Thursdays With Raider- Bang The Drum Slowly (Sunday Edition)


(This is over a week late and all my fault.  Its been a busy week and this piece takes a little bit of time to edit because of its nature so I let it go.  Its a shame because its one of our better ones.  Please Enjoy.)


I despise green beans.

Whenever dinner time rolled around when I was younger, my Mom would make a whole bunch of awesomeness–pot roast, mashed potatoes with gravy, corn bread and water, because we weren’t allowed to drink soda–and then defile the whole thing by cooking green beans.  Now, I’m sure the vast majority of you really like green beans, but I don’t.  They’re the rubberiest, slimiest, most disgusting way to get one of your four basic food groups.  I’m reasonably certain that when one arrives in hell, there will be plates of green beans as far as the eye can see.  But being a parent, I had to eat every last damn one of them before I could do anything else.  The Giants could be playing the Dodgers and I have to go up to my room to tune in KNBR by 7:30 for the pre-game show, but I had to eat every last damn one of those green beans before I left the kitchen because according to my Mom it would “put hair on my chest”.  As much as I am certain that wasn’t the case, Science! typically got overruled by “well, I’m the mother!”

(Come to think of it, my Mom still says that to me and I’m 32 years old.)

But something about the whole ditching the drum and feather and not being called the Utes made me think of my green bean agitation of yore.  I despise thinking about it, talking about it, eating while thinking and talking about, the whole thing has been up there with the “three sports topics I hate discussing”.   That also goes for the very people who brought the subject up in the first place, who comprise the media folks in this town who cover this school and its athletics.  Since you wrote your opinion piece on the topic, allow me to add a few more points of emphasis.

1. As my comment in that blog entry stated, I have a bad feeling about a potential new name.  It isn’t due to any sort of tradition surrounding being called the Utes, but rather what we may be called instead.  Red-tailed Hawks would be less offensive to some, but that doesn’t roll off the tongue.  Any time I think of the Moose, I think of the Mariner Moose, and while that would make a great mascot, I still think it is incredibly cheesy.  Red Rocks should remain with the women’s gymnastics team.  Crimson would be very Stanford of us–or more accurately, very Harvard of us.    So for the life of me, I don’t know what one would call us if we are no longer the Utes.

2. Speaking of that, what will we say after we are done signing Utah Man?  Screw the Y seems so 1988 of us.

3. How come no one ever mentions the fact that my intelligence is insulted every time some yay-hoo who may or may not be from around here says “oh, you guys are the two Utes from ‘My Cousin Vinny'”?  I hate that movie…not as much as I hate green beans, but that is a special kind of hate.  I’m talking a Tommy Lasorda and Marty Schottenheimer kind of hate.

Lets talk about other stuff:

–the Warriors finally beat the Spurs last Friday, and that is another notch on the bedpost for this season.  We beat the Heat in Miami, OKC at home and now the Spurs.  Let this be a lesson to you Jazz fans out there.  Treading water in this league is the worst position to be in.  Frankly, it’s worse than being a perennial doormat like we have been for the better part of two decades.  Unless you have a bonehead for a GM, like we had with Larry Riley, you can do just fine if for one season you have a whole bunch of ping pong balls in New Jersey somewhere.  Getting a number one overall pick to play here is a different topic, but you have to restart somewhere.

–I don’t watch the Oscars much anymore, and it all stems from my TV career.  Back in my Reno days, I was in master control (for you laypeople, I am the guy responsible for making sure commercials air when they’re supposed to) for the longest Academy Awards in history.  I was all of 21 years old and scared out of my mind when acceptance speeches were yammering on too long and we are already one hour over.  So I am making frantic calls to our news director, sales manager, general manager, and possibly Alcoholics Anonymous since I was certain to go on a major bender after work.  Well, the decision was made to air everything after the Oscars in its entirety, which meant that we wouldn’t hit our 11pm news until 12:40 am.  I am fortunate that our production crew didn’t want to go kill me just to watch me die.  When in Reno…

–Speaking of the Oscars, when will you all realize that this is Jack Nicholson’s world and we are just mere occupants?  You, mere plebeian, can’t do this.  Jack can.  Don’t hate the player, hate the game.


–Though you didn’t ask, I’m going to reveal the next great Giant to come up through the minors that you random baseball fans will soon learn about and that is one Gary Brown.  He is an outfielder out of Cal St Fullerton, was the 2011 California League Player of the Year.  Don’t be surprised if he is the one who will have the awesome responsibility of patrolling Triples Alley at AT&T Park for the foreseeable future.  Oh, and before you all say “what about Kyle Crick or Heath Hembree or Chris Stratton”, just calm down.  I’m not going to get minor league baseball nerd all over a good friend’s blog.

–My fiancée and I are selecting Disneyland for our honeymoon, and nothing would make me happier than a 30 second spot of my own with a voice over guy that says “RaiderUte, you just got married after 32 years, what are you going to do next?”  “I’m going to Disneyland!”


I suppose I’ll have to take this in reverse order.  Now this isn’t to dissuade your choice of Honeymoon destinations but, if Hell is an individualized experience, mine will in fact be Disneyland.  I already feel for my son and the yet to be determined sex of my unborn child (yes number two is on the way for those of you scoring at home, don’t tell my in-laws because they don’t know yet) because I’ll never go back there.  Maybe you can take them.  There is a Shakey’s Pizza nearby, so I recommend that.

I assume the Nicholson video is the one with Jennifer Lawerence.  It’s since been pulled down do I’ll hope to find another copy that we can post when this goes to video.  But here is a great Nicholson story.  At the Batman wrap party some hot chick walks up and says, “Want to dance.”  Nicholson looks at her and says, “wrong verb.”  Which I think is the coolest line I’ve ever heard and never quite had the nads to use.

As for the Utah Jazz.  I’ve come to the belief that they are done as a competitive franchise.  Oh they’ll live in that six-seven seed area, and maybe steal a first round playoff victory, but any idea that they’ll ever be in the mix should be forgotten.  And there is one reason, Greg Miller doesn’t care about winning, he cares about making money.  He won’t spend what it would take to compete.  And if Utah fans ever caught on to this little ruse and stopped showing up, well he’d just sell the team out of town.  BRING THEM ON OUT HOW BOUT YOUR LAS VEGAS JAZZ.

That said as I return to NBA fandom next year with the Sonics, its amazing to realize how very bad they’ll be.  But their a number one pick away from being great, and that is what sucking brings you, a chance to be good again.  Something your Warriors know and the Jazz never will.

The mascot thing does sort of suck, but at the end of the day I think the business people are right, you have to be able to control your brand.  And as long as that control rests with a Council who thinks they should get a chunk of Pac-12 money to make it ok to put sacred Ute symbols on my wife’s and perhaps your girlfriend’s thongs, well, you have a problem.  I have no doubt they’ll not do the transition well, but there is probably no way to do the transition well.  So what ya gonna do.

Finally, while I’m sure you haven’t been and that’s not a slam because no one goes beyond our friend J-Dart, the Lady Ute Hoopsters are having the best Pac-12 season of all our sports not named gymnastics.  A solid sixth place finish is in store and that might be Women’s NIT range if there is a Women’s NIT.  So I thought I’d show them a little love here.

Now Back At Ya.


Okay, here is video that won’t get pulled from YouTube of Jack hitting on Jennifer Lawrence:

Now I know what a lot of you must be thinking. In just about any other circumstance, this is a little off putting and maybe even creepy.  But this is the master showing all of you apprentices out there just how to flirt with a woman.  It took me until I was about 30 years old to get this through my head.  On the surface, Jennifer seems a little unnerved by the whole proceeding, but I am reasonably certain if you asked 10 random women out there, at least seven of them will be at least moderately curious.  Relax and take notes, youngsters in the dating scene.

Bear in mind with this clip that ABC’s George Stephanopolous could have destroyed a teachable moment by trying to strike up a conversation with him.  A simple “I just work here” remark would have sufficed, George.

I haven’t been to Disneyland since I was in elementary school, but I do find it a little strange that my future wife is from Southern California and doesn’t consider the place to be a major tourist trap, sort of the way a lot of Wyomingites think of Yellowstone and Jackson Hole.  Still, the youthful disappointment of wanting to go on the Pirates of the Carribean ride and the fact it was closed due to renovation really hurt.  This was a few short months before Bo blew out his hip and the Raiders lost 51-3 in the AFC championship game, so the “get used to disappointment” was another lesson I probably should have learned early on but didn’t.  Oh, well.

You mention what will be your new NBA team and I was talking with a coworker of mine about basketball and the Kings situation in Sacramento and I could not bite my tongue when I said it, “be careful what you wish for, because it could just as easily happen here”.  While I don’t think that Vegas would ever happen even in an NBA without David Stern, I can definitely see it happening in my lifetime.  (I would love to find out how it wont from Jazz fans out there, in all seriousness).  And not to be a wet blanket but I think the current Kings/future Sonics are a lot further away than one may realize.  I for one can’t convince myself that DeMarcus Cousins and Tyreke Evans are going to be the building blocks for so little as a playoff team.  Maybe I’m wrong?

Speaking again of Sacramento–and this is from a few tweets from my buddy Keith who is a good Twitter pal of mine, follow him at @KSJ49–they never recovered from their game 7 loss to the Lakers in the 2002 Western Conference Finals.  If the Kings win that game, the Maloofs get a new arena right downtown Sacramento, life is beautiful and the Kings stay in Sacramento.  That to me is a much more significant stomach punch than MJ playing hungover in the 1997 Finals.


But as this salvo would hand it off to you, how do you think the Utah Warriors would sound?  I know, I have taken this trolling Jazz fans thing a little too far, bu


The thing about Jack is that he just owns the cool.  I mean honestly if you found out he nailed Jennifer Lawerence later that night, would you be shocked?  It’s like Clooney.  One of my favorite Clooney stories involves Lauren Graham who was on Gillmore Girls and is now on Parenthood, you may know her from Bad Santa.  Anyway she was on Letterman and was talking about how someone from Clooney’s office called her.  She thought that Clooney might be asking her out and that was how he did it.  Like he just had people to put women through pre-interviews.  It turns out he was just a fan of Gillmore Gilrs  and wanted something signed.  But the lesson is Lauren Graham was totally prepared to sleep with Clooney.

It took me too long to realize this in life, but flirting with and attempting to get women, you need to be like a relief pitcher.  You get up, throw your best stuff and if it doesn’t work, just let it go and throw the next day.  You have to have a short memory.  Of course keeping one takes an entire other skill set.  I found a good one and have chosen to keep knocking her up, each child makes it a little harder to get rid of me.  You may see fit to proceed differently.

May I ask where in So Cal is she from.  Because if she’s from the OC and still likes Disneyland, well that’s troubling.  Is she from like Barstow or Bakersfield, well thats like being from Wyoming with heat, so I get why she would.  As for your choice, well a lot of Wyoming kids dig Disneyland.  I did till I lived down there and every person we ever sort of knew came to visit, stay with us and I was forced to make one more death march through the place.

Imagine how history is changed if the Blazers make 3 shots in game 7 in 2000 and then Sacramento doesn’t choke away game 7 in 2002?  That takes away two of the Kobe-Shaq titles.  What do you think would have happened?
What about Utah Saints, only we embrace a whole bunch of Catholic imagery and use it in really offensive ways.  Or we honor the ABA team and go to Utah Stars.  Honey Badger?


To me, going with most anything religious would be way too cliched and obvious.  But if one insists on going there, I will play along.  I often call upon the assistance of readers out there, and for this one I will solicit the opinion of any and all LDS Ute fans.  What if we called ourselves the Lamanites?  Surely, no harm could come from that, could it?

(Whether you love it or hate it, feel free to chime in in the comments below.  Thank you for your support).

I will discuss this further next week, but I have some initial reaction to Alex Smith going to the Chiefs.  From KC’s standpoint, I suppose they could get a lot better very quickly, but that just seems like a lot to give up for a guy the Niners couldn’t wait to dispose of.  I know the Carson Palmer Panic of 2011 comes to mind with this, but get this: Palmer actually threw for 4,018 yards this past season.  There is something very Baghdad Bob about that, but I will save the for another paragraph.  Alex may not have to throw for that kind of yardage to make them relevant, but I just don’t see how carrying on the Chiefs tradition of getting ex-49er QBs is going to work this time.

This story also kept me from really discussing the possibility of Mike Holmgren taking a front office job with the Raiders.  Once that story gets a little more traction, I might have to pen the bad feeling that gives me with a few egos too many in Alameda.  At least Al was one guy.  Maybe it will work, but I need time before I go into a whole Holmgren relationship thing.

My fiancée is from Chino, which I believe is in the 909 area code of SoCal.  That reminds me of a piece of the Jim Rome show that caught my attention, and it had to do with the 909 vs the 949.  If there were a Salt Lake version of this, it would probably be something like Daybreak or Herriman, which are nice, and having the Avenues or Cottonwood Heights look down upon them.

Forgive me for getting at least a little sentimental, but any time I say something stupid or I belch in front of polite company it’s a very satisfying feeling to have a lady in your life just facepalm and say “only you, dear”.  If that isn’t true love, I don’t know what is.