I was a pretty big fan of the band Live back in high school, but then, basically everyone was. Throwing Copper sold eight million copies, and you couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t turn on MTV or the radio without hearing Ã¢â‚¬Å“Lightning CrashesÃ¢â‚¬Â or Ã¢â‚¬Å“I Alone.Ã¢â‚¬Â I went to four excellent Live concerts in college, and the crowds were universally jam-packed.
Two summers ago, a full decade after LiveÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s popularity began to wane, I caught wind of a free outdoor show by former lead singer Ed Kowalczyk in the parking lot behind City Winery in New York. My high school friends and I discovered a somewhat different dynamic than what we had been used to, with Ed K. playing Live songs and new solo material in the oppressive heat of a 90-degree afternoon in front of a couple dozen nostalgia-seekers.
At first, I found the scene bittersweet in that the enormous popularity of a band I loved had been distilled down to a very small group at a show that cost nothing to attend.
But the music was wonderful as always. I came face-to-face with a lot of memories; Live had, after all, been my first concert as a freshman in college. I was finally able to meet Kowalczyk.
And there was something pretty great about sharing the afternoon solely with true die-hards who had bothered to stick around long after LiveÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s last spin on contemporary rock radio.
IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d say itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s pretty safe to say itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s probably not a good idea to kiss Floyd Mayweather on the cheek in the middle of a fight.
I had people text me after SaturdayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s fight with that old tired talking point, that the fight wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t worth the admittedly exorbitant price tag Ã¢â‚¬â€œ though Tecate trimmed that to a more reasonable amount. But all things considered, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s hard to say we didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t get our moneyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s worth, despite the truncated main event.
Some weekly thoughts on football and some other things, since IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m essentially a football layman. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d generally prefer to do this early in the week, but I was particularly busy.
I had some people ask me why I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t post anything here about 9/11 before it happened, but honestly, what more could have I have said that wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t already said?
The past couple years, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve done a weekly post with some NFL thoughts and observations, mostly about the experience of watching such an Americana-driven sport. However, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not really a football guy, and IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve found that I often simply donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have a whole lot to say about the sport itself, especially on weeks when I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t get to watch many games. As such, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d still like to give this a go this year, but IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m going to expand it to whateverÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s on my mind. Expect it anywhere between Monday and Wednesday.
Before the hurricane hit the New York area on Saturday, I hauled out to Long Island on Friday night for the annual draft of my main fantasy football league. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s pretty hardcore: 14 teams, an archaic and esoteric scoring system, two keepers, and it started 16 years ago when the majority of the league owners were in high school together. (IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve participated for 10.)
I probably would have driven through the hurricane itself to get there since for the first time since I joined my co-owner in the league, we won the whole thing, resulting in an $1,100 payday. We were powered by a well-balanced team and the shrewd first-week waiver-wire pickup of Michael Vick, which I commemorated by wearing his jersey to the draft, to the chagrin of everyone.
About two hours before TuesdayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s promotional press conference for Floyd MayweatherÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s return to the ring against Victor Ortiz on Sept. 17, the fans waiting outside were privy to a bizarre scene about a block from the Hudson Theater, as a somewhat unhinged would-be rapper climbed a light pole in the middle of Times Square and wouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t come down.
Traffic was diverted for 20 blocks as he did pull-ups and tossed CDs to bemused onlookers. After a couple of hours, he finally descended right around the time Golden Boy ushered everyone in for the presser, reportedly of his own volition.
Maybe he was just tired of the attention.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not really a boxing fan,Ã¢â‚¬Â the guy working at Champs Sports in Times Square told me as I tried on a Manny Pacquiao sweatshirt. Ã¢â‚¬Å“But I never miss one of MannyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s fights.Ã¢â‚¬Â
If youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve been expecting anyone other than Antonio Margarito to be waiting in the ring for Manny Pacquiao this November, you havenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t been paying attention. This is the fight Top Rank promoter Bob Arum wanted all along.
Disappointed itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather? Sure, me too.
But thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not the way this sport works. Nothing comes easy. There are always agendas.
Floyd MayweatherÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s systematic destruction of Shane Mosley on Saturday night wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t the most exciting fight, as per usual. But it was a rare chance to see an athlete at the absolute top of his craft, and one who knows perfectly how to market himself at the same time.
The fight may have been a fairly big letdown for something called Ã¢â‚¬Å“The Event.Ã¢â‚¬Â Joshua Clottey provided not much more resistance than the heavy bag in my apartment. And a decent undercard turned out pretty lousy.
But last nightÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s fight further reiterated the star power Ã¢â‚¬â€œ and drawing power Ã¢â‚¬â€œ that Manny Pacquiao possesses. And as it somewhat numbs the bad feelings of the disintegrated holy grail fight of Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather that was supposed to take place last night, it whets our appetite for that matchup when it finally happens.
Because it will happen, and the power of Pacquiao is the biggest reason. For a fight against a guy virtually nobody in the general public knows, and who essentially refused to throw punches, he drew over 50,000 people to a football stadium. For a boxing match. In 2010.
If there was any question before that Pacquiao is the face of the sport, that should clear it up.
Floyd Mayweather messed with Manny Pacquiao for so long that he completely played himself.