Monday, November 10, 2008

Metallica in Columbus.

This blog is dedicated to Pac-man, the only man I have ever personally known to like Metallica as much as me.

I always seem to struggle where to start when I begin a new blog and this is no exception. The night was so amazing and there was so much that happened that it is tough to know where to start! I guess I can begin with telling all of you that I have loved Metallica since I was in 7th grade. We had to do a project for music class and someone did video from "Enter Sandman." When I saw it something special happened inside me, it was like the first time I kissed a girl, or the first time I made poopy in the potty. I knew that this band ROCKED and I need to hear more. So over the years I have listened to more, even through Load, Re-Load, and St. Anger, which most fans did not like, I however, did. Now, even though I have always loved this band this, at 29 years old, was my first concert.

As we got to the arena I was getting pretty stoked and it was just building as we were walking around to our seats. We got to our seats and Sword was playing. Decent band, rocked pretty hard, but nothing stood out in particular. But after Sword went off and Down was setting up something happened that made and incredible night even better. A "woman" shows up to sit in the row in front of us and she can only be described as a former Metallica groupie from the release of Kill'em All in 1981. This "woman" was easily 45+ and an utter disaster. She came in wearing a black bandanna keeping up hair that was 20 shades of yellow. I say yellow and not blonde because it really was yellow, it was like some sort of toxic blond, as a matter of fact I think I am going to the doctor later today to look for cancer from inhaling fumes from her hair. Moving on, she is wearing a sleeveless hoodie, proudly displaying her tattoo that says "Wild Child 4 life." Nice. She was also displaying these arm bands that looked like Madonna threw up heavy metal on her arms. They had zippers and rainbow colors and all kinds of weirdness. Then I heard her talk, I was actually startled, it sounded like someone had just started up a Harley, I can only hope that I am painting an accurate picture here, because she was hilarious all night, mainly because we were sitting behind her and not next to her. I say that because I think she managed to spill at least a cumulative whole beer on the guys next to her as she waved her arms around wildly during every song.....all night long! She is the very definition of a train wreck and I thank god she was sitting in front of us!

Now, on to the glory that is Metallica. Here is the set list for the evening.
  1. Ecstasy of Gold
  2. That Was Just Your Life
  3. End of the Line
  4. Creeping Death
  5. Ride the Lightning
  6. One
  7. Broken, Beat and Scarred
  8. Cyanide
  9. Sad But True
  10. Wherever I may Roam
  11. Leper Messiah
  12. The Day That Never Comes
  13. Master of Puppets
  14. Battery
  15. Nothing Else Matters
  16. Enter Sandman
  1. Die, Die My Darling
  2. Jump in the Fire
  3. Seek and Destroy
They played for a little over 2 hours straight, it really was amazing. I remember hearing the Ecstasy of Gold start to play and it was like going to the Phantom Menace and here the Start Wars intro and getting so excited I almost peed myself. The best part was that there was no fucking Jar Jar Binks at the concert to fuck it up!

They started with a couple of songs from the new album and mixed it up the rest of the way with new and old. I was a little surprised that they did not doing anything in the middle. There was not one song played from Load, Re-Load, or St. Anger. They even played a song off Garage Inc, that was a cover instead of those three albums. I guess I should not be shocked that they did not play anything from St. Anger, and it was something the guys and I talked about before the concert, since St. Anger was not well received by most fans.

The performance of the night was One. They started in total darkness and as the sounds of war were going on the pyrotechnics started going off like bomb were dropping on the stage. As the song continued so did the pyro show, it was nothing short of amazing, it was worth the price of the ticket just to see that performance. It was also cool to see James Hetfeild and Kirk Hammet "duel" during The Day that Never Comes. And then during the encore, as they were playing Seek and Destroy they released all black beach balls with Metallica on them. I wish I would have been closer to grab one of those it would have been super cool!

The only thing that I was perhaps disappointed in was that they did not play All Nightmare Long, which is my favorite song off the new album. Instead they played Cyanide, which is a good song, but there are at least 5 songs on that album I like more.

It really was an amazing night and I can not wait until the next time Metallica is in town. When i say in town I mean in Cincinnati next time! I mean I will drive to Columbus again, but it sure would make life easier if they just came to the Nati!

A special thanks to my wife for getting the tickets for me for our anniversary! I wish you could have been there to share this special night, but I understand why you could not. And thank you to Isaiah, Neil and Tony for being there with me as I broke my Metallica cherry, I hope you had as much fun as I did.

Side Note:
I got a little side tracked by the "train wreck" earlier, but I have to mention that we also saw a guy in an argyle sweater at the concert. I know fans are fans, but really? An argyle sweater? To one of the hardest playing bands in history? He appeared to be foreign, but you have to know better right?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Draft 1.0

So, the Bengals are on a bye this week and not a moment too soon. This team is 1-8 and in desperate need to regroup and figure out how to keep the momentum of that one win going into the second half of the season.

Since the Bengals do not play this week I will do what I LOVE to do, and play GM (general manager). I am guessing that I will end up putting out about three different blogs about the NFL Draft that is in April; one now, one right after the season and one right before the draft.

Why now, you may ask? Well, the team is 1-8, the team is on a bye, and it is never too early to start thinking about what your team should be drafting when you are almost guaranteed a top 5 pick.

So, without further delay, here is, by round, what the Bengals should be looking at. I say should, because as I have stated before, Mike and company does not always draft for need, hell they rarely do, it is all about want.

Round 1.

  1. Andre Smith, OT Alabama

  2. Michael Oher, OT Ole Miss

  3. Eugene Monroe, OT Virgina

  4. Rey Maualuga, LB USC

  5. Michael Johnson, DT/DE Georgia Tech

  6. Sen'Derrick Marks, DT Auburn

  7. James Laurinaitis, LB OSU

  8. George Selvie, DE USF

There are 8 legitimate needs that the Bengals should be looking at. Levi and Stacey have been a mess at the tackle positions this year. They will not be able to sign Stacey long term and Levi looks like he is on roller skates ever since he hurt his knee. I know the Bengals are high on Anthony Collins, the tackle from Kansas they drafted last year, but it is time to invest in another Willie Anderson/Anthony Munoz type a high caliber tackle that can protect Carson's blind side for the next ten years. So, yeah a tackle is what I would really love to see the Bengals draft. If somehow they fall out of the top 5 and the tackles are all gone, or if the Bengals do what they always do and draft the best available player despite what they NEED, then I have those listed as backups. Anything other than the players I listed for the first round and I will go into a fit of rage that would make the Incredible Hulk look relaxed.

Round 2.

  1. Jonathan Luigs, C Arkansas

  2. Antonie Caldwell, C Alabama

  3. Vince Oghobasse, DT Duke

  4. Vance Walker, DT Georgia Tech

  5. CJ Spiller, RB Clemson

  6. James Davis, RB Clemson

Wow, I am really concentrating on that offensive line aren't I? And why not? This group has been horrible all year, they let Palmer get a broken nose and an undisclosed elbow injury, on top of that Ryan Fitzpatrick is running for his life constantly. Besides that, Eric Ghuicuc has never seemed to be able to step up and fill the void left by Richie Brahm at center. plus I have taken into consideration how the Bengals love to draft guys from the same school in the same draft; i.e. TJ and Chad, Eric and Adam, Odell and David, with a tackle and a center from Alabama. If the centers are not there I would like to see them grab a defensive tackle. We really need to improve in the trenches and even though I like what I see from Pat Sims and Pecko, it has been a short time and inconsistent. Plus I do not think that the Bengals are looking to re-sign John Thorton, which would make Pecko the senior member on that line. But, knowing the Bengals they will pass up both of these needs and go for the shiny toy in a running back. Perry I think is officially done and god only knows if they will be able to or will want to sign Benson again. That would leave the cupboard pretty bare and I would love to see a shifty speed back like Spiller in here.

Round 3.

  1. Al Woods, DT Georgia Tech

  2. Peria Jerry, DT LSU

  3. Daniel Holtzclaw, LB Eastern Michigan

  4. Cody Brown, LB UConn

  5. Devin Moore, RB Wyoming

  6. Trevard Lindly, CB Kentucky

  7. Kevin Barnes, CB Maryland

  8. Trevor Canfield, G Cincinnati

  9. Domonique Johnson, CB Jackson State

  10. Derrick Williams, WR Penn St.

By this point I am of course hoping that the Bengals have taken care of their offensive line needs. Hoping being the key word there. I was thinking what are some other holes the Bengals have after offensive/defensive line and I thought about corner. They let Deltha O'Neal go and I was perfectly OK with, but David Jones is not the answer and we need help there, maybe someone that can help with the return game as well? Also can you ever have enough line backers? Love Rivers, but the rest of the group could start to get upgraded. Dahni is smart and a great guy, but someone younger and faster and meaner might be nice.

Round 4.

  1. Marlon Favorite, DT LSU

  2. Worrell Williams, LB Cal

  3. Jasper Brinkley, LB South Carolina

  4. Bruce Johnson, CB Miami

  5. Curtis Taylor, S LSU

  6. Brandon Gibson, WR Washington State

More defense and a wide receiver for fun. I think that I have overloaded on defense for this draft because of how bad that Bengals defense really is. I think that after the fourth round I can see them concentrating more on wide receiver help, and offensive line help. Of course wide receiver help gets a bump in priority if they are truly insane and do not make a deal for TJ, like I know they won't.

The rest of the draft is tough to tell without seeing more football and seeing how the season ends. I can say that the Bengals had better shop for a punter in the later rounds and maybe look at some return guys, be them receivers or corners. Defensive end is another position I would like them to experiment with in the later rounds. I would love one early, but with two young guys that you are paying top dollar to in Robert Gathers and Antwan Odom, I don't think it would be wise to go out and spend a ton of money on yet another defensive end. Possible find a diamond in the rough in the later rounds, find a true pass rusher, a guy that can just light up a quarterback!

So here is Draft 1.0, hope you all enjoy and please do your research and get back to me on ideas or comments. I love looking at this stuff!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Freaky Sunday.

How does one feel after their hometown football team starts the season 0-8 and then inexplicably wins a game? Not only did they win, but they looked like a legitimate football team in doing so. As Mo said, it was like "Freaky Friday" and before the game when Marvin and Jack shook hands they somehow switched places. Marvin was suddenly Jack and Jack was Marvin, it might be the only explanation as to what actually happened on Sunday.

I went through a range of emotions as I watched the game unfold. I was shocked, then elated, then confused, then a little sad, then angry, then frightened, then relieved, then melancholy, and finally content. I felt like a 50 year old woman going through menopause. Now let me go into detail and see if I can accurately capture what was going on to cause this whirlwind of emotions.


The Bengals scored first(pausing for dramatic effect)........That is right the Bengals managed to actually score a touchdown in the first quarter before the other team.I could not believe that the team that can not finish managed to finish, and in dramatic fashion none the less, a pass to Chad Johnson. Is it any wonder why Chad was so damn happy the whole game? He had his first multi-touchdown game since 2007! Then like the football gods were showing compassion to the team that they had forsaken all year the Bengals scored yet another touchdown. They were now up 14-0. I was now staring blankly at the T.V., drool running down my face, I must have looked like a complete invalid. You could have hit me over the head with a shovel and I am not sure I would have know what happened.


The Bengals go into halftime leading 14-3! Not only that but they looked like a legitimate football team in doing so. For the first time all year all gears were clicking, they looked like a well oiled machine instead of the 1970 jalopy p.o.s. that they had looked like all year to this point. It was like Marvin, Bob and Mike had all read my blog and decide to take my advise. They were running the ball and using the diamond in the ruff they had discovered in Cedric Benson and the line was blocking, the defense was getting to a somewhat mobile quarterback, the defensive ends were protecting the corners, the front seven were getting pressure, the corners were covering. I was so happy that I wanted to turn the game off at halftime and cherish what I had just seen afraid that Jack and Marvin were going to switch back at any minute and the Bengals were going to remember that they had not won a game all year and had no business winning this one.


It is not fair to put confusion here, since I was really confused the whole game. Where had this team been all year? Where was this crispness, passion, intensity, desire, fortitude? How can you lay the wood to a Jaguars team that is not that bad, but get stomped by a Houston team that is that bad? Why did the line suddenly want to run block for this game? Why did the corners suddenly want to cover? Why did the defensive line finally push back? What was it about November 2nd that got these guys fired up? Why did Chad Johnson suddenly want to catch the ball? Why did Marvin finally decide to coach? My head was spinning faster than that kid from "The Exorcist". I felt like I had just watch Dennis Miller do political coverage, I think my head was going to explode.

A little sad:

0-16 was looking like a fairy tale again. Ever since really getting into football I would always get really excited to see a team almost go 0-16. It is a lifelong dream to see it, to see a team so terrible that they can not win a game, and it here my team had a chance to pull it off. As I said before all the pieces were in place for it to happen to this team this year. A bad coach, a distracting prima dona receiver, a hurt pro bowl quarterback, an offensive line that would not block, a defensive line that could not get penetration, corners that would not cover, an owner that was apathetic, and fans that were tired of it all. And yet here we are in the third quarter and the Bengals were winning 21-6. The dream looked to be over for this team. The silver lining being that there was still another quarter of football to be played and I could see that the Lions were still about to lose, so 0-16 was still attainable.


The first thing that I got angry about was John Henderson trying to gouge the eyes out of Andrew Whitworth. That was a dirty move by a guy that I can imagine was just pissed that a horrible team was stomping a mud hole in their ass. My question is why would you pick a fight with the biggest offensive lineman out there? This is a guy that has to have two XXL jerseys stitched together to make a jersey that fits him. Why not pick a fight with Eric Ghiaciuc, he is the smallest one and tends to get pushed around pretty easy. Then I got more angry when both he and Henderson were thrown out of the game. I cannot wait for the NFL to go back and review the film, Whitworth was just trying to defend himself and save his eyes from being gouged out. Henderson had better be fined and suspended, and Whitworth had better not get fined at all. Then the Bengals dropped into the prevent defense. This actually pissed me off more than the result of the fight. I HATE when the Bengals do this, they go up on a team and let off the gas, they take their foot off the other teams throat, and every time they let that team back into the game. I have said it once and I will say it again, the only thing the prevent defense does is it prevents you from winning. Here the Bengals are, on the cusp of winning their first game and they want to go back to the same defense that allows teams to pick them apart, WHY??!!


The Jags scored off a special teams debacle, the only one of the day, but at the exact wrong time. Suddenly this was looking like the team that I knew all year. Defense of Swiss cheese, special teams making critical mistakes at the exact wrong times....OH NOESSSSS!! Now the Jags are a two point conversion away from tying this game and forcing an overtime of which there is no way Marvin is able to keep up this charade that long. As the jags line up for the conversion I feel like "The Tale Tell Heart" is in my throat. The epicenter of my confusion was now, do I want the Jags to get it and force that inevitable loss? Do I want my beloved Bengals to finally get that first win? AGHHHHHHHH. Thankfully the Jags inept offense makes the choice for me. You have Jones-Drew, the little battering ram, in the backfield and you don't even play action with him? Instead the telegraph the pass and do not get the conversion. The game is not over, however, and you know the onside kick is coming. There I sat sweating bullets, gnawing on fingernails, just waiting for that other shoe to drop, just waiting for the Bengals to officially blow this like they have all year. Alas, they recover the kick!


The Bengals recover the kick and do what any smart team would do, they run the ball three straight times, under the secure hands of Cedric Benson, and force Jacksonville to spend their timeouts. I have to preface that with, what any smart team would do, because that is not one of the Bengals mantras. So after giving Jacksonville the ball back with 11 seconds I can breathe again, for what seems like the first time since the end of the third quarter. I can enjoy the futility of another team trying to overcome bad coaching, bad play calling, meltdowns, and bad play clock management. So weird to watch a game wear the shoe was very clearly on the other foot.


I was happy and sad. Happy to finally see a win, happy to see the Bengals perform the way I thought they should all year, happy too see veterans play for some pride and the young kids play with some hunger, happy to not have to bitch about all the same shit again this week(I was running out of stuff to say). Sad that the dream of 0-16 was gone, sad that Marvin probably saved his job, sad that Mike now thinks that everything is OK, sad that John Henderson was not decapitated, sad that despite our best effort we barely won this game, sad that Marvin will go back to being Marvin and now has a reason to talk down to all the fans and media because his team finally won. Strange not to get to extreme with emotion after going through half the season win less and mentally preparing yourself for 0-16 and then to see them eek out a win somehow, but how do you get too crazy when this could easily be a fluke? Even a blind squirrel finds a nut every once in a while.


It took the rest of the day, but I think I am OK with losing the 0-16. It hurt me to have to root every week for the Bengals to lose, but I felt that I had to to see some changes made. Of course, after looking at it rationally there was no way that even 0-16 would get rid of Mike Brown and that is the source of the problem really. So, I will take this win and any other the Bengals can trip over this season and run with it. hell they might not win again, so not only am I content with it, I will relish in it. The next time the Bengals have to get run over by the Steelers I will go back to November 2nd in my mind and relive the one day the Bengals put it together and managed a win.

Points of interest:

  1. Dexter Jackson was not in the game at all. I am not saying that he was the problem all along, but the secondary did look better, more physical, faster without him. Note to Marvin, leave it that way.

  2. Pat Sims looked awesome again. Let that man play.

  3. John Henderson is a bitch.

  4. Cedric Benson looked awesome, thank god they finally saw what I was seeing and ran the ball with him more.

  5. Detroit is still win less, so there is still hope to see that 0-16!

  6. Chad Ocho Cinco kissed Marvin for the second time this season, I was uncomfortable.

Before this game I was actually thinking about what to focus on for this blog, my idea was going to be stop spending so much energy getting frustrated and angry at the Bengals and instead put all that energy into hating the Steelers. Being a Bengals fan I hate them anyway, but I figured since all my energy was being wasted on reiterating the Bengals faults, I wanted to put it to something productive. What prompted this was that ridiculous commercial about the NFL shop where it pans around someone living room and it is all decked out in Steeler crap, except for one lamp, and then it says, "What's with the lamp?" Thirty two teams in the NFL and they had to choose the Steelers. So, I saw that commercial and felt my blood pressure rise like something out of a Daffy Duck cartoon and thought to myself, "Self you should just watch Steelers games and enjoy when they get their asses handed to them." But, then the Bengals go out and have a game like this and I am hooked again for at least two weeks, or until I hear Marvin's creepy laugh during a press conference.