was planning on saving this for the Friday Diversion, but fuck it. It's simply too good to withhold.


By John Updike

In more than a few circles, this is widely considered the best little slice of sports journalism ever penned. It is almost 50 years old, but reads as fresh and relevent today as it surely did in the year before Kennedy was inaugurated. It chronicles the carreer of The Splendid Splinter, and more specifically, his last game in a Sox uniform, which took place on a cool New England afternoon, in front of only 10,454 people. How will we ever be grateful enough for the fact that John Updike happened to be one of the fortunate few in attendance?


Fenway Park, in Boston, is a lyric little bandbox of a ballpark. Everything is painted green and seems in curiously sharp focus, like the inside of an old-fashioned peeping-type Easter egg. It was built in 1912 and rebuilt in 1934, and offers, as do most Boston artifacts, a compromise between Man’s Euclidean determinations and Nature’s beguiling irregularities. Its right field is one of the deepest in the American League, while its left field is the shortest; the high left-field wall, three hundred and fifteen feet from home plate along the foul line, virtually thrusts its surface at right-handed hitters. On the afternoon of Wednesday, September 28th, as I took a seat behind third base, a uniformed groundkeeper was treading the top of this wall, picking batting-practice home runs out of the screen, like a mushroom gatherer seen in Wordsworthian perspective on the verge of a cliff. The day was overcast, chill, and uninspirational. The Boston team was the worst in twenty-seven seasons. A jangling medley of incompetent youth and aging competence, the Red Sox were finishing in seventh place only because the Kansas City Athletics had locked them out of the cellar.


But I think my favourite portrait comes in the form of Updike's description of the Sox lowly infield on this particular day:


Other than Williams’ recurrent appearances at the plate, the maladresse of the Sox infield was the sole focus of suspense; the second baseman turned every grounder into a juggling act, while the shortstop did a breathtaking impersonation of an open window.



Eat your heart out, Bill Simmons.

If you're a fan of Baseball, or of Ted Williams, or simply a fan of those with brilliant command of the English language, this is absolutely essential reading.


Thanks to Johnny D from the far, far East for passing this along.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Friday Diversion

A little something to distract you from the fact that the Leafs and Raptors are currently a combined 27-games under .500. As always, here are some of the best things I've come across over the past week.



Postscript: John Updike
By Adam Gopnik

A touching and worthy tribute to the life and work of one of America's great writers:

As well as any writer ever has, he fulfilled Virginia Woolf’s dictum that the writer’s job is to get himself or herself expressed without impediments—to do so as Shakespeare and Jane Austen did, without hate or pause or protest or obvious special pleading or the thousand other ills that the embattled writer is heir to. Woolf meant not that the writer’s job was to write a lot, or to register the self with a splash, but to get his or her real experience down: all the private pains and pictures, the look on a loving parent’s face when humiliated in a school corridor, or the way girls smell in football season—to get it down and fix it there for good. Updike, to use a phrase he liked, got it all in, from snow in Greenwich Village on a fifties street to the weather in the American world.

The breadth of Updike's career is little short of mind boggling, and surely, you will not have had time to take it all in. But do yourself a favour, and get a small taste of what it means to experience all the sweetness of our common life.



Halftime on the field watching Bruce? Should be a no-brainer, right?
By Rick Reilly

Let the record show that I'm not exactly the world's biggest fan of Rick Reilly. As Deadspin's classic "On The Follies of Priviledged Sportswriting" aptly points out, Mr. Reilly "...gets to go golfing with Bill Clinton. He gets to ride in an Indy 500 race car. He gets to walk up to Sammy Sosa's locker and dare him to pee in a cup for him. He gets to do all that... And that's why he sucks."

But sometimes that priviledge is actually worth something. And in the case of Reilly's involvement in Sunday's halftime performance (as a volunteer, on-field "fan"), we were actually afforded some valuable insight. Needless to say, voluntarily missing the Superbowl so you can run out onto the field to watch a 12 minute halftime performance; no matter how glorious that performance; is not a decision that you should be looking to make any time soon.



Solar PV in Ontario: A Roadmap for Success
By CANSIA

What can I say? I dig the solar thing.

This is the Canadian Solar Industries Association's guide to how the province of Ontario can/should/will achieve 10% of its electricity demand via Solar PV by 2025. Sounds easy enough to me.



The YouTube clip of the week comes courtesy of G-Town Petey. In light of Santonio Holmes' tippie-toes endzone grab Sunday night, all of a sudden these don't seem so far fetched anymore.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Powerhouse Female Classic Cover Showdown

"Baby It's You" - Smith


Vs.

"Dark End of The Street" - Cat Power


Vs.

"When Doves Cry" - The Be Good Tanyas

(Video no longer available. Click HERE, and then click on the red "play" button to listen)



Let me begin by saying that I love Cat Power. I mean, I really love Cat Power. From the moment I saw her with Strombo on The Hour; with that honest and endearing way she has about her, and that sleepy, cigarette-softened voice that induces a kind of whimpering hearbreak... how could your heart not go out to her? And what's more, she covers the kinds of impossible-to-improve-upon songs better than just about anybody alive.

But with that being said, much to my astonishment, I find myself placing her version of the James Carr classic third in this showdown. It obviously has more to do with the fact that Smith's version of Baby It's You miraculously outshines the versions previously done by both The Shirelles and The Beatles, and the fact that I basically haven't been able to stop listening to The Be Good Tanyas ridiculously funky folk take on the timeless cornerstone of the Prince canon, but still...

That's some heady company.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Kid Gets Stoned Out of His Mind at the Dentist


This is honestly what I felt like after doing shots of Sambuca just after midnight mid-Shuffleboard tournament at Loons after the Superbowl on Sunday.

This dad has to win "Father of the Year" for capturing this on film, doesn't he?

No doubt this guy is already planning his son's 6th birthday party at an Ayahuasca retreat somewhere in the depths of the Peruvian Amazon.

"Is this real life?"

Superbowl XLIII - Halftime Breakdown






First off, let me begin by saying that Superbowl 43; when you factor in the 100-yard interception-return-for-a-touchdown-with-no-time-left-on-the-clock-by-an-undrafted-Kent-State-product (WAR GOLDEN FLASHES!), followed by the exceeding-all-impossibly-high-expectations halftime show, and culminating in Larry Fitzgerald's ridiculous 65-yard gallop only to be outdone by Kordel Stewart's... err, Santonio Holmes'... inconceivably ridiculous (there simply aren't superlatives enough) grab in the corner of the endzone; has to go down as the finest Superbowl on record. Toss in the fact that my buddies and I were partying in the man cave of the Jimmy Kimmel of Toronto's West End (Brontosaurus-sized ribs smoking over hickory on the grill for 8 hours!), and you have a recipe for one of the finest Sundays in recent memory.


And as for that halftime show? I have to say, I hold The Boss in a slightly different regard than most others. I wasn't sure what to expect as far as this particular 12-minute showcase, because as much as I'd like to believe that the man is still capable of pulling off the kinds of shows that customarily rocked the Agora Ballroom circa 1978, the fact is: The Boss is quickly approaching 60.

I was genuinely worried that he'd play too much of the new album, that he'd give in and play "Born in the USA" (a decidedly anti-American song that more often than not gets misconstrued as a second anthem), or that he'd slip a disc trying to jump up on the piano. But more than anything else, I was worried about how impossible it would be to jam everything from one of the band's legendary 3-hour performances into a 12-minute set. How would it come off on live TV? Would the entire enterprise wind up looking like a complete mockery of what a Springsteen show is supposed to be about?

As always, I should never have doubted the man.

From the opening sequence (loved the players introducing the band!) and the initial shot of Bruce and The Big Man reminiscent of the Born To Run cover, it was aparent that this was a show, not simply for network TV and to sell some albums, but a show geared at all of the die-hard fans as well. How else do you explain opening with "10th Avenue Freeze Out"? An absolutely perfect choice, a great way to introduce the band and to get the Miami Horns involved, and a tip of the cap to the fans who have been there since the beginning.

Even though they were forced to eliminate the second verse from every track, the songs still felt fresh and complete, and as raucous and rocking as ever. Born To Run blew the lid off the place, and I love the fact that they only played about 90 seconds worth of "Working on a Dream" (not exactly the best song off the new album). Finishing with "Glory Days" was a stroke of genius, and I literally received countless text messages and emails from Dotcomrades the world over, congratulating my dad for the prediction that he couldn't have nailed any more perfectly ("I had a friend was a big football player...").

The Boss literally threw the kitchen sink into these 12 minutes. Every single old school trick in the book was put on display: hopping on the piano; dropping to his knees and hopping back up on his tippy-toes (perfect foreshadowing for the Santonio grab); using the mic stand as... ahem... "leverage"; the old school "dick slide" into the camera (watching this in HD slo-mo was unquestionably one of the 5 funniest things I have ever seen); sharing the mic with Silvio; the guitar twirl at the end... The man did it all.

And sure, some of it was cheezy (the chicken fingers reference; the Hail Mary reference {displaying his complete lack of any football acumen whatsoever}; the referee calling the delay of game...). But the fact is, Springsteen recognizes the inherent cheeziness of playing the Superbowl halftime show, and rather than trying to fight it, he just ran with it. I guess if you're gonna go cheezy, you might as well go all the way. And I love the "I'm going to Disneyland!" at the end. If that doesn't indicate the man's ability to laugh at himself, nothing does.


Again, I hold the man to a different standard than most others. But I really couldn't have been happier with the way everything came off. And judging by the reactions of most of the other Springsteen fans I've heard from over the past two days (both die-hard and fairweather alike), I'd say that I'm not far off my assessment of Sunday's achievement as being the greatest in the history of Superbowl Halftime performances.