Thursdays With Raider: Episode 16 Homo-Erotic Saxaphonist


MAC Starts this week…

Wouldn’t it be remiss if I didn’t start this week with NBC’s Olympic coverage.  Seriously, I would like to sit in a room with the braintrust who thought up the idea that we’d like to watch the Olympics as if it was 1952.  I mean these geniuses are shocked that people want to watch events live and are amazed to learn that we can find out what happened right away.  How do these idiots not get it?

It’s like the genius at HBO who said that things like Netflix and Hulu were flukes and that people would soon return to cable TV the way it was.  And that why we have to wait a year for the True Blood season.

As for the Olympics themselves, a few thoughts.

– Team Handball needs to be a thing in this country.  I really think people will be into it.

– I have a super-crush on Hope Solo.

– I would find basketball more interesting if we sent an under 23 team like Stern wants.

– Finally, they have 100,000 condoms for the Olympic village, because in Sydney they had 70,000 and ran out.  It seems all these good looking young kids, compete in their sport and then spend the rest of the time randomly hooking up with other good looking young kids.  I don’t really know how to finish it.

I look forward to your opinions.

As for the rest of the world.  I spent the last week dealing with the effects of the stomach flu.  So good times.  If my conclusion last week was a bit short, I apologize.

But now college and NFL camps have opened.  Do you have any thoughts there.  I saw a tweet about Phillip Rivers being very accurate on the first day in seven on seven passing drills.  If only the NFL was seven on seven passing drills, Phillip Rivers would be a God.

I’ve drank both the Jordan Wynn and Peyton Manning Kool Aid hard.  Which one do you think will break my heart more?

Finally, do you think that deal for Zack Greinke made for the Angels will be enough?

So many question?

RAIDER’S Response

Before I start my initial salvo, I would like to mention that my nephew Garrett turned 1 this weekend.  Now, per your point last week about kids simply not playing football in future years, I have to wonder that, since football is ingrained enough in American culture, how many people will simply move to Wyoming where football could be played by youngsters?  And hey, it might be enough for Kelly Walsh to win a state title.  Ha ha!

(Sorry, old taunts die hard).

I’m not sure people realize this because people have very poor memories, but NBC has been screwing up the Olympics practically from the moment they started airing them, which was the Seoul Olympics in 1988.  And even before then, any Olympiad outside of North America has the exact same problem: you wanted to watch something live, but the Games are going on 12 hours away.  Unless you had some sort of Little Oprhan Annie secret decoder ring, you waited until NBC aired primetime coverage.

Forgive the sympathy for the devil here, but I think from simply a business standpoint, NBC finds itself in a bit of a pickle:

–NBC overpaid to get the Olympics and overpaid by a lot.  To recoup that conventionally, they need to air something during primetime, where confiscatory ad rates can be charged to their clientele.

–Its Daylight Savings, so London would be on UTC +1.  We here in Utah are at UTC -6, which means that I’m not convinced that swimmers, gymnasts, sprinters, pole vaulters, etc. are going to want to compete starting at 1 in the morning just so American viewers can watch this sort of thing as it happens.  (Yes, I had to nerd up your blog to prove my point.  My bad.)

–Advertisers probably won’t want to pay the confiscatory ad rates I mentioned above at 3 in the afternoon when people are working or at 3 in the morning when people are doing whatever it is that goes on at 3 in the morning.  (I’ve heard nothing good ever happens at that hour of the morning).

–Besides, the Olympics attract a lot of female viewers who a) don’t watch a lot sports, b) don’t really care if it’s live or not, c) don’t fully realize what a truly magical place the Internet is.  Do you know that some women use the internet for things like exchanging recipes, telling other women that they look gorgeous even though they probably don’t mean it, and shopping for clothing?  What a waste of broadband!

One thing I did ponder after the 2010 Winter Olympics besides how long I could stay mad at Sidney Crosby for scoring the gold medal winning goal against Team USA was how the hell ESPN and ABC didn’t snag the Olympics away from NBC.  My guess is that ESPN already has NBA and college basketball to air during the winter games and if another summer games occur in September (as I suspect Rio de Janiero will in 2016), I’m not about to watch teenage gymnasts over whatever Big 10 school we ought to be playing four years from now.

And I do concur, Hope Solo gets my full endorsement.  One could even say she’s my type–yes, one of you wiseacres will say that “female” is my type and that is definitely true.  But in particular I love tall women and unfortunately for me, I’m not tall.  Such is life, I presume.

For my own sake if nothing else, I’m going to intimate that Manning will be the mania that may be more heartbreaking but it did get me to thinking.  Assume for a moment that either a) Tebow doesn’t get blown out against New England or b) he finds a way to win that one and lose close to Baltimore in the AFC Title game.  Is Peyton Manning a Bronco?  Would that result have given you and the other patrons at your local honky tonk a reason to think that they could win a title with Tebow?  Or are you in line with my observation and believe that their defense played well enough to keep them around and certainly better than they did in 2010?

My thing with Wynn is that I don’t have that high of expectations for him for whatever reason.  Maybe it’s the way his career began, coming out of the bullpen for Terrence Cain during the Wyoming game in 2009, and that he wasn’t another Alex Smith or Brian Johnson or for that matter another Mike McCoy.  We aren’t Florida where we can go from Shane Matthews to Danny Wuerffel without any real incident.  I do believe reasonable people can debate whether or not Jordan should have been redshirted in 09 and we just go ahead and stick with Cain for the duration of that season.  But I also wonder if reasonable people can be found in our fan base about a debate like this.

Nice work on the part of the Halos in getting Greinke, but I must warn you and other Angels fans, beware of the Ides of Philly.  With the notable exception of Cole Hamels, the Phillies starting rotation at the outset of the past few seasons have consisted of free agents, namely Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee.  However, for now anyway, this ought to make the Angels a contender in the AL.  They may not be better than the Yankees, but on paper anyway, they’re better than the A’s and whatever the top of the AL Central will throw at you.  They ought to have the pitching and the talent to at least have a shot at the Rangers, but in any event, I think the AL will come down to one of three teams this year: the Angels, the Rangers and the Yankees.  So good on you, OC!

The opposite of that coin, of course, is the Brewers who basically blew up their entire farm system to try and win a World Series last season.  And they would have had it too if it weren’t for those meddling Cardinals.  But could you imagine what would have happened if, say, the Giants would have sent 3 or 4 of our top prospects (off the top of my head, I’ll surmise Gary Brown, Heath Hembree, and either Tommy Joseph or Andrew Susac) to the Phillies for Hunter Pence?  I say this because a) the black and orange getting Pence was all the talk on Twitter in the Bay Area last night and b) it’s probably something that Brian Sabean would be stupid enough to attempt.

Speaking of the Bay, I will end this entry with a dose of perspective concerning the irritations of the SLC media, which have been detailed by both of us.  But then I look at the things that come out of the Macbooks of the Bay Area media and wonder if I’m truly the most normal person on the planet.  Check out this piece from a while back by the Santa Rosa Press Democrat’s very own Lowell Cohn:

If only he could cultivate and distribute that at Burning Man


There was so much there, its hard to know where to start.  But my first question is, isn’t Santa Rosa where the Vampires lived in The Lost Boys?  By the way, isn’t it amazing how un-tough we’re becoming as a society.  I mean The Lost Boys was kind of lame but it looks like The Shining compared to this Twilight crap.

Second, Golden State dumping the whole franchise to get Dwight Howard is something that I would be into.  Not not in the way this guy is, but just to watch the horrible train wreck.  It’s honestly why I’d like to see Orlando deal Howard to the Jazz.  First it forces Howard to play in Utah for a year.  Then the Jazz have a ton of cap space and Howard being a drama queen would act like he might resign.  Jazz fans would convince themselves of this happening.  The Howard goes to the Lakers  and we can sit back and watch the fun happen.

And if the train wreck happened in Golden State, I could enjoy it knowing that you as a Golden State fan will be unaffected because you’re used to pain.

As for NBC.  My thought is this.  Show the events live on NBC and your other networks and the interwebs.  Then call your prime-time show a “highlights” show.  I think as many people will watch because its late July/early August and there is nothing else on.  Marry the best of both worlds and stop pretending that its 1988.

But as I wrote today (Tuesday) on this here blog, are you starting to get a bit of a sinking feeling.  I know things happen to every team but we’ve now had an injury and a suspension of guys we need.  Maybe you’re dealing better because you have refrained from drinking the Kool-Aid.  Probably a good move.

Finally, I must ask, has Whataburger made it’s way to Utah yet?  They have a Green Chile Cheeseburger that must be eaten.  Plus they offer gravy as a sauce to dip your fries in.

Now Raider 

Let me address the Blechen suspension, because I did send a tweet recently about how if we have any inkling about running the table this season, losing Blechen for any amount of time, even if it only is for the nonconference games isn’t a good thing.  It’s not a bad thing since Blechen ought not to be the difference between winning and losing even against BYU, but overall I would just hope that everyone would simply calm down and give us 5 or maybe 10 years to figure out how things roll in this conference.  That more than anything is why I don’t have expectations that are terribly lofty.  And besides, it’s not like we have to go undefeated to make a BCS bowl game anymore, so if we have to be that one scrub team that goes 9-4 and makes the Rose Bowl I’ll take the money and run and I would hope that the athletic department would do the same.

The Giants did get Hunter Pence after all, and in terms of players traded to Philly, I’m not unhappy.  Whether it addresses the problems we have, such as what the hell we’re going to do at second base since Ryan Theriot is just making me angry right now, I have no idea.  Trust me, if I never wanted to have intercourse ever again and just felt content to keep score of every single Giants game until I’m 80, I’d be very tempted to charge Theriot with errors out of spite.  Yes, there isn’t a rule about spiteful errors, but I’m not about to make that stop me.

Forgive me for being realistic–since as a Warriors fan, I’m the one who would have to watch this debacle unfold before my very eyes–but would the Magic be (or would have been) stupid enough to accept a trade that included our finest amount of mediocrity for Howard?  Let’s assume for arguments sake that the Warriors ship David Lee–and his massive contract, Steph Curry, 4 or 5 first round picks on top of the pick we still have to give back to the Jazz and to make Lowell Cohn feel better, this year’s first round pick Harrison Barnes.  Why in the world would Howard end up on a team with a supporting cast that is decidedly worse than the one he had in Orlando?  And now that I mentioned it, didn’t the Jazz try trading for whatever it was they thought they needed with Rony Seikaly back in the day?

(Don’t get mad at me for mentioning that, Jazz fans.)

Last summer, I went to Whataburger while on vacation in Galveston.  I’d never been to such a place and the problem I always have when it comes to more regional types of places like Whataburger is that I get into a hurry and just order something typical and mundane.  So the next time I’m in Whataburger World, I’ll have to try it, as I’m as convinced as you are that most anything with green chile on it is worth a try.  As this is the culinary paragraph of this week’s episode, for those of you in Salt Lake, I think I had the best BBQ I have had at Pat’s Barbeque.  Trust me on this, and know that I wouldn’t steer you wrong when it comes to something as life and death as where to eat brisket.

I’ve never seen “The Lost Boys”, seeing as how I was all of six years old when that movie came out in theaters.  But I did find out that Jami Gertz had a role in that film, so based on that, I will dig for it on Netflix.  And you probably know me well enough by now to know why I mention a woman for any nonspecific reason.

Back to MAC

I present to you the concert scene from The Lost Boys.  It is so magnificently 80’s that it makes me feel so warm and fuzzy inside.  Perm-mullets, lace and frills, big hair, it is amazing.  And I don’t know why it was, but in the 1980’s no one thought there was anything homo-erotic about that lead singing sax player.

See as being a bit of a child of the 80’s, I see a chick with big hair and a part of me digs it.

The Jazz fascinate me as a franchise.  Never has a franchise worked so hard at remaining mediocre.  Their two picks that nearly launched them to a title were a white guy that they love and Karl Malone who just as easily could have blown up badly.  Then they surround them with guys like Byron Russell and think adding someone like Luther Wright is what will bring it all home.  Or not.  Someone should write a book, “Seeking Mediocrity: The Utah Jazz in the Larry Miller era.”

Yeah, Arizona is a unique place in that it has a real crossroads of regional fast food, such as In-N-Out and El Pollo Loco to Popeye’s and What-a-burger.  Hell we even have a Waffle House here.  Combine that with liquor at Costco and an over abundance of attractive women and it is a very solid state.  Even the crazies are entertaining.  You haven’t lived till you’ve seen Sherriff Joe Arpaio threaten to fight a protestor when he is actually there to give an endorsement.

Have you given any thoughts to a visit to Tempe in the fall?  Maybe Arizona St. girls would find you charming and witty.

I also saw that the Angels have whacked Texas hard for two games.  As long as the Rangers can’t make that deal for King Felix, I think the Angels just might have this one.

Finally on to the Blechen suspension.  First, I want to punch guys in the head who get weed suspensions near the season.  I’m not judgy but damn it shows you’re just being a dumb-ass.  And I’d like him not to be a dumb-ass.  At least he’ll be back for Arizona St. As long as he doesn’t keep being a dumb-ass.  Sorry to go all Red Foreman there.

I mean it’s not like alcohol.  If you know you’re going to get tested for weed in a few weeks, STOP SMOKING WEED.  And if you keep doing it, you’re a dumb-ass.  Also since it hasn’t been stated publicly, all of this about weed smoking is prefaced by the word alleged.

And Finally Raider

Maybe I’m wet behind the ears, but didn’t we go through about 15 years or so where popular culture just couldn’t help but indulge in homo-eroticism?  I ought to watch that a few times because Jami Gertz distracted me the first time I watched it.  What can I say, I give into that particular kind of temptation.

I just had a random Olympic thought.  We have now arrived at the 20th anniversary of the Dream Team and I want to see what you would think about a Team USA that would have a starting five that looks something like this:

C – Anthony Davis
F – Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
F – Tyler Zeller
G – Marcus Denmon
G – A “mid major” star either Isaiah Cannan or Doug McDermott

See what I did there?  Those are five of the best college players (or were before they got drafted) and I have to believe that a team like that might win a gold medal.  Think about it for a moment.  What do we really have to prove in the Olympics by having Lebron, Wade, Durant, Westbrook, Kobe, etc. destroying everybody?  Quite often in the wide world of sports, less is more, and I now surmise that Team USA could prove a lot more by beating the rest of the world with college players.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I have no qualms about picking a random Olympiad down the road and just destroying everyone with a Dream Team and maybe that could be worked out with the IOC.  Once every couple of decades we assemble the best NBA players and just beat everyone 157-40 every game.

It’s fascinating for me to see this Red Foreman side of you, but I was thinking when I wrote my last email.  How would McBride have handled Blechen in a situation like this?  I’m sure Urban would have not only suspended him for half the season but would have made him walk from the Block U to somewhere in Draper and back just to show him that if you’re going to smoke the chronic, don’t do it during or just before fall camp.  I mean, it’s just basic common sense.  However, this would have to be a departure for every coach before Mac because it would have meant “hey, we have someone with a semblance of talent, smoke all the dope you want!”

Besides moving the Jazz to somewhere more tropical, I don’t have any idea what you’d do to make them relevant again.  Drafting and searching for two guys like Stockton and Malone seems like an exercise in futility.  That was such a once in a lifetime opportunity for that team and maybe if a lockout hadn’t occurred before the 1999 season they may have won it all.  I don’t think it’s a market size issue because San Antonio isn’t that much bigger of a city than Salt Lake, unless it is and then my argument is completely shot.  But the Spurs have a handful of titles and no one has ever accused them of being a “big market” team, so there is that.

Before I wrap this up, what are you saying about ASU girls finding me charming and witty?  Do you think that women don’t find me charming and witty and that I could definitely hoodwink the women of The Arizona State University?  I know I’m not much to look at and I’m socially awkward, but I don’t see why that would prohibit me from dating on a more frequent basis with reasonably attractive kinds of women…

..Oh, wait, yeah I do.  Never mind.