Friday, June 19, 2009

It Still Hurts

Today, one week after Detroit's 2-1 loss in game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals to the Penguins, I'm still upset about it. I'm bitter, I'm angry, I'm sucking on vines of sour grapes.

Of course, being a vocal Wings fan, I now have to endure the many, many comments from all the customers that I deal with daily. Having basked in the glory that was my team winning only a year ago, I now must bask in the humiliation of my team losing to the very team they beat in 2008.

I think the reason I'm so upset this year is that I truly believe that the Wings are the better team. They didn't play like it, and the team that played better won, but the team that played better was not the better team.

I won't make excuses about reffing, fatigue or injuries. The Red Wings SHOULD have won this series, and they didn't, despite have 2-0 and 3-2 leads.

That's what hurts most of all.

I was upset that the Ducks pushed us to seven games, because I don't believe, still, that they were good enough to do that. It wasn't their doing, we LET them do it.

And it's the same story with the Penguins. Don't get me wrong, they are a great young team, and they have successful years in front of them. But they shouldn't be in those years yet. We are still the cream of the league, and we didn't prove it.

Perhaps that is what bothers me the most. That everyone out there now thinks that Pittsburgh was, is the better team, and that is just so misguided. They won the cup, deservedly so, in a seven game series.

But the better team allowed them to win.

And no one out there will realize that.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Pre-Game Blog

Someone very special to me asked me to write a pre-game blog tonight.
But, I haven't written a pregame blog yet this year. And that means, not writing pre-game blogs may be helping the Wings win, so I can't start now.

But, I figure, I should be able to write about something non-hockey related.

I could write about the Jays, or about the Balisille situations.

However, I think I'll go out and write about something completely un-sports related.

How about that other obsession of mine, The Beatles.

I love The Beatles. This would be an opportune time to mention that Paul McCartney (my favourite of the Beatles) appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine holding a guitar with a Red Wings logo on it. An opportune time indeed, but that could almost be considered hockey related.

So I'll just show a picture instead.

About 7 years ago, a friend of mine sat me down in his room, and made me listen to Abbey Road, from beginning to end. Now, I had heard The Beatles before, of course, and had liked them, but I had never appreciated them like I would begin to that night in some overly purple apartment just off the east Danforth.

I sat and listened, really listened, to the vocals, the lyrics, the guitars, the bass, the drums, everything.

And it hit me just the right way. It possessed its way across the room from the speakers, into my ears, and settled it's way deep into my heart.

From, "Here come old flattop," to "Someday I'm gonna make her mine," Abbey Road became, is still, and, I assume, will remain my favourite album until the day I die.

The rebellious Come Together, the interminably romantic Something (which Frank Sinatra called the greatest love song ever written), the jarring and harsh I Want You (She's So Heavy), the incredibly beautiful and melodious Here Comes the Sun, the amazingly constructed medley's, and the sweetest 23 seconds in musical history in Her Majesty (a special girl's favourite Beatles song) all combine to make this the finest recording ever, in my humble opinion.

But my favourite, absolute favourite Abbey Road song, and therefore my favourite Beatles song, and therefore my favourite all time song ever, is Oh Darling!

It's a desparate song of a man, begging his love not to leave him, claiming that when he heard she was going to leave him, he, "...nearly fell down and died."

The lyrics are simple, nothing to write home about.

No, my friend, this song is all about the performance.

The piano plays the main tune, rarely in a minor chord, yet sounding minor the whole time. It, like the singer, is nervous, yet in control, but loses itself as it reaches the chorus, where it crescends into a frenetic pounding of the highest keys. The guitar, most likely the instrument that would be remembered after the first listening, thrashes a hard chord every few beats, adding to the desparation of the sound, then plays a somehow disjointed, but perfect riff during the chorus. The bass is haunting, sliding around, but then plummeting to the lowest of notes, hitting bottom, as it were, with the singer. The backing vocals present themselves as a pleading wail, while being harmonious at the same time. As the song builds to the chorus, all the instruments join together to hammer 24 hard beats, leading you to a man who's lost all composure. As though the man himself had lost control and is punching a wall or something else in frustration. Yet, he twice catches himself, and the song returns to the pleading calmness we saw in the first verse. However, he twice again falls into all out begging as the chorus replays itself.

The real thing here, though, is the lead vocals. While Lennon said he could have done it better (idiot) this is McCartney's finest vocal performance ever. He says that he practiced the song at least ten times before recording, to try and really capture the strained sounds of his voice. He begins his argument with his lady, trying to calmly, rationally and logically tell her that if she stays with him, he'll "never do her no wrong," but as the chorus hits, the singer has lost it, and screams with that incredible feeling we've all had where we've lost composure, we're making no sense, grasping at straws, saying things that will never work, realizing everything we're saying is the wrong thing, which forces us only to become more irrational and desparate.

McCartney scream/sings like no one else can, and that ability is on full display here.

So, without further ado, I present my favourite Beatles song, Oh Darling! Listen to it again, and again. Each time you do, try and listen to a different part, whether it be the bass, the backing vocals, or just McCartney's performance. It is truly why The Beatles are my favourite band.


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Datsyuk's My Kind of Guy

Exerpt from an article over at Yahoo Sports:

Datsyuk, a center, sounded as if he’s willing to fit in anywhere to assist.

“Wing, center, defenseman, I want to play so bad,” he said. “I don’t want to watch this game again.”

How has he coped with watching?

I take in lots of beer,” the Russian said.

Atta boy, Paul!

Another article from Yahoo, this one on the baseball side of things, about Randy Johnson - The Man, The Pitcher.

Best quote, from former team mate, Orlando Hudson, on the misconception that Johnson is not the friendliest of guys-

"You know, Randy’s a good dude, man.”

I guess I just expected a bit more of a poetical tongue from the man nicknamed 'O-Dawg.'