The Coronavirus Concerts, Part 2

The Coronavirus Concerts deserved a full encore, so here it is. The first Coronavirus Concerts were about breaking new ground & figuring out how to do it– in a new era. With that knowledge & experience already in hand, this follow-up was captured in only a few hours. Part 2 probably flows better as a program from start to finish, because this time I knew what I was doing from the start.

As a production note, you need to be your own cameraman & director to do this. This is about being totally responsible for sound, lighting & your appearance. After the performance is captured, you must upload it to a computer & get it online with everything labeled & thumb-nailed correctly. Then marketing & promotion… Don’t worry, I couldn’t do it all at first either.

For me the performances are the easy part. This time it’s mostly my songs, with only three covers out of the fifteen songs. This shows I can play either way, covers or originals, all night long while keeping it strong. Fugazi used to call it “throwing down.” It’s good to be able to throw down.

I intentionally featured songs that haven’t been made into official videos already. Therefore songs like “Talented”, “Sugarcoat”, “Ridiculous”, “DDSeuss”, “Sun-Wind-Bird”, etc., aren’t covered here. Perhaps if/when I do Part 3. The format is the same, with the video posted above, followed by a description below.

“Self Made” is one of the first songs I ever wrote. When you start songwriting in the rock genre, you’re going for 3-minute rockers & anthems. I throw in a Modern Lovers “Roadrunner” lick at the end in that spirit.

“Problem Solved” is a favorite for women. TomP & I never did any videos for Hwy 19 & Main St, so I’m glad to get this song officially up on YouTube. We were too busy doing Fully Covered.

“Just Because” has a much different feel on Electrified!, with the extra vocals. Here it’s pretty much a straight blues-boogie number, with my lyrical twists.

“You are my Brother” was inspired by the owner of Elijah’s café in Eustis, which doesn’t exist anymore. Back when I had my own dental practice, which also doesn’t exist anymore, I ate there frequently. Elijah would say to me, “You are my brother,” and then he would serve me his delicious food. Absolutely.

“Atheist Psalm” is an ambitious song, from an ambitious album. I deliver it about as well as I can here. People have strong feelings about this one, so I never played it to a live audience. But if provoked, I would have.

The full title to this song is “Crime in the City (Sixty to Zero Part I).” Neil Young was re-energized in the late-1980’s by grunge & alternative, and Freedom was a huge artistic comeback for him. This song is never played on the radio, or covered, but I say it’s the best song on this record. Rust Never Sleeps is my favorite Neil Young album.

“Weird Ideas” is one of my favorite Hwy 19 songs. I played it a few times live at a place called Norm’s in Mount Dora back at that time, and the yuppie audience would go blank on it. But the riff, which I stole from A Tribe Called Quest, gets in you head.

“Rolling Stoned” is always a crowd favorite. Understand that my live crowds consisted mostly of baby boomer classic rockers. My friend & colleague Bill Pelick ran an open-mic jam at a place called Pug’s in Eustis for years. It’s no longer there, but Bill would let me come out whenever I wanted and perform. I got three songs, and that was it. After a few times, I was well-known, so I started trying crazy new stuff like “DDSeuss” & “Haters Step Aside” on them. “Rolling Stoned” always got huge applause from an old-timer audience that typically sneers at originals.

“Working Class” is one of my favorite early songs. It’s tight, with punch, and this is a strong version, save for the fluff at the beginning of the guitar solo. I guess that proves this is really difficult, and the trick is making it look easy.

Being from Wisconsin, I’ve seen the BoDeans live three times, more than any other ‘name band’. “Dreams” was their big single from their second record, but this is from their first album, which are both Americana classics. Other famous Milwaukee bands include the Violent Femmes & Die Kreuzen.

“Anna Rex” is another song that obviously appeals to women. This may be the best song on Electrified!, with the talent we had on it. Here I have to use a slide to simulate Jessica Lynn Martens violin effect.

“The Birth of Song” is one of my favorites from Over & Out. It’s economical & elegant, like this description.

“Obvious” is one of my favorite early rockers from Magnified. I was thinking specifically of the Counting Crows, Hootie & the Blowfish, Dead-Eye Dick (who was being payola promoted on Orlando radio at the time), etc, when I wrote this song.

“Moneybug” is a riff copped from Wire’s “Straight Line.” I had a lot of help with this tight rocker on Electrified! Jessica Lynn Martens on violin & backing vocals. Craig Roy came up with a great bass line, and Tom Pearce hit the beats & then produced it. This is one I re-worked the lyrics on a lot over the years, so I don’t remember them completely here, because I haven’t played it in awhile. I don’t practice much anymore, I just play. That’s how it goes.

This is the first artist I’m repeating on my covers. On Fully Covered, I did “Down Payment Blues.” This one is also from Powerage, which along with Dirty Deeds, is my favorite AC/DC record. Bon & Malcolm are gone, so here’s the best version I can do.


The Coronavirus Concerts

Here’s my new cover album, self-recorded at home on an Amazon Fire. This is going to be the new (& live) music delivery model for awhile, so of course I’m leading the way. That’s what it means to be a revolutionary artist.

These videos are listed in the order they were recorded, with publishing info on YouTube. One general performance note: I wear sunglasses because these aren’t my songs. It’s impossible to sing someone else’s song completely honestly, hence the dark shades when I do covers for the camera. Each video is presented, followed with a blurb.

I loved this song since high-school, even though I didn’t know what it meant. This is the single from their debut album, released in 1969. Mott the Hoople was a deep band, and are have always been disrespectfully under-represented by classic-rock radio. My style is to keep it simple, so I cut out a lot of the jamming. BTW, if I’m doing MTH covers, then I can’t be credibly accused of anti-gay bias.

It’s really hard to do Eddie & Dave well, but this is a good try, I say. No way I can do Eddie’s guitar wizardry, so I play it as a simple blues number. I mess up the intro, and start again, but who cares– right? David Lee Roth was a genius in so many ways, as this song really isn’t about ice cream. Van Halen through 1984 were the greatest rock super-group ever. If you don’t cover them, then you don’t rock.

This is a really difficult song to barre on guitar and sing as a man, so I shortened it where I could. Being able to mimic the electronica feel is the tricky part. I really loved this song from the first time I heard it. It’s also the first song I ever downloaded on Napster. The rest of the CD wasn’t up to par for the $20 it cost (IMO), and 45 singles weren’t available anymore. That’s how Napster changed the internet back then. Getting back to Madonna, anyone who can get “zephyr” into meaningful song lyrics, is a artistic genius. Take that from someone who knows. I’ve gone toe-to-toe with Madonna on Facebook for a long time now, so I’m paying her my respect. Love

Final production note: This was the only song I recorded with a fan blowing on me. Like I already said, it’s an electronica-type song, so I thought I’d experiment with an electronic device. It mostly kept me cool, so I could sustain the vibe. Anyways, that’s the slight difference in fidelity from all the rest.

Remember when I said this was a cover album? I lied. I took the sunglasses off to perform this song is about payola. “P2P” is fun for me to play live (whenever I can get a show), observing so many blank expressions in the audience. You either get it, or you don’t. I ham it up a bit here, so you can get it easily. This is a punk-pop song.

I reviewed this album here already. This was their MTV single, and every female singer-songwriter today should know & play it. Tanya Donelly uses an androgynous voice in this song, so it’s fairly do-able for men. See & hear more my link.

Liz Phair was the musical girlfriend all us lonely college guys could listen to, back around Exile in Guyville. I’ve listened to her CD hundreds of times. Somewhere around this song, running through “Canary” & “Mesmerizing,” it becomes sublime. This is another songwriter every woman (& man) with a guitar & voice needs to respect. Otherwise you’re fake.

“Kararak” is from Electrified! The riff was copped from “The Ballad of the Green Berets,” with the lyrics turned around.

“Haters Step Aside” is from Hwy 19 & Main St. I’ve done it live a few times, and it always works great. Sometime the club pulls the plug on me before I can get to it, so here it is forever.

Fugazi was perhaps the tightest punk band ever. They were masters of songwriting, sound, production & packaging. I blogged about them here.

“Tubthumping” is a great single, so I have it in my covers playbook. It’s party, as well as defiance. Chumbawumba was much more than a one-hit wonder. They also do a version of “Hanging on the Old Barbed Wire,” which I cover below.

This is from Over & Out, and I’ve thumb-nailed an image from the liner notes. I try to do this as a beer drinking sing-along, so feel free to yell out when cued. I’ve always thought this was a catchy novelty song, so I’m resurrecting it here.

“Millennial Whoop” is our latest single, as Tom Pearce & I extensively collaborated on this one. I delivered the song, while TomP produced the hell out of it. Rachel Decker is the vocalist. We were going for a Beastie Boys feel, if you can dig it. Here, I strip everything away and give you a rap song straight on guitar & vocals.

“Hanging on the Old Barbed Wire” is a soldiers’ song from WWI, so it is public domain. It’s only four verses, but very powerful in it’s economy & accuracy.

This is my favorite Tom Waits song, from my favorite Tom Waits album. You really need sunglasses (& a capo) for a song like this, because there is no way you can completely get to Waits’ abstractions. That’s the kind of artist he is. Someone who relates, but is also unknowable.

There was a time when the only way you were going to hear the Sex Pistols was to go to the record store and buy the album. I remember when I did and put on side 1, and then “Holidays in the Sun” exploded out. “EMI” is the closing track to their classic debut, which never lets up.

I felt obliged to do this song. Woody Guthrie was perhaps the original singer-songwriter. Bob Dylan & Bruce Springsteen also have moving versions of this classic. Everyone from Neil Young to John Fogerty were deeply influenced by Woody Guthrie.

I will end when I began, with “Primary Colors.” The coronavirus concert encore is my latest anthem, recorded & published on March 20, 2020. I believe it caps the show off nicely, delivering a compelling new song for the times.

Program notes: All this was performed & put together in 3 days, from March 20-22, 2020. I never left my home to do any of it. Now that “quarantine” & “social distancing” have entered our lexicon, these performances prove that meaningful music can still be delivered to people everywhere. What it takes is talent & heart.


Coronavirus & Revolution

The stock & bond markets around the world have crashed. As of this publication, mid-afternoon EDT, Europe is paralyzed due to the coronavirus epidemic. China is starting to recover, but nothing is moving economically yet. Wherever it isn’t an epidemic, it’s a pandemic, waiting to become an epidemic. That’s because the nationalist governments of the world are unable to come up with any kind of scientific & coordinated response to this human disaster. History will remember coronavirus as the pin that popped the bubble of capitalism.

There are several things that are becoming increasingly clear as this global crisis unfolds. First is that our way of life is now changing forever. For those who are still working, many are doing it at home. For most of them, this is the way it should be, as texting, email & video conferencing no longer necessitate that management personnel meet in the same building. We have global warming, and this change for the better will cut down on unnecessary business meetings & travel, which under capitalism are almost always useless.

A second lesson that is being learned is that sports aren’t very important, in the big picture. These were the first activities that were shut down, when this coronavirus was spreading globally. Sports are an integral part of this fake economy which is meant to provide bread & circuses for the masses. But when things get tough, sports & entertainment get put on hold, as history collides with class forces.

Does anyone care what LeBron James or Jennifer Lopez have to say right now? The answer is no, because they have no expertise on the problem. All they know is what they are good at, so their opinions on anything else aren’t any better than anyone else who doesn’t know. So why are celebrities idolized & elevated so much? People staying at home have lots of time to think about stuff like this.

To take it a step further, it’s educational to go onto YouTube & watch any older version of your favorite sport(s), and observe how much better most leagues were in the past. Not that is was perfect back then (it wasn’t), but there were far less commercials, less exploding graphics, and less-annoying announcers. The contests were shorter, and more action-packed. The same holds true for Hollywood television & cinema being better in much of the 20th century, as compared to today. Since the old stuff is more entertaining, so why do we need all this new garbage? It’s progress to have this 24/7 fakery machine shut down.

The final truth here is that capitalism is responsible for this coronavirus pandemic, and unable to meet its challenges. US President Donald Trump has hopelessly poured trillions of dollars into the stock & bond markets to keep them afloat over the past two weeks, but to no avail. Any brief rise in the markets has been a “sugar high” from these injections of trillions, that quickly wears off as reality sets in. There are no markets left to trade in, because the global supply chains have collapsed. Thus it’s futile to throw money at the markets.

All this started in China in December 2019, with the coronavirus COVID-19 mutating in bats, then spreading to humans. The rest of the world’s governments had months to prepare for this contagion, but arrogantly & ignorantly refused to take it seriously. Now what do they have to say? The coronavirus denialists are now being shouted down everywhere, by the facts on the ground, and the workers who are on the front lines.

Every government’s policy is trillions more for the 0.01%, while the rest of us must face this coronavirus without mass testing & protection. Without testing, there can be no tracing, nor effective treatment & quarantine of the ill. It was bipartisan policy for the US government to reject WHO test kits over eight weeks ago, the most essential front-line tool for containing coronavirus.

You can’t fight what you can’t identify. US officials wanted “our” pharmaceuticals to make their own proprietary tests so they could profit handsomely, but the pandemic has spread too quickly. Today, we still don’t have mass testing for coronavirus in America. Democratic presidential hopefuls Joe Biden & Bernie Sanders only make excuses for this colossal failure. That’s how this two-party political system fails all of us.

What these parasites, strawmen & figurines have done to the world is unforgivable, and it won’t take long for the masses to realize this. Workers have bills to pay, with little-to-no reserves, and now no cash flow. When people can’t afford food & rent, that’s when the pitchforks & torches come out, looking for retribution against those responsible.

The biggest shame of all this is the fact there are millions of workers (in America alone) who are skilled & are heroically doing everything they can to contain this virus, while providing essential services to the population, despite the willful neglect of political leadership. These are the true heroes, but they are unrecognized by the media; starved of funding, supplies & necessary protective equipment by a corrupt system. These everyday heroes are forced to work because they care, and also because they live paycheck-to-paycheck. These are the people who live & work in reality, and therefore need to be in charge, not capitalist politicians.

Both US political parties, Dems & Reps, are eventually going to call off Election 2020, due to their inability to deal with this coronavirus. That will be another clear signal for revolution, as maintaining the status quo won’t do for the 90+%. This is now a revolutionary situation, and requires class-conscious leadership within the working class. Workers & youth need to organize amongst themselves. Appeals to the union bureaucracies & the capitalist class are a dead end.

Trump & the Democrats listen closely to the screams of Boeing, and how they need hundreds of billions. Meanwhile angry workers & youth are asking, “Why does this zombie corporation, that knowingly committed mass murder with their MAX 737 crashes, deserve a bailout?” As already stated, it’s not going to take long for youth & workers to put a revolutionary political program together, and it will be led by the Trotskyists of the World Socialist Web Site & SEP/ICFI.

What’s become apparent is that the working population & kids of the world are far ahead of any government. They understand the realities of global warming, social inequality & now the coronavirus better than their elected leaders. Many offices, stores & small businesses closed on their own, before they were ordered to, proving they recognized the risks better than our so-called “leaders.”

In this age of the internet, we now can identify the enemy. They start with all the names you see on Fox, CNN & Yahoo!, then it goes to those behind-the-scenes. It’s Wall Street, silicon valley, Hollywood, the East coast media, the pentagon, CIA, NSA, FBI, White House, Congress, and the Supreme Court. This is the criminal capitalist class, which must be ousted, and replaced with a workers government of the world. This is called socialism, and it’s only achievable through an international revolution. Please join us.


Sports on YouTube

Pre-game/Post-game preface:   Sunday 15 March 2020 ~ noon EDT

Less than 48 hours after initial publication, a new sell-out CBA which runs through 2030 was announced by the NFL & ESPN. Like every other union organization, bribed bureaucrats & cajoled pawns serve the interests of ownership. In exchange for a miserly increase in player share of revenues & too-few post-career benefits, the NFLPA will allow a 17-game season starting in 2021, with the playoffs expanding from 12 to 14 teams starting in 2020– if it’s played.

What’s illustrated below is that NFL players have a hard time getting though a 16-game season (which started in 1978), and more games only increases serious injuries to all players. Expanded play-offs only increases the mediocrity & meaningless carnage, and there’s too of both much already.

Less than a week ago, Cleveland Browns center JC Tretter was elected president of the NFL Players Association, succeeding Eric Winston, the OT for mostly the Texans & Bengals from 2006-17. Eric Winston had been president of the NFLPA since 2014. All these players have CTE, so they can easily be manipulated. The coronavirus pandemic has shut down sports & spread fear, which was the perfect opportunity for NFL ownership to get what it most wanted, more games from players.

Right now, virtually every major global sporting event, league, and tour has been shut down, due to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. This means there’s no live sports going on. This is a major problem for addicted gamblers, but not for true sports fans.

That’s because YouTube exists, and all the great games of the past, from all sports are pretty much available for viewing. If you love sports, this is a great quarantine activity. YouTube therapy is about appreciating the beauty of sports, not who wins when it’s still undecided. For addicted gamblers, seek counseling.

I grew up in Winneconne, Wisconsin where the NFL & Green Bay Packers are king. I was allowed & encouraged to watch Saturday college & Sunday pro football by 2nd grade, which was a few years later than most boys my age at the time.

In 1976, the Green Bay Packers were coached by the legendary Bart Starr, the HoF QB who had led them to all those NFL & Super Bowl championships in the 1960’s under head coach Vince Lombardi. Starr was still loved, and his mediocre to poor results year after year were tolerated by an adoring & nostalgic fan base. Packers fans are among the most loyal in any sport. I learned that early.

But as a newbie, none of this history or loyalist pressure impressed me enough to become a Green Bay Packers fan, because they stunk on most Sundays. This was the NFL in 1976:

The Packers were 5-9 in a poor division, outside of the Vikings at 11-2-1. I was enamored with the way QB Fran Tarkenton scrambled, evaded defenders trying to take his head off, and then tried to make a big play down-field. It didn’t always happen and it could blow up, like in Super Bowl 11 when he was pick-sixed by Oakland Raiders DB Willie Brown, but Tarkenton was always battling & playing smart trying to get the win. The Packers didn’t do that under head coach Bart Starr.

When the Dallas Cowboys pulled out the ‘Hail Mary” Staubach-to-Pearson in Metropolitan Stadium in the 1975 divisional playoffs, the NFC pendulum had swung. But in 1976, it was the Vikings who were lucky in getting to the Super Bowl. When the LA Rams upset the Cowboys in Dallas 14-12, it set up the NFC championship in chilly Bloomington against a soft, warm-weather team.

The Los Angeles Rams were coached by “ground” Chuck Knox, and a blocked chip-shot field goal attempt returned 90 yards for a TD by Vikings DB Bobby Bryant (along with his 2 picks) tipped the game. Vikings 24, Rams 13. The real 1976 Super Bowl was won in Oakland, with the Raiders crushing the Steelers 24-7 in the AFC championship game. This sent the Raiders to their first Super Bowl, where they were heavy favorites to crush the aging Vikings. They did: 32-14.

Color analyst Don Meredith is a piece of work in Super Bowl XI. Lots of whooping it up, questionable assertions & pointing out the obvious after the fact. He hates all over Fran Tarkenton the entire game, obviously jealous of a contemporary who outlasted him. Yes sir! Curt Gowdy doesn’t help ease the pain.

Total domination by the Raiders. Stoneface was outmatched and never had answers when that happened. Jim Tunney was known as the dean of NFL referees, and Super Bowl XI was his second of three (VI & XII). Raiders DB’s viciously targeted Vikings WR’s heads the whole game, culminating in one of the most dangerous hits in Super Bowl history by Skip Thomas & Jack Tatum on Sammy White in the early 4th quarter as his helmet goes flying at 1:39:30 in this video. No penalty was called, and Dandy Don & Curt Gowdy were okay with that.

Monday Night Football was a relatively new phenomenon back then, which made it more exciting to watch, if you allowed to stay up that late, which i wasn’t. Crazy stuff happened during their broadcasts, with Don Meredith leading the charge in stupidity & obnoxiousness. Dandy Don & Howard Cosell clashed repeated, on & off the air.

There were a few memorable games from this era, like the one above with the Oilers beating the Dolphins, 35-30, but the truth is that most were dull & pointless. Below is a typical 1976 MNF game, which the Vikings lost to the 49ers in Candlestick, 20-16, with Alex Karras in place of Don Meredith in the booth.

Alex Karras was a DT for the Detroit Lions from 1958-70, but on MNF he was only a pawn in Howard Cosell’s & Roone Arledge’s power games of life. I didn’t mind Karras because he mostly kept quiet, and said very little when compelled to pitch in. That let Gifford & Cosell do their thing, which was when early MNF was at its best.

One note on the video above. That’s future Texas Rangers slugger Pete Incaviglia winning the Punt, Pass & Kick competition in his age group at halftime, announced at the end of the 3rd quarter.

It turned out that 1976 was a new era in the NFL, as the Seattle Seahawks & Tampa Buccaneers expanded. Coached by USC legend John McKay, the expansion Buccaneers were the worst NFL team ever. In their first season they were forced to play in the AFC West, so they could play every AFC franchise once, before moving to the NFC Central in 1977 and then playing every NFC team once.

Seattle flip-flopped this, by playing in the weaker NFC West in 1976, and moved to the AFC West in 1977. Of course, the Seahawks became a NFC team again, when the NFL expanded to 32 teams in 2002.

The 1976 Buccaneers had Steve Spurrier at QB, and were helpless against the many AFC powerhouses. Their Pythagorean still has them at <1 win in 1976. The winless 2008 Detroit Lions & 2017 Cleveland Browns, and the 1-15 1989 Dallas Cowboys all project at 3-13, which is about as bad as an NFL team can get with even breaks.

But the expansion Buccaneers were futile and reached 0-26 in 1977, until they finally pulled out a win at the Superdome against the New Orleans Saints & QB Archie Manning. The inspired Tampa Bay Buccaneers then beat the St. Louis Cardinals in their finale to finish 2-12. Head coaches Hank Strahm (NO) & Don Coryell (STL) were both fired thereafter.

Hank Strahm had had his day, and would retire from NFL coaching and instantly became a 3rd-string (at best) color analyst for CBS. He called many a Green Bay Packers game, when they played a bad opponent, going on & on about “point of attack” and “taffy pulls.” Click. Don Coryell was more successful, instantly hired by the San Diego Chargers as head coach, he was the brains behind their revolutionary offense led HoF by QB Dan Fouts.

The Chargers were often featured on NBC, matching up with the Raiders & Broncos in epic battles. I can still hear Dick Enberg exclaiming, “Oh my!!” The “Air Coryell” Chargers always scored points in their prime, but their defense couldn’t get stops. Don Coryell is another great head coach who gets forgotten because he never won, or even got to, a Super Bowl. He needed a great defensive coordinator.

Super Bowl XII was perhaps the sloppiest ever, possibly due to all the partying going on in New Orleans. The Cowboys were clearly the better team, but refused to take the gifts QB Craig Morton & the Broncos kept giving them. It was a lonely halftime for Efrin Herrera, as called by Pat Summerall– one of the best play-by-play announcers.

Deep into the second half, things weren’t getting resolved, so an official gave back-up WR Butch Johnson a TD catch, which he actually dropped, and that sealed the game for Dallas. Final score, Dallas 27-10 over Denver. In many ways, Cowboys-Broncos was the first modern Super Bowl. This is when it became an institution that looked great on TV, in spite of it being a poor game. No one cared, because it was such a great party. The NFL schedule expanded to 16 games in 1978.

You can’t be a football good team over time without a great QB, and a real coach. Below are two lists that don’t even go all the way back, but beautifully illustrate the importance of a great quarterback & organized coaching, in correlation to winning in the NFL.

Green Bay Packers QB’s

1956-71 Bart Starr
1971-73 Scott Hunter
1973-74 Jerry Tagge
1974-75 John Hadl
1976-85 Lynn Dickey
1977-79 David Whitehurst
1981-84 Rich Campbell
1985 Jim Zorn
1985-87 Randy Wright
1987 Alan Risher
1987-92 Don Majkowski
1992-2007 Brett Favre
2008-present Aaron Rodgers

Head Coaches since Vince Lombardi era:
Phil Bengtson 1968-70; Dan Devine 71-74; Bart Starr 75-83; Forrest Gregg 84-87; Lindy Infante 88-91; Mike Holmgren 92-98; Ray Rhodes 1999; Mike Sherman 2000-05; Mike McCarthy 2006-18; Matt LaFleur 2019-present.

Head coach Bart Starr always believed Lynn Dickey was a winning QB, when he really wasn’t. The shining moment of Packers glory, in the middle of all this ineptitude, finally came in 1979.

The video above was the signature upset win for head coach Bart Starr (1975-83) back in the day, and also for QB David Whitehurst (1977-79). Packers 27, Patriots 14 on MNF. New England Patriots QB Steve Grogan was very erratic throwing, and when he ran he took on too many SS’s & LB’s head first. Jim Plunkett was much better, and that was Chuck Fairbanks’ franchise-turning mistake.

CB Mike Haines, TE Russ Francis, OT John Hannah were great for NE, while WR James Lofton was the HoF-er for the Green Bay Packers. This was RB Terdell Middleton in his brief prime. Frank Gifford is golden, but I’m grateful for this editing, and not having to listen to Howard Cosell & Don Meredith bicker & banter for 3+ hours.

Above was the other big upset win of the Bart Starr head coaching era, this time with Lynn Dickey at QB, as this is still one of the highest-rated MNF games ever on ABC. Lynn Dickey is at his best, and WR James Lofton is in his prime, with HoF K Jan Stenerud helping lead the Packers to a thrilling 48-47 win at RFK.

The Washington R-words were defending champions, but their vulnerabilities were exposed in this game, and they showed up again in SB 18 against the LA Raiders. MNF is always a mixed bag when it comes to announcers. Giff is gold, but Dandy is obnoxious & stupid. OJ Simpson was actually under-rated, a true football genius who knew when to talk and when to shut up, as you can hear in this broadcast. Irony?

Above is the best NFL game ever, called by one of the game’s best play-by-play announcers, Don Criqui. Last play of the first half, “Hall of Fame! Hall of Fame football play!! That goes to Canton!”  Meanwhile, the Orange Bowl is going bonkers. Final in OT: Chargers 41, Dolphins 38.

A big part of any game we watch on television are the announcers. They can enhance the experience, or detract from it. John Brodie had a sweet-sounding voice, but an uncanny knack for talking a lot, while saying very little. Keep in mind, the best color analyst of this era was ABC’s Howard Cosell, and then CBS’s John Madden, which tells you how bad it was back then.

As the 49ers QB for a decade, John Brodie was comparable to Dallas Cowboys QB Don Meredith as a player, and only slightly less annoying as a color analyst. During the Chargers-Dolphins 1981 playoffs broadcast, John Brodie is often confused and behind the action, or calling it wrong as it happens.

Don Criqui probably knew John Brodie was brain damaged (like all the rest), but he was the consummate professional & ever-respectful to the players, the rightful heir to Curt Gowdy. The problem for Don Criqui was that NBC producers preferred Dick Enberg, who was better at stuff like the Olympics, tennis & baseball.

Dick Enberg was made the NBC play-by-play announcer for all their Super Bowls (and featured games) back then. He teamed with Merlin Olsen who was always lost without a map. See Merlin Olsen in Mitchell (1975) which got Mystied, if you need proof. Merlin Olsen was a DT with the Rams. The above mentioned 1976 Rams-Vikings playoff game was his final NFL game.

I’m kinda bouncing around here, but no discussion of the ancient Minnesota Vikings is complete without reviewing their 1984 season. When the Vikes moved into the Metrodome in 1982, it signaled the end of the Bud Grant era, and it was past time. Stoneface had fallen hopelessly behind the game, as the Vikings still needed to find a replacement for QB Fran Tarkenton who retired after 1978.

Tommy Kramer was an untalented throwback, and an alcoholic who never recovered. Instead of taking QB Dan Marino in the 1983 NFL draft, the Vikings selected S Joey Browner. Instead of drafting RB Marcus Allen in 1982, they took RB Darren Nelson. All this lack of vision paved the way for Les Steckel in 1984, which necessitated a 1985 encore season for Bud Grant– out of desperation.

The 1984 Minnesota Vikings were completely undisciplined & leaderless. Les Steckel couldn’t communicate with his players, management, the fans, nor the media. This video above is proof that these Vikings had TE Steve Jordan, K Jan Stenerud (final 2 seasons), and nothing else of value on the field. Les Steckel’s Vikings were in many ways worse than the 1-15 Cowboys of 1989, because there was no plan for the future. Just Les Steckel, more Bud.

Possibly the best MNF game ever was this Bears-Dolphins game in 1985, featured below. Dolphins 38, Bears 24. Frank Gifford is at his best, and the atmosphere is electric. OJ Simpson & Joe Namath fill in well enough. No Howard Cosell anymore, as he had gotten stale, and never recovered from his “little monkey” comment on September 5, 1983, referring to Washington R-words WR Alvin Garrett.

By the mid-1980’s, the Green Bay Packers had become completely unhinged. This unforgettable cheap shot from DE Charles Martin on Chicago Bears QB Jim McMahon was the low point of the Forrest Gregg head coaching era, as Packers teammates congratulate him on the sidelines after he is ejected for his blindside assault, which ended the Bears repeat hopes in 1986, and Jim McMahon’s career as an effective starting QB.

Head referee Jerry Markbreit makes up for bungling the 1977 Raiders-Chargers “Holy Roller” game; by first controlling the players, then discussing the situation with his crew, before definitively ejecting Charles Martin. Outstanding officiating. It was respected, and it set a good precedent. All this & more insanity led to instant replay officiating.

As a footnote, the Holy Roller game led to the rule change where the offensive team could no longer advance a fumble, unless it was the player who fumbled. RB Pete Banaszak & TE Dave Casper were both guilty of that on the disputed play. It was actually a forward pass by QB Ken Stabler that fell incomplete, and it should have been flagged for intentional grounding, as he was in the grasp. Spot foul with a loss of down– Chargers win. Just ask Dan Fouts.

Jerry Markbreit admittedly winces every time he sees the play. I think he was just too far away with a bad angle. But in the history of the NFL, getting this 1986 assault on Jim McMahon by Charles Martin called correctly was much more important. That’s how you respect the zebras.

Don Criqui called perhaps the most hilarious Sunday afternoon game in modern NFL history, featured below. Final score: Cincinnati 61, Houston 7. I had never seen it, but I remember the score rolling up while watching the ongoing Packers-Bears game. Cincinnati head coach Sam Wyche despised Jerry Glanville, and showed him up in every way: cheering every score, fist pumping his players, and carrying on for the crowd & cameras over every onside kick or fumble recovery by the Bengals.


The Houston Oilers played in the Astrodome, and were a bad cold weather team in 1989. Don Criqui wryly noted the irony, but was too cold to enjoy it, and a bit put off having to stand through it to the bitter end. “Another onside kick… (?)”, he predicts– and he’s right again!! Former Minnesota Vikings WR Ahmad Rashad is bundled up so tightly that he’s unrecognizable by the camera as the color analyst. As the second half begins, he states, “I’m very cold.” It wasn’t his best game on the mic.

In the post-game press conference, Sam Wyche was asked about the repeated onside kicks in a blow-out game. Jerry Glanville had been promoting a slogan of, “Hit the beach!” for his Oilers special teams, in the sense they were comparable to US Marines going to war on kicks & punts. Wyche replied, “We got sick of that ‘hit the beach’ crap.” Sam Wyche was like Jim Mora & Herman Edwards, excellent NFL coaches with wit, who never won a Super Bowl, so their greatness is overlooked.

Above is the final essential game in ancient Green Bay Packers history, IMO. NBC’s Jim Lampley & Ahmad Rashad are on the call. Lampley is annoyed early at the quality of the game, and is a skeptic of the Packers. This is the game where Brett Favre takes the helm, when Packers QB Don Majkowski tears ligaments in his left ankle in the first quarter.

CB & PR Terrell Buckley debuts with a 58-YD TD punt return that gets the Pack back into the game, early in the 4th quarter. This Ron Wolf-Mike Holmgren 1st-round pick out of FSU, wasn’t Deion Sanders in the NFL, but he was the type of player they were starting to acquire– a playmaker. WR/KR Robert Brooks is another example.

WR Sterling Sharpe & DB LeRoy Butler were the only championship-level players left over from the Lindy Infante era, so the Packers were a work-in-progress to catch the Cowboys & 49ers, and this was a milestone game in that journey. Final score: Packers 24, Bengals 23. It was also the moment you knew David Shula was a head coach disaster for the Bengals, after they had fired Sam Wyche.

Finally, my favorite singular moment in the Packers-Vikings rivalry is this above clip from 2004. Packers fans had a history of mooning the opposing team bus as it was leaving the parking lot of Lambeau Field after a loss. Most football fans didn’t know about his hairy & drunken tradition, until the discussions in the media afterwards.

Cris Collinsworth calls it beautifully, as HoF WR Randy Moss makes the back-breaking play of the game, then drops a turd & shoots the moon to the Lambeau faithful. FOX play-by-play announcer Joe Buck is either a priss for getting offended, or an idiot for pretending to get offended. Troy Aikman has nothing to say about it, which is par for him.

The best old school football announcer was Curt Gowdy. Here he is above, summarizing a critical playoff game in the early Super Bowl era. Note that NBC gets the score backwards going to commercial at 10:00 in the video. Early east coast bias? This was the Baltimore Colts final game that mattered from their glory years, as Don Shula’s Dolphins, then Chuck Noll’s Steelers, and Al Davis’ Raiders became the AFC’s dominant teams thereafter. Dolphins 21, Colts 0. The Colts weren’t good again until Bert Jones (for a few years), and then finally with Payton Manning in Indianapolis.

The video above was the real 1973-season Super Bowl, Raiders-Dolphins in the Orange Bowl. Dolphins win 27-10, on their way to a second consecutive Super Bowl win, this time over the Vikings 24-7. In this AFC championship game, which he is calling, Curt Gowdy (at 10:20 in the video) rattles off the entire officiating crew’s real jobs in 1973, until their names are wiped away by the director. That’s an unreal depth of football knowledge.

As far a Monday Night Football goes, when it got to, “Are you ready for some FOOTBALL!!” My answer was no. I respect Al Michaels as one of the best overall play-by-play announcers, but Frank Gifford doesn’t work as a NFL color analyst. By then it was time for the Giff to go, and MNF was never the same.

Former St. Louis Cardinals OL Dan Dierdorf was brought in by ABC. The limited Dierdorf could irritate a neutral audience as a blow-hard. Dan Dierdorf was always better when he said less. He often got silly when excited. “Payton Manning is literally carving up the Tennessee Titans secondary.” No Dan, it’s “figuratively,” otherwise there would be quivering body parts all over the turf.

These truths hold up in my memories of all the NCAA, NFL featured games, and Packers games I’ve watched over the years & decades. There were a few moments of brilliance that take your breath away, but too much of it is mediocre mayhem. Mostly, they’re just banging each other up for nothing out there. That was my ultimate conclusion back then, and I hold to it now. So many times I walked away from the TV in disgust, and did something else. I never regretted it.

What I’ve covered above is a long & painful era of losing in modern Green Bay Packers football, from head coach Bart Starr’s mediocrity & ineptitude, to the mad fury of Forrest Gregg who could only take the head coaching job at SMU after being fired. The SMU Mustangs were allowed to offer no football scholarships in 1987 & 1988, the NCAA’s so called “death penalty.” This was only time it was ever used by the NCAA, and alumnus Forrest Gregg suffered with all the rest from 1989-90.

Forrest Gregg could take a bullet with the best of them. Vince Lombardi called OL Forrest Gregg the toughest son-of-a-bitch he’d ever met, while he held up the trophy with his name etched on it. That’s how the legend goes. I know this because that’s what was on every autumn Sunday, and there was often no other choice from the NFL or any other sport.

Lindy Infante was the first Packers head coach (1988-91) who came from outside the organization. The Pack definitely needed that change by then. Lindy Infante was an offensive guru, but was recognized to be a better coordinator than head coach after this stint from 1988-91. Packers QB Don Majkowski & WR Sterling Sharpe had their peak seasons in 1989 finishing 10-6, tied with the Vikings who squeaked past on a tie-breaker to win the NFC Central. The Packers went home. “NFC Norris” according to ESPN’s Chris Berman, back then on NFL Primetime. That was the high-water mark of the Lindy Infante head coaching era in Green Bay.

I follow a bit here & there, now & then, whenever something relevant appears. But for the most part I’m done with football, as the NFL & NCAAF are too violent & self-destructive. In the end, American football will need to be drastically changed to avoid CTE & all the other brutal injuries that are endemic to tackle football.

I played tackle football on the playground as a kid, because that’s what all the boys did. It was fun, until middle school, when some kids suddenly got a LOT bigger, and hit a LOT harder. Eighth grade is when I retired from playground football, and I’m a LOT smarter & healthier today because of it.

These videos of games & seasons past should be enough to satisfy any sports fan. The damage has already been done, and to discard this brutal history and demand ever new carnage, is a disrespectful waste to those who sacrificed. This is how to learn from your past, and not repeat fatal mistakes. That’s what I think about most, upon further review.


Coronavirus COVID-19 crashes global fake economy

A few months back, no one imagined that a new coronavirus could bring the global economy to a stop, but that is now the case. Governments around the world are paralyzed & unable to respond to the needs of the population, in terms of identifying those infected, and in effectively quarantining & treating them.

In the US, necessary testing hasn’t been done by the NHS & CDC, on orders from the Trump White House & deep state Democrats. Silence & gag orders are in effect, as the crisis spreads & fear grows.

In short, all of the irrationalities of capitalism have come together, in the form of a nasty flu virus which silently infects anybody & spreads rapidly. You can’t pray away coronavirus COVID-19, and you can’t attack it on Twitter either. Therefore Trump & Pence are out of options, as these are clueless imbeciles in charge, so it’s a certain catastrophe. That’s how working Americans (and everyone else) have to prepare themselves for this plague in 2020.

On the other end of the economic scale, hedge fund investors & major banks are expecting US President Donald Trump & Congress to pass a financial bailout program into law, ASAP. Any media signal towards this intention rally the roiled stock & bond markets, until the next wave of bad news arrives.

The inescapable fact remains that the US financial elite is broke, as there is no money earned from useful production anymore. All the US Federal Reserve does is print more money for its friends, while the stock & bond markets are imploding because there is already too much debt– which they can never repay.

Lowering interest rates again, and more QE (free $ for the wealthy) won’t help this time. With all the sports leagues & major entertainment venues now shut down, the fake economy has ground to a halt. People now have less distractions & more time to think. This is when a revolutionary situation presents itself. It is also when the masters-of-puppets get nervous, as they can feel themselves losing control of the situation.

Theoretical questions: Coronavirus COVID-19 originated in Wuhan, so if President Trump (or any other high-ranking US government official) gets sick with this deadly flu virus, is that considered a biological attack on the US by China? Does that give the US government the right to retaliate with all options on the table?

This is what Trump was thinking about a month earlier, instead of funding for testing, prevention & treatment. Why no call by social Democrat Bernie Sanders for Trump’s impeachment over his mishandling of the coronavirus outbreak? That’s another elephant in the room the Democrats will have to dance around as all of this unfolds.

Why is testing so important? Because doctors first need a DIAGNOSIS to treat sick patients, and prevent further spread of disease. Without a proper diagnosis, health care providers are in the dark. Doctors & scientists with specialty in this field need to be in charge of a coordinated international effort to identify, contain & treat infected coronavirus patients.

That’s another bug-a-boo here, in that people in current leadership need to admit they could be infected, and downgrade themselves to patient status when confirmed. People like Trump & his capitalist cronies are never willing to do that. Their megalomaniacal belief in money, god, and their own supernatural power blinds them. This coronavirus pandemic situation will not be resolved without a serious change in leadership– medically, economically & politically.


Coronavirus COVID-19 basics

In the healthcare professions, doctors, surgeons & support staff all adhere to “universal precautions,” which means assuming every patient has an infectious disease, even if their medical history is clear. This is because the patient may have an infection without knowing it, or they may be intentionally omitting data.

Therefore frequent hand-washing, gloves, masks, protective eye-wear, et al, are required. All this was recognized & widely adopted as standard practice in the 1980’s, when AIDS came along. This extends to personal hygiene, such as covering coughs & sneezes (into the shoulder), and other courtesy measures that educated & civilized people do to prevent the spread of disease.

The rapid-spread quality of coronavirus COVID-19 means that just about everyone will eventually be exposed to this pathogen. The questions are: Will your body be able to resist it, or will you become infected? If you are infected, then how bad will it be? Will it kill you?

We make ourselves more prone to infections by not sleeping enough, by not getting enough exercise, by not eating right, etc. Alcohol & drug consumption weakens any immune system. Tobacco smoking is a particular risk with any respiratory infection. The deaths from coronavirus COVID-19 have been mostly a result of pneumonia. This is what you need to know to avoid panicking, and making a big mistake for yourself & others.

Professionals don’t politicize the coronavirus COVID-19 into a weapon of fear against the population, as that only increases the spread of contagion. Empty reassurances & ignorance are tools to cover up ruling elite malfeasance. Every nation’s government is currently doing exactly this, by closing off borders, targeting certain ethnicities, and spreading fear.

Putting a backwards religious nut in charge of the coronavirus COVID-19 epidemic in the US, should be considered an impeachable offense, a crime against the American people. But not for the fake media, nor for official politics. Vice-President Mike Pence as governor of Indiana endorsed a policy to “pray away” the HIV epidemic. This wasn’t in the 1980’s when HIV & AIDS was new, but from 2013-17. Mike Pence is the exact opposite of a good solution to this coronavirus COVID-19 problem.

Obviously research & testing must be fully funded, publicly, so the people can have input on progress. Leaving it to the pharmaceuticals, who look only at profit, is a recipe for secrecy, monopoly pricing & pushing bad drugs onto the market– out of desperation.

Science has known that coronaviruses have had this potential for decades, with the SARS outbreak in 2002–2004, mainly in China, and MERS in 2012–2014, mainly in Saudi Arabia. Already we know the COVID-19’s RNA code, outer shell & much else that is necessary to develop a vaccine. But there is need for publicly coordinated research & policy, to prevent this from becoming a global epidemic which kills hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people. It needs funding, but all that goes to the military these days.

This is NOT being discussed anywhere in the corporate news or official politics. This is just another crisis to be exploited, and another bailout for the rich. The big US stock market losses last week have already been repaired. At ~10:00 AM EST this morning, it was announced that the US Federal Reserve Bank is cutting their rate by 50 base points for overnight bank lending to 1%-1.25%.

It’s not hard to predict what these zombies are going to do, once you know what’s going on. The ruling elites took big losses with this epidemic affecting their global supply chains. They have no serious answers for this global health epidemic, so they decided to print more money for themselves. This is called looking out for #1, which is considered a good thing. Ask any capitalist.

Conclusion: A virus does not distinguish between class, race, sex, or nationalities, It infects anyone & anything it can. It infects silently, and can be extremely mobile & resilient. It’s going to take a combination of ingenuity & resourcefulness to deal with this coronavirus epidemic, and the viral plagues of the future.

What this crisis already proves is that the current global political set-up has no serious answers to meet these challenges, and therefore must go, in the better interest of everybody. It’s now time for the workers of the world to wash our hands of this filth, as science & revolutionary socialism is the only path forward for humanity.


Super Tuesday Preview

Since yesterday, Pete Buttigieg has dropped out, after blandly saying to his supporters just a few days earlier, that his campaign was going to “shock the world on Super Tuesday.” Hardly anyone was saddened or surprised by this.

Now, Amy Klobuchar’s campaign is under attack from Black Lives Matter, as she’s cancelled a home-state rally. Amy Klobuchar is currently being made to answer for a 2002 conviction of Myon Burrell, over a black girl killed by a stray bullet.

Myon Burrell was sentenced to life in prison. At the time, Klobuchar served as Hennepin County’s head attorney. An Associated Press investigation revealed no gun, fingerprints or DNA recovered, and evidentially questionable police tactics were used.

Make no mistake, this is a full-scale, all-hands-on-deck, deep state campaign to clear the Democratic field for Joe Biden. Mike Bloomberg is their main target, as he stands to reap a few delegates tomorrow.

Joe Biden needs every delegate he can get, so the remaining also-rans are under heavy Party pressure to quit and throw support to him. For example, I’m sure if Amy Klobuchar suddenly dropped out, and kicked her 7 delegates to Joe Biden, all of her pain would go away. Tomorrow will go a long way towards deciding whether there will be a brokered Democratic convention in Milwaukee this summer. The only reason for a brokered convention is to steal the Democratic nomination from Bernie Sanders.

Above are the latest polling numbers showing Bernie Sanders poised to win the most delegates among Democrats tomorrow. Of course, those counting the votes should be under intense scrutiny when the stakes are this high, so we’ll see. That, and the global economy tanking due to the spread of the coronavirus (Trump’s problem), are the causes of all this media panic.

Breaking News Update: Mon 02 Mar 2020 3:15 PM EST

Less than two (2) hours after publishing this piece, Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar has bowed out of the race for the Democratic nomination, and will endorse Joe Biden.