Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Sultan of swing: an ode to Mark Knopfler

The first time I heard Dire Straits I must have been in second grade. “Walk of Life” came on the radio and the Hammond organ hooked me immediately. Of course, being eight I had no idea the song was brought to life by Mark Knopfler and his crew of British rockers or how to ever find it again, so that little riff was consigned to a dusty corner of my mind even as my eight grade self downloaded “Money for Nothing” and “Sultansof Swing” on Napster.* There it sat waiting to be rediscovered with only the harmonica part from “Fear ofFalling” to keep it company. Then, in high school, I bought Dire Straits’ greatest hits CD. Of course I rediscovered “Walk of Life” as I drove the Carter boys and my brothers home from Best Buy in my mom’s minivan.** But I also realized something else: Mark Knopfler is a flipping genius. 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

30 (+7) for 30

What if I told you a documentary series could capture the attention of college-aged males across the country? You would probably think I’m nuts, or that it was about the Playboy Mansion or something like that. But what if I told you it was about the last thirty years of sport?

You would probably punch me in the face for asking all these rhetorical questions. But that’s what Bill Simmons and ESPN did during 2010-11. To celebrate ESPN’s thirtieth anniversary they made 30 documentaries exploring all kinds of sports stories from the last 30 years.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

A Common Mistake

The Western Roman Empire fell in 476 AD. That is not a question, that is not a guess, it is a fact. Ms. Svoboda made damn sure each one of us knew that before we left her seventh grade social studies class.* Ask any one of my classmates today and there’s a pretty good chance they still have each one of those characters etched in their brains. 4-7-6-A-D. Well, nowadays turns out they’d be wrong.