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.
Some random thoughts, starting with a series finale I just watched five months after it happened.
Working nights, I pretty much only watch television with DVR, and there are two types of shows for me: the ones I can watch any old time just to keep up with and get out of the way, and the ones I save for when I can truly enjoy them.
Law & Order SVU minus Christopher Merloni has become a show I can shoehorn in while IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m eating my cereal in the morning, or getting ready for work. Boardwalk Empire, on the other hand, requires my full concentration.
This dynamic was the reason that despite airing back in May, I only watched the final episode of Friday Night Lights last night, tempering my curiosity with the desire to watch it at exactly the right time.
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.
IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve heard so many people who ordered Pacquiao-Mosley say they felt cheated.
With all due respect, if you expected anything other than what you got, you havenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t been paying enough 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.
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.
The biggest surprise with the Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather drug testing argument is that I actually at one time hoped this fight would come off without a hitch. I guess that plays into my desire to have a big fight happen for once with none of the nonsense and posturing that usually goes into this sport. But thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s unrealistic.
Now donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t get this twisted, I actually very much respect Derek Jeter. HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s an excellent baseball player, keeps his name off Page 6, does a lot of charity work and has a work ethic I admire.
But Jeter as Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year? Either it was a slow year, or that Ã¢â‚¬Å“awardÃ¢â‚¬Â is a sham.
And it wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t a slow year.