Saturday, September 10, 2016

Me and My Friends

Another Stormy Day

2:30 PM CDT

After looking ominous all morning, the skies finally opened up yesterday afternoon, giving us yet another noisy thunderstorm.

The weather folks on TV keep saying we've only gotten a normal amount of rain this summer, but it certainly seems like we've gotten more than our fair share.

I do know that I wouldn't have wanted to be a high school football player last night.
As it happens, last night was the annual rivalry game between Council Bluffs public high schools Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson. Despite a furious fourth quarter rally by TJ, AL won the game 41-33, their tenth consecutive win in the series.

"Wow! Sounds like the 'Jackets played their tails off!"

In the second half, they absolutely quit in that team...

Home Cooking

While a couple of college football teams I follow are traveling today, most of them get to play at home.

Having lost at home last Saturday to in-state rival Northern Iowa,
the Iowa State Cyclones hit the road today for their other in-state rivalry game, versus the 16th-ranked
Iowa Hawkeyes at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City.

My best friend Skip's Penn State Nittany Lions are also on the road to play in-state rival Pitt. The two teams have not played each other since the 2000 season.

All of the other teams for which I root (Notre Dame, Air Force, Army, and Navy) play
at home today. Notre Dame is hoping to bounce back from its overtime loss to Texas
on Sunday night, while the service academy teams are all 1-0 for the first time in many, many years.

"I'm taking off for awhile. Watching you watch football is too stressful."

I'm not that bad...

Happy Birthday!

Buck anchored the Chiefs defense in Super Bowl IV

On September 10, 1940 Junious Buchanan was born in Gainesville, Alabama. His family eventually moved to Birmingham, where Buck Buchanan was a standout athlete in both football and basketball during his high school years.

Buck went on to play football for legendary coach Eddie Robinson at Grambling College in Louisiana, and in 1963 chose to sign with my beloved Kansas City Chiefs of the AFL, who made him the first overall pick (he wasn't picked by an NFL team until the 19th round of their league's draft that year).

Buck was a key part of the Chiefs for thirteen seasons, including two Super Bowl teams and the 1969 World Champions. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1990 and the College Football Hall of Fame in 1996. The Chiefs retired his number 86 prior to his death in 1992.

Nice Try, Kid

From the droll comic strip Zits, by Jerry Scott and Jim Borgman, which you should read every day, as I do.

Until Next Time...

Most of the rock music from the '80s that I still listen to regularly today was produced
by two guitarist-driven bands: Peter Buck's R.E.M., and Mark Knopfler's Dire Straits.
The latter showed up first, in late 1978, but disbanded just as the '90s were getting started, while the former continued touring and recording from 1980 until 2011.

Dire Straits may well have been the biggest band in the world in 1985, following the release of their fifth studio album, Brothers in Arms. That recording spent nine weeks at the top of the Billboard 200 Albums chart, and was a major hit worldwide. It received nine platinum certifications from RIAA, won two Grammy Awards, and is one of the best-selling albums in history, its sales matching such all-time classics as The Beatles' Abbey Road, Pink Floyd's The Wall, and Bruce Springsteen's Born in the U.S.A.

After a grueling world tour in support of the album, Knopfler decided to take a break from the band and concentrate on some solo projects, including film scoring. The band remained apart until 1991, when they finally regrouped for what turned out to be their
last hurrah together.

On September 10, 1991 the band released it's final studio album,  
On Every Street, and although it did well commercially, peaking at No. 12 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart and earning a platinum certification from RIAA, its sales were considered disappointing in the wake of the 9x platinum Brothers in Arms.

The album produced three singles which did well on Billboard's Mainstream Rock chart, including "Heavy Fuel," which reached No. 1, but none of them cracked the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart.

Dire Straits launched an intensive world tour in support of On Every Street, but when the tour ended in October 1992 so did the band. The six-year hiatus (and Knopfler's continued interest in solo projects) proved to be too much to overcome.

It might be just a coincidence, but my two favorite songs on the album are both mournful tales of frustrated romantic desires, the title track and "You and Your Friend." On the latter track especially, Knopfler's tasteful, evocative playing is just the sort of thing I dream of myself playing when I pick up one of my own guitars.

Today's send-off is the 1996 remastered version of "You and Your Friend," from the band's YouTube channel. Enjoy...

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